I recently did a review about Puma and one of its latest silhouettes: the Slipstream Lo in collaboration with Parisian fashion house, AMI. I said that while the cat brand has grown its market share tremendously in markets like the US and India, here in the Philippines, it admittedly lags a bit behind some of the more, uh, popular athletic and streetwear brands.
Will Puma’s official entry in the Philippines make a difference in boosting its popularity? As a sneakerhead, I certainly hope so.
It recently officially launched in the country with a banging party and preview of its autumn/winter collection, with the theme of "the streets and humans of Manila.” The event aimed to show "how the brand’s core values (bravery, confidence, determination, and joy) are inherent to Filipinos.” The show was pretty impressive, highlighting the latest sports, athleisure and footwear items from the German brand, and inviting some of the country's fashionistas and celebrities to grace the catwalk: Kylie Verzosa, Daniel Matsunaga and Marlon Stockinger among them.
What truly got my attention was the teaser reveal of Kai Sotto as the brand’s first ever Filipino brand ambassador. Hopefully this means his own signature shoe. The Sotto 1 perhaps?
But what does the official presence of Puma in the Philippines mean to us mere mortals?
For the public looking for alternatives (from the usual more popular suspects), it means more stores, not only in Metro Manila but in the regions, plus a wider selection of all athletic and streetwear needs. For the sneakerheads and hypebeasts, hopefully it means access to more limited editions and collaborations, as well as unique fits. Expect also more events, both the sporting and fashion type, to be supported by Puma as well.
Overall, seeing another global brand that has recently upped its game in the sneaker and streetwear world enter the country is a good thing for Pinoy sneakerheads. Diversity and expanded options is never a bad thing—it promotes creativity, innovation and allows people more choices, to help them express themselves through kicks and fits. And the fact that the Philippines was chosen among a myriad other countries to expand in shows not only how the country has progressed economically, but how the streetwear culture has grown locally. Here’s to good times ahead!