A brief history: 75 Years Of PUMA
For three quarters of a century now, PUMA has been leading the way as one of the go-to labels, and certainly biggest brands, within the footwear game. We're taking a look back at some key moments from the brand’s lucrative history, including some silhouettes which have become iconic figures in their own right over the years, and the events which solidified PUMA's status as one of the greats.
PUMA was founded by Rudolf Dassler when he and his brother, one Adi Dassler – who you may recognise as the founder of a little company called adidas – went their separate ways. PUMA was officially registered as a company in 1948, and the name was finally trademarked in October of that year - and so, PUMA was born.
It wasn't long before the brand enjoyed its first major success, when it released the world's first screw-in-stud football boot. The Super Atom hit the shelves in 1952 and catapulted PUMA into the spotlight as a serious contender in football footwear. The brand worked closely alongside field-experts to develop the shoe; a technique which has been used throughout PUMA’s history, closely collaborating with the very best of the sporting world in order to produce superior footwear, apparel and sporting equipment.
Plenty of successes followed suit through the rest of the '50s, with notable achievements in athletics and the introduction of the Formstrip in 1958. This piece of ingenuity was designed to improve support and stability through the uppers, and is now universally recognised as an emblem of PUMA design and innovation. It’s still used across the majority of PUMA’s footwear and apparel to this day.
The '60s was another period of great triumphs for the brand, with plenty of world records smashed and gold medals won by PUMA-wearing athletes during both the Rome Olympic Games in 1960, and the Tokyo Olympics in 1964. This period also signalled the dawn of some mainstay silhouettes, including perhaps the most iconic PUMA shoe of all time; the one and only PUMA Suede. Sleek, low topped and Formstrip-adorned, it's of little surprise that the Suede found popularity on the terraces, and in the lifestyle rotations of modern wearers alike. In the same year came PUMA's first foray into sporting clothing, with the T7 Tracksuit introduced in 1968, marking the beginning of PUMA hugely successful apparel line.
Lucrative deals punctuated the '70s, '80s and '90s, with some of the biggest players in football, basketball and tennis joining the ranks of the PUMA athletes. In tennis, Grand Slams were won by Guillermo Vilas, Martina Navrátilová and a young Boris Becker, all with the help of PUMA gear. On the pitch, Pelé – often listed amongst the greatest players of all time - sported the PUMA KING during Brazil's 1970 World Cup win, solidifying PUMA’s dominance on the grass. Basketball legend Walt ‘Clyde’ Frazier became the namesake of the iconic PUMA Clyde, and handball champion Vlado Stenzel inspired one of the most iconic PUMA silhouettes of all time – named the Vlado Stenzel, of course.
This tendency to attract the best in the world is a trend which has continued into the modern era, with PUMA working alongside Usain Bolt, Sergio Agüero, Lewis Hamilton and Neymar, to name just a few in the past decade alone. Added to this are some of the biggest names in music, with the likes of Rihanna, Jay-Z and Dua Lipa heading up lucrative PUMA collaborations, campaigns and movements too. Here at size? we've also had the opportunity to collaborate on some amazing projects, including the PUMA Arizona ‘Duel In The Desert’ - ?exclusive and the PUMA Palermo 'Godfather' pack - ?exclusive.
Of course, along with the iconic names linked with PUMA, are the countless footwear silhouettes from the last 75 years. Some have already been mentioned, with the Suede, Vlado Stenzel, and Clyde all still very much retaining their legend status to this day. Along with the many releases both old and new, it's models like the Weekend, RS, Army Trainer and Slipstream which also spring to mind as some of the most-time resistant and lauded PUMA shoes out there, with a signature streamlined build and - in true PUMA style - the Formstrip to certify sporting excellence on each silhouette.
In addition to this, there are many new innovative models added to the catalogue each year. Such silhouettes include newcomers like the 180 and Teveris Nitro, which are easy to define from the OG’s with markedly bulkier builds and newer cushioning technology – a clear sign that while PUMA is well-known for their older silhouettes, they aren’t afraid to adapt to the changing trends either. It truly is a winning combination.
From the lasting legacy of the OG silhouettes, to the endless list of PUMA athletes dominating the world stage, Rudolf Dassler's brand stands for excellence. Whether it's in sport, music, culture or fashion, this is a brand which has not only been a market leader for the last 75 years, but is sure to lead the way in the next 75, too. Stay tuned for plenty more anniversary celebrations throughout 2023!
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