Rihanna On Her Puma Creepers: ‘I Wanted This Shoe to be Part of the Fenty Brand & the First Thing People Saw’

In 2016, Rihanna won Shoe of the Year at the FN Achievement Awards for her Fenty Puma Creeper sneakers. Now it looks like a return of the popular shoe is possible.

On Wednesday this week, Puma CEO Arne Freundt announced that Rihanna would be returning to the brand in a two-word press release: “She’s back.” The singer first teamed up with Puma in 2014 as creative director for the womenswear line, and the marriage paved the way for a collaboration under her own name Fenty x Puma. Rihanna’s partnership ended in 2018.

During her reign, there were many product launches, including apparel and footwear, but none was bigger than the Creeper. Offered in multiple colorways, the shoe became a blockbuster hit and had universal appeal to both men and women. It generated tremendous hype, strong global sales and was seen on celebs, such as Cara Delevingne, The Weeknd and Gigi Hadid. The initial release sold-out and crashed Puma’s website.

“In my wildest dreams, I never would have imagined an honor like Shoe of the Year,” Rihanna told FN at the time. “It means so much to me to make a mark like this in the shoe and sneaker industry and to have so many people share my love for the Creeper.”

When the star arrived to the awards show in 2016, she hit the red carpet wearing a Vetements x Juicy Couture ensemble straight from the spring ’17 runway. She paired the look with a black-and-white pair of Fenty Puma Creepers.

Rihanna at the 2016 FNAAs.
CREDIT: Clint Spaulding/FNS
Rihanna wearing her Fenty Puma Creepers at the FNAAs in 2016.
CREDIT: Clint Spaulding/FNS

Inside the event, Rihanna was seen mixing and mingling with actress Dascha Polanco as well as actor Cuba Gooding Jr., who were also in attendance.

During her speech at the awards ceremony in New York, Rihanna said that the honor made her “proud to be a woman and proud to be a young woman from Barbados, especially to come to America and just do this by default just because I liked to wear a certain style of shoe.”

Rihanna credited friend and collaborator Jahleel Weaver, who introduced her at the time to Billy Walsh, Mr. Completely and Puma. “I would literally send them my sneakers one by one and say, ‘Can you creep this out for me?'” she said on the inspiration behind the style.

“I wanted this shoe to be part of the Fenty brand. I wanted it to be the first thing people saw because that’s what I was into at the time,” said Rihanna. “I didn’t expect people to love it the way that I do.”

Watch the full acceptance speech here:

To see more of Rihanna at the 2016 FN Achievement Awards, click through the gallery.

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