I'm feeling a bit conflicted about Rihanna's role as Creative Director and Brand Ambassador for Puma. The brand ambassador portion of her new role makes sense. A lot of fitness brands, like Under Armour, Nike and Self Magazine, are hiring models like Gisele Bundchen, Karlie Kloss, and Joan Smalls to push their fitness gear into the fashion space and make it accessible to more groups of women. Active models have become the new #fitspiration and Rihanna has a model frame (tall, slender, fit). She has both high-fashion and street appeal.
On the creative direction front, I can't help but laugh. Every major celebrity brand has hired designers that put "celebrity" design ideas in motion. It takes a village to create a line of sportswear and footwear. The title of "creative director" lost a lot of meaning, especially for those of us who do design work. Rihanna has versatile, often interesting style mixing in sporty pieces with high-end clothing. But the collection should be lifestyle and fashion-focused, not on fitness—push sporty style but not gym gear. I'm curious to see how the unsung Puma designers can take Rihanna's style cues and make a cohesive collection.