PUMA is celebrating the power of Black excellence with a new platform that reminds us that we are legends.
Led by a team of Black designers, the new storytelling and product development platform — We Are Legends — aims to champion the “new” in Black culture, versus just the rich history of the past.
“The collection seeks to honor the Black creatives trailblazing influence on cultural progression around the globe and strives to empower and amplify the voices of our Black community—our legends,” a press release reads.
We Are Legends
“The name, We Are Legends, comes from the idea of celebrating the now in Black culture. Often when we celebrate Black culture, we look to the past,” said Ariel Weeks, Chair of PUMA B-Bold ERG and Footwear Merchandising Manager, in a press release shared with AfroTech.
He continued: “However, our collective wanted to help change this narrative by empowering people to speak up in their most authentic voices now, to create their own legacy that will be legendary. We Are Legends shines the light on both the legacy of this design collective and the legends within their own communities.”
PUMA aims to reiterate its commitment to the Black community through the new endeavor, while also serving as a brand that stands up for representation not just throughout the design industry, but also the world.
With the debut collection being centered around homecoming, “The Yard” features men’s and women’s apparel in an array of bright maroon, purple, and orange colors.
“I am extremely proud to introduce the world to We Are Legends, a collective of black designers who are a prime example of when employees step up to drive and be the change that they want
to see. This first collection within the We Are Legends platform, The Yard, is a homage to the spirit of the beloved HBCU experience and a celebration of Black excellence,” said Michelle Marshall, Director, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at PUMA North America.
Sharing Our Stories
“The goal of We Are Legends is to not only tell stories that are authentic and highlight the beautiful aspects of black culture, but through this platform PUMA will aim to lead the charge in activating the next generation of black creatives through building early awareness and providing accessibility to roles in this industry via strategic partnerships, mentorship, and education,” Marshall said.
Through We Are Legends, PUMA has established a 3-pillar model focused on making an impact through donation, awareness, and community.
Highlighting Black Designers
The first collection, The Yard, features styles worn by HBCU students of both the past and present. It is an ode to the culture’s deep history and the contributions Black people have made to style.
“This collection honors the legacy and community of Historically Black Colleges, and Universities,” said Yaphet Mesfin, Color and Materials Designer for Sportstyle (Footwear). “It’s more than a collegiate design, it’s about celebrating the Black experience. As a PUMA designer, I am encouraged to show up as my authentic creative self. It allows me to bring my ideas into spaces that create impactful stories and collections for the world to see.”
Shop The Collection
The Yard will release globally on Oct. 1 via the PUMA app and the New York City Flagship store.
On Oct. 3, the collection will available on the company’s website and select retailers worldwide.