Sportlifestyle company PUMA announces today that it appointed Hussein Chalayan, a global designer, artist and film maker, as the Creative Director for PUMA with immediate effect,responsible for designing, creating and developing the sport fashion collections of the brand. PUMA also acquired a majority stake in Chalayan’s London-based fashion business and brand Hussein Chalayan. Through this long-term partnership with PUMA, Chalayan will have the opportunity to grow his ready to wear fashion collections.
“Hussein Chalayan is a proven visionary in the fashion, design and art industries. As our Creative Directorfor our Sport Fashion business, Chalayan will bring his use of new technology, forward-thinking design and provocative point of view to PUMA,” said Jochen Zeitz, Chairman and CEO of PUMA. “Acquiring majority shares of the Hussein Chalayan brand is giving PUMA the ability to move into a new space, expanding our reach to become the most desirable Sportlifestyle company in the world.”
In his position as Creative Director, based in London, Chalayan will be responsible for all creative direction for PUMA Sport Fashion collections and will touch all product categories including footwear, apparel and accessories. Chalayan will work hands-on with all PUMA respective design teams worldwide. PUMA will support Chalayan to grow his brand worldwide, using guidance, resources and infrastructure from PUMA’s parent company PPR and giving the Hussein Chalayan brand a better opportunity to evolve in the retail environment. His influence will be initially reflected in the fall 2009 collections.
“I feel that the collaboration with PUMA both for the PUMA Sport Fashion and Lifestyle lines as the creative director and on the existing Chalayan brand is a revolutionary model for a partnership,” said Hussein Chalayan. “Combining PUMA’s infrastructure and technological platform with PPR facilities, we will be able to turn experimental ideas into reality both for the PUMA and the Chalayan lines. Hopefully, people will have the means to access real products evolving from our processes rather than only seeing them in shows and events.”
The collaboration will put an emphasis on PUMA’s more fashion forward ranges, as it continues to post growthin its performance categories football, motorsport, running and sailing. The Hussein Chalayan brand will become part of the PUMA Group, joining sportlifestyle brand PUMA and outdoor lifestyle brand Tretorn, which was acquired by PUMA in 2001.
Cyprus born Chalayan spent his early years in Northern Cyprus. He graduated from Central Saint Martins School of Art with an honours degree in fashion. He has been named “British Designer of the Year” twice for his innovative collections and performance-based fashion productions. Known for pushing the boundaries of fashion with technology, Chalayan’s talent goes beyond fashion with many of his pieces considered works of art. In 2003, he directed his first short film Place to Passage which was screened in the Truman Brewery in London. He has continued his career in film with pieces such as Absent Presence and Compassion Fatigue. With the former, Hussein Chalayan represented Turkey at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005.
As an artist, designer and filmmaker, Chalayan has a passion for culture and life taking inspiration from philosophy, architecture and anthropology.