The Evolution of Activewear - Part 3 Puma
Anyone that has a sense of style and activewear is their go-to, Puma sportswear is one of the legendary brands when it comes to innovation in both design and performance. The brand has been powering athletes across all forms of sporting codes from running to football, basketball to motocross and so much more. Through its legacy of being a record-breaking performance sporting brand, Puma has cemented itself as a champion for athletes around the world. It’s also a street style staple, the iconic feline brand is top of many activewear die-hards as their go-to for sneakers, tracksuits and a variety of Puma apparel and accessories.
What sets the Puma collaborations apart are the varied and interesting partnership choices. Rihanna with Fenty, appointing her as the creative director for the women's department. Recently, Puma has made great strides in expanding its influence in the fashion and lifestyle realm by collaborating with the likes of KITH, Solange Knowles, Alexander McQueen, Va$htie, Brooklyn We Go Hard, ALIFE and ICNY. Although sporting fashion for women has been around since the 1800's it’s really since WWII with the development of new textile fabrications that designers have been able to push the envelope as they have.
The ascendancy of the wellness movement with sleek, chic activewear is being re-appropriated from the gym to our everyday wardrobes. As nothing lasts forever, there are signs indicating that we’re moving towards a ‘post-athleisure’ culture. Health, well-being and activewear has become truly ingrained in our daily routines rather than simply making a fashion statement. In an age of information where we want to know everything about the activewear we’re buying – from how it performs to what it’s made from – style still plays a key role and it’s easy to see why ‘post-athleisure’ wear will most likely be a blend of functionality with fashion.
The Evolution of Puma Sportswear
Before Puma sportswear was born, the Dassler brothers built a sporting shoe company in their mother’s kitchen in Germany. The brothers, Rudolf and Adolf Dassler, their company, Gebrüder Dassler Schuhfabrik (Dassler Brothers Shoe Factory). Their first factory opened in 1924 and soon began to create a legacy that would span many a lifetime. The Dassler spikes were worn by German athletes at the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Summer Games where athletes won numerous gold medals wearing Dassler shoes.
In 1948, the Dassler brothers went their separate ways. Adolf Dassler went on to found adidas while Rudolf founded PUMA Schuhfabrik Rudolf Dassler.
Here are some legendary development and sporting moments that have cemented Puma’s legacy of innovation.
- 1949-1950 - The ATOM - Puma’s first football boot - is launched. Several members of the West Germany team wore these boots in the first post-war game against Switzerland. Herbert Burdenski went on to score the winning goal in this game - in his Puma ATOM boots.
- 1952 - The SUPER ATOM is launched. After consulting with renowned experts, including West Germany’s national coach Sepp Herberger, the world’s first screw-in stud football boot was developed.
- 1954 - The PUMA BRASIL is introduced, aiding the Bundesliga team Hannover 96 win the German league in May 1954. In the same year, Puma’s first running shoes were launched. Heinz Fütterer broke the 100m world record in 10.2 seconds in Yokohama, Japan, wearing these shoes. Four years later, he’d go on to set the world record in the 4x100m relay.
- 1958 - Brazil wins the Football World Championship wearing Puma boots - the only German-made football boots to be featured in the final. Four years later, Brazilian football legend Pelé and his team won the World Cup in Chile, wearing Puma boots.
- 1960 - Armin Hary, the fastest man in the world at the time, won the gold in the 100m sprint in the Olympic Games in Rome. That same year, Puma launched its vulcanisation production technique where the sole and shaft of the boot were bonded.
- 1964 - The Olympic Games in Tokyo saw Puma power with three athletes winning gold medals - Belgium's Gaston Roelants (3.000m steeplechase), Great Britain's Mary Rand (long jump) and Ethiopia's Abebe Bikila (marathon).
- 1970 - The PUMA KING is launched, inspired by Brazilian football icon Pelé. He went on to win Player of the Tournament in that year’s World Cup.
- 1973 - The PUMA CLYDE sees Puma venture onto the basketball court, with shoes made for Walt “Clyde” Frazier.
- 1977 - PUMA tennis shoes are worn by Guillermo Vilas, who went on to win the French, the US and the Australian Opens.
- 1991 - Sees the PUMA DISC technology arrive - being the first laceless running shoe. A year later, three runners won gold at the Olympics in Barcelona wearing PUMA DISC shoes.
- 2000s - Puma and Ferrari join forces, leading to the exclusive Puma Ferrari footwear, apparel and accessories.
As this brand continues to evolve to the needs of athletes and consumers, it’s clear that Puma is not a brand to sit by the side-line or to follow. They are both leaders and innovators. The secret to activewear are the interchangeable separates, why not shop your Puma sneakers, clothing or accessories online at Side Step or find your nearest branch to shop in store.