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The heritage and the future of PUMA in the new Wild Rider sneaker

The latest silhouette part of an iconic line told by its creator

The heritage and the future of PUMA in the new Wild Rider sneaker The latest silhouette part of an iconic line told by its creator
Federico Trivella

Within the sneaker game, PUMA has always occupied a prominent place, relying both on its very rich archive and on a dynamic vision towards the future. 
A collage of present, past and future. This is how the new silhouette of PUMA could be described, the latest model of the Rider line, the Wild Rider, which presents itself as the perfect combination of elements from the past and details projected towards the future. 

Taking inspiration from the Rider OG archive and the elements of running shoes in the 90s, the new Wild Rider presents itself as the perfect synthesis between performance and aesthetics, with an emphasis on inserts that are as functional as they are harmonious. The Wild Rider brings a completely new dimension to the Rider line, with new layers of materials and futuristic rims on the midsole. The design of the silhouette is inspired by the movement and speed of contemporary life and is designed to always go further, ever faster.

Rafael Nespereira Herrero, Senior Global Product Marketing Manager Sportstyle at PUMA, told nss magazine about the archive and the future of PUMA.

#1 What's the key to interpreting such a rich archive like PUMA's and bring it into the present?

The key is to find a silhouette that was relevant back in the days and is still nowadays. It can be because of its technology, design language, cultural background connection… PUMA has almost 75 years of history, which gives us a strong and rich heritage that translates into different silhouettes and design concepts. This fact has allowed us to create and build over the last years PUMA FUTRO, the PUMA take on how our present sees the future through the lenses of the past. We can find some examples within the PUMA running silhouettes like RS, Mirage and Rider. All of the iconic PUMA silhouettes that we have transformed in a contemporary way. 

#2 Why do you think running silhouettes have become so widely popular also in the lifestyle market?

I think that it depends on different factors. The main one is the high peak of nostalgia we are currently living. There's an uprising trend that focuses on retro stories around 70/80's and Y2K, where these running silhouettes were very big. The other one is fashion and aesthetics. Nowadays there is a huge vibe in the lifestyle sneaker industry that is rooting for those running shoes, from the most "dadcore" ones to the highly overdesigned ones, through the tech/hiking inspired. Running shoes are versatile and that makes them so attractive. 

#3 What role can PUMA play in this hectic and saturated sneaker game? 

PUMA is a reference brand in terms of design and innovation. We had been pioneering when starting the collab game with Jil Sander in 1998, naming Hussein Chalayan as creative director for the brand in 2008 or creating innovation stories like the PUMA Disc technology in the early '90s. This game-changer and disruptive mindset are part of PUMA's DNA and so, integrated into our lifestyle launches. We work every season to create lifestyle designs that create an impact in the market.  

#4 What are the elements and the details that make a sneaker iconic?

This is a difficult question! There is no formula to create an iconic sneaker, but I would say there are three key elements we always have to have into consideration: design, storytelling, and consumers. The design is the starting point when creating a new silhouette. The Sportstyle Design team, in cooperation with Product Line Management and Development departments, work to create balanced lines that conceptualize the sneaker narrative through the style, patterns, colour and materials. The story around the launch is also key. There's a huge range of sneaker offers in the market but, what makes one stand over the others is the cultural or sub-cultural connection the silhouette has or can develop. Finally, we have the consumers. They are the ones giving the sneakers their final identity mixing it with their own references and telling their personal stories. 

#5 What lies in the future of the Rider line?

PUMA Rider family allow us to connect PUMA's heritage with the present but also allows us to explore wild ways of expression. We have some exciting new iterations coming in AW21, not only through our Select partners' collections but also through new upper executions. 

The new PUMA Wild Rider is available on the brand's website