How the Puma x Tabitha Simmons Collaboration Is Capitalizing on the Hot Gaming Trend

In an era of countless collaborations, Tabitha Simmons and Puma want to bring something different to the table.

The luxury shoe designer and the athletic lifestyle brand have teamed up on a collection that combines Simmons’ signature feminine style with Puma’s athletic aesthetic. The limited-edition collaboration will be released on Feb. 1 and includes three sneakers, a backpack, a waist bag and a tracksuit. The collaboration will make its debut on Drest, an interactive styling game, and it will also be available for purchase online, in-store and at select retailers.

“I’ve done a few collaborations in the past, but I wanted to do something a little bit different, more unexpected,” said Simmons, whose high-end shoes have been spotted on Meghan Markle and Gigi Hadid. Simmons’ previous tie-ups include collections with Coach, The Brock Collection and Johanna Ortiz.

Puma Ralph Sampson x Tabitha Simmons, puma, collaboration
Puma Ralph Sampson x Tabitha Simmons sneaker in black.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Puma

Simmons was introduced to the Puma team through a mutual friend and started working on the collaboration last spring.

“We really liked the fact that Tabitha hasn’t really delved in the sneaker space before,” said Tracy Pendleton, the head of the global entertainment marketing & partnerships at Puma. “From both perspectives, we both saw an interesting opportunity to maybe hit a consumer who wouldn’t naturally look at one of our brands.” 

CELL Stellar x Tabitha Simmons, puma, tabitha simmons, collaboration
Puma CELL Stellar x Tabitha Simmons sneaker.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Puma.

Puma, which was named the FNAA 2019 Brand of the Year, has a history in teaming up with powerful female figures and designers, including Rihanna and Sophia Webster.

“We like [to partner] with brands who are female-led and -owned companies, and we want to be able to lend that support to women that are working in the industry,” said Pendleton.

Puma Ralph Sampson x Tabitha Simmons, puma, collaboration
Puma Ralph Sampson x Tabitha Simmons sneaker in sand.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Puma

Simmons, whose namesake label is already available for users to play, shop and win on Drest, believes that the future of fashion is not only in unlikely collaborations between brands, but through gaming.

I have two teenage boys, and they are literally spending a lot of time and money on gaming,” Simmons told FN. “I got very serious about it and wanted to be a part of it because it’s just such a whole other world.”

Puma has also ventured into the gaming sphere. The brand debuted a shoe as well as a clothing line for gamers in 2019.

Drest, which is an app created by Lucy Yeomans, the founding editor-in-chief of Porter, the magazine of Net-a-Porter, is one example of how high-end players are venturing into endeavors like AI and gaming.

Users will be able to style, shop and potentially win items from the Puma x Tabitha Simmons collaboration through Drest competitions. “It’s crossing over from reality to gaming where, you know, you can actually win products,” Simmons said.

puma, tabitha simmons, collab, sportswear
Puma x Tabitha Simmons collab.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Puma.

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