Pop star Rihanna has been appointed the women’s creative director and the face of sportswear brand Puma, effective January 2015. The German multi-national retailer has announced that singer Rihanna, who has previously collaborated with River Island, will be the women’s creative director, developing existing apparel collections and featuring as the face of the women’s training collection campaign. Joining the Forever Faster campaign with athletes Usain Bolt and Sergio Aguero, the 26 year old musician will also conjure up new designs, saying, “I’m excited for you to see what Puma and I come up with.” Commenting on the campaign’s stars, CEO of Puma Bjorn Gulden said, “With a strong portfolio in football, running and motorsport, finding an inspiring partner for women’s training was very important. Rihanna was a natural choice for us.” Born Robyn Rihanna Fenty, the Barbadian singer, actress and fashion designer previously achieved success in her design collaboration with British retailer River Island. During the period of time in which the Rihanna for River Island collection was underway, River Island reported a sales increase of 4% for the year, raising the total to £839m. A CFDA Fashion Icon laureate with seven Grammy Awards under her belt, Rihanna travelled to the Puma headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany, on Monday to commence her first creative session with the brand’s design squad. Puma bosses have outlined the new collections as being “designed with the goal of strengthening women in training sessions and beyond, and inspiring confidence in their bodies and themselves”, and believe Rihanna “will bring her personal touch and creativity to the athletic world”. 2014’s third quarter for Puma has seen sales rise 6.4% but reports that their gross profit margin sank by 0.8% to 46.3% have emerged. This profit decline has partly been attributed to the impact of global currency effects. Rihanna has followed in the sneaker-clad footsteps of musicians 50 Cent and Jay-Z who teamed with sports brand Reebok to release shoes. According to Puma bosses, Rihanna’s responsibilities will include “directly influencing product collections” and starring in their promotional releases. CEO Gulden has stated, “We’re delighted to have her as a partner, and we’re looking forward to what’s to come.”
BREAKTHROUGH THE HYPE: UNCOVER THE REALITY OF AI Gartner research estimates that artificial intelligence (AI) bots will power 85% of customer service interactions by 2020....