Singer Rihanna's collaboration with Puma has emerged as a key factor in driving the German sportswear firm's fourth quarter sales. This trend is expected to gather momentum after Rihanna presented her Fenti X Puma Collection at the New York Fashion Week in Feb. 2016.
According to a report by Reuters, Puma's fourth quarter 2015 sales rose to 879 million euros ($979 million), up 11.5 percent.
"The future is female ... we see more and more women across the world are doing sports. We feel we can be the brand that owns the space between the gym and the runway," Puma CEO BjÃ¶rn Gulden reportedly said.
The Barbadian singer's suede creeper sneakers for women, which went live on Puma's website in Sept. 2015, sold out in a couple of hours, Footwearnews.com reported. Rihanna's first design derives its inspiration from 1980s punk bands, and is a remake of the firm's classic suede style. Following the success of its launch, Puma released its men's collection in Nov. 2015.
The pop singer was signed by the German sportswear company in 2014 for a multi-year endorsement deal that paid off, according to the Reuters report. The "Diamonds" singer was appointed by Puma as women's creative director at a time when the sportswear brand was losing market share to Nike and Adidas.
"She can sell sneakers and Puma is onto something here which we haven't seen yet in the women's area," Bloomberg Business quoted Gulden as saying.
Part of Puma's strategy includes enhancing footfalls in the female sportswear market. The firm recently partnered with reality star Kylie Jenner to endorse its Spring/Summer Training Campaign, which will be launched in April 2016, GQ Magazine reported.