Puma Global Creative Director talks about the future of PUMA


At this year’s Sole DXB we speak with the Global Creative Director of Puma, Heiko Desens, and Mike Camargo aka “Upscale Vandal” a tastemaker and a cultural icon. It was about the future as well as the past, and the upcoming 75th anniversary of the brand.

Puma – Panel Talk w/ Heiko Desens & Upscale Vandal at Sole DXB 202

Today we are at Sole DXB, where Puma has been very present in recent years. What is Sole DXB for you?

Cross-regional connectivity to customers is very important for us. Sole DXB is a great example of such a platform. The visitors and spectators are international and we reach and meet people from all over the region and beyond. It’s important that the story of Puma is told here, because we realize that there is interest from the local community.

As a brand, you have entered Web3 and launched Black Station, a metaverse experience in the form of a digital playground. What motivated you to take a step further into digitization?

There are two main reasons why we are going in this direction. Firstly, there is a rapidly growing customer group, a whole generation that is moving around on the Web3 and gaining experiences there that were previously made in stores or on sports fields, for example.

Furthermore, it is a paradise for us as designers to let off steam creatively, as there are absolutely no limits to what we can do. Quality control, testing and technical feasibility take a back seat and you can present Puma as a brand and the product much more creatively.

Puma x Rihanna Fenty Collection

Puma will be celebrating its 75th anniversary next year. What can we expect from the brand in 2023? Will there only be a look at the past, or will, the digital playground and other innovation be included as well?

The future and the past are necessary for us to create the perfect balance of the brand. Our claim Forever Faster consists of two words that speak for themselves with their meaning. The Forever which refers to the heritage of the brand and the Faster which stands for development and innovation.

We will present both more clearly. We will emphasize our Classics, our Forever much more in its timelessness. Currently, there are consumers who appreciate a classic of good quality more than the latest, most modern style.

Puma Lifestyle Sneaker “Mostro” was inspired by Formula 1 Racing Footwear – Michael Schumacher Racing Shoe

Faster, on the other hand, stands for digital innovation but also for performance. Our goal is to become the most-seen brand in the Olympics in 2024. We have a beautiful roster of athletes and also super cool performance products coming up. We are working on several innovative products that will get a lot of attention.

They are very important to me, but I believe that certain purchases, such as a Suede, will increasingly take place online. However, when it comes to launches of new silhouettes or performance products, the store experience cannot be replaced in my opinion.

Especially in footwear, the fitting, checking out new models etc. will continue to draw people into stores. I myself don’t buy products online that I don’t already know. Especially with footwear, where it is also about comfort and fit, I prefer to go to a store.

Michael Schumacher in Puma Racing Shoe at 2004 Formula One World Championship in Italy

Your all-time favorite?

I have two. One that is just an absolute design icon that broke all the rules in the footwear industry: the Mostro. A game changer in terms of design and I still have it and sometimes I think it’s ugly and sometimes I think it’s awesome.

Sometimes I don’t know. It surprises me every time I look at it. Since I personally prefer classics, the other is the Suede. Suede every day!