Sportswear brand Puma has announced that June Ambrose, Jay-Z, and Missy Elliott’s longtime stylist, is its newest creative partner with her first products for the brand expected in 2021.
Ambrose will focus on creating “premium offerings that merge style with performance,” explained the sportswear brand in a statement, with pieces it adds that will “redefine what it means to be stylish in sport” by fusing sportswear with fashion styling details.
Puma added that Ambrose will bring a “fresh look” to athletes and audiences’ attire, while taking a “holistic brand approach” working across categories and age groups, with an initial focus on girls and women’s collections “throughout 2021 and beyond”.
The partnership the sportswear brand confirmed came about through the stylist’s long-standing relationship with Jay-Z, who serves as the creative director for Puma Hoops.
“Jay (Jay-Z), Emory Jones, and I have had many conversations about style, sport, purpose, and legacy,” said Ambrose in a statement. “From these conversations, Jay then introduced me to Bjørn Gulden (Puma chief executive) and Adam Petrick (Puma’s global director of brand and marketing). Adam and I talked about our visions and my impact on the culture at large, and it was from these interactions that I knew a collaboration with Puma would be beautiful and transcend far beyond the product.”
Stylist June Ambrose joins Puma as a creative partner
While specific details about the collections Ambrose is producing were not disclosed, Puma did state that she would be lending her expertise to a “number of moments and collections throughout 2021”. These will include Puma Hoops, its basketball division, and a Title Nine collection inspired by her passion to celebrate “bold, fearless women everywhere who rise above and go the distance no matter how big the challenge might be, while also being stylishly fit.”
Ambrose added: “I want my work with Puma to drive a dialogue around Title Nine and equality. To have the opportunity to do this by launching a collection for an underserved division, for women’s basketball, is incredible.
“I want athletes and all women to feel fearless and inspired when they wear the pieces that I’ve designed. I want to create a space where young girls and women feel empowered on and off the court.”
Ambrose has been a force within fashion for several years, and as an award-winning costume design and stylist, she created numerous iconic looks, including putting Missy Elliot in that patent leather-and-vinyl suit in ‘The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)’ video. As a stylist, Ambrose has worked with Hollywood A-listers, including Zoe Saldana, Kerry Washington, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys, Estelle, Gabrielle Union, and Ciara.
This isn’t her first fashion collaboration; Ambrose has previously launched two lines of sunglasses in 2013 with Selima Optics, and a signature line of footwear for HSN, but does make her first sportswear partnership..
Puma’s partnership with June Ambrose is a push for equality in sport
In an accompanying video on social media to announce her appointment, Ambrose explained: “This project is not just about clothes, but it’s about emotion and everything that we believe in, and we stand for as a culture will be embodied in this collection.”
With Puma adding that the partnership will “transcend product” and that the global sportswear brand will be working closely with Ambrose to use its platform for “social impact, empowering youth and pushing for equality in sport.”
“The connection between style and sport is timeless, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to put my spin on,” added Ambrose. “Beyond the collections, it’s important to me that the collaboration is rooted in social impact, and Pumas work in the social justice space to empower youth through sport makes them the perfect partner.”
Commenting on the appointment, Adam Petrick, global director of brand and marketing at Puma, said: “June is an icon at the intersection between fashion, music, culture, and purpose. Having the opportunity to bring an individual with such talent into the world of sports is unique, and we are excited to see how she can redefine what it means to create a sportswear collection.”
This isn’t the first time Puma has collaborated with pop culture stars; the sportswear brand has previously worked with Rihanna, Kylie Jenner, Selena Gomez, and The Weeknd.
Puma said that additional details about the collection will be available at a later date.
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