February 21, 2019 / 9:02 PM / 3 months ago

Puma goes up-market to join forces with Porsche Design

A pair of shoes is displayed as sports retailer Puma launches their first sportswear collection in collaboration with Porsche Design in Berlin, Germany February 21, 2019. REUTERS/Annegret Hilse

(This February 21 story refiles to give full name of Porsche Design in headline.)

BERLIN (Reuters) - Sportswear firm Puma is launching a joint collection with Porsche Design, the fashion and accessories brand owned by the German car company, tapping into demand for premium products just as luxury labels are moving into the market for sportswear.

Puma announced it was replacing German rival Adidas as Porsche’s partner last month, and they presented the first shoes and garments at an event at a nightclub in Berlin on Thursday, which will go on sale on March 1.

Porsche Design hopes Puma will draw a younger audience to its stores, while the sportswear brand expects to attract some of the car brand’s big spending customers, noting strong demand for high-end sports gear in markets like China and Japan.

“This is a joint attempt to strengthen both brands over the long term,” Puma Chief Executive Bjorn Gulden told Reuters.

“We can do more innovative things because customers are prepared to pay for them... In our sector, you are always under price pressure.”

The deal comes as many luxury and premium labels - like Germany’s Hugo Boss and Kering’s Gucci - are seeking to capitalize on the “athleisure” trend by launching pricey sneakers.

Shoes in the Puma-Porsche collection will retail for up to 250 euros ($283)and jackets for up to 450 euros and be sold in 150 Porsche Design stores worldwide and online.

“We have common values in terms of our design orientation and innovation,” said Porsche Design chief Jan Becker.

Reporting by Emma Thomasson; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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