2017 saw global sports brand PUMA step into a new wave of marketing. Traditional methods were cast aside and the brand sought to engage with youth culture on the streets: no filter.
As a result, four young, up-and-coming creatives came together to create the Suede Guerrillas: an organic, self-styled street crew from the Middle East, who infused their taste, vision and hustle with PUMA’s heritage, product and stories.
The eclectic group of individuals: Nnamdi Eluwah, Parvane Barret, Fatma Al Bakry and Conor Rycroft embody the ethos of PUMA’s #RuntheStreets campaign: owning the city in which they live by connecting with its fashion and culture.
The Suedes took their voice online as well as creating noise in their own personal communities, giving the Middle East a voice on Instagram, where the Suede Guerillas’ story began to gather momentum.
Since their recruitment, each member of the crew has grown, developed and sought to own their space in a crowded Middle Eastern line-up of influencers, becoming authoritative voices in their own right and opening up possibilities for the next gen.
In 2018, PUMA Middle East develops this regional movement, looking to showcase creatives across the GCC and beyond, through authentic experiences, content and activations, gathering all of the Suede Guerrilla projects in one place and giving other individuals the chance to co-create.
Calling out to those who want their voice to be heard, and their passions to become a reality, this dedicated platform will present PUMA’s commitment to creatives throughout the region. It’s a space that has never been attempted by a sneaker brand in the region, making perfect sense for a company that has been “changing the game since 1948”.
The new wave of Suedes kicks off with Abdulrahman Abdullah, the first Saudi Suede Guerrilla. Abdul, a professional photographer, collaborated with PUMA to create a video that was shot entirely in Riyadh – highlighting his creative approach to photography as well as his city. Inspired by the RS-100 sneaker and how both its design and his art reflects on the Saudi scene, this product-slash-creative drop shows how the regional movement initiated by PUMA continues to celebrate and activate with authentic creatives across the GCC.
Next up: Najd Al Taher – the first Kuwaiti Suede Guerrilla. With architecture as her design muse – and paired with her award-winning fashion design, Najd takes the Muse Extreme Pack to reveal some of her favorite spots in Kuwait, maxing the geometry of her city and her style output.
Khalid Al Hashmi is our next Suede Guerrilla – and PUMA’s first Emirati Suede Guerrilla. Half Scottish, half Emirati – Kal takes his inspiration from a PUMA track suit and RS-0 shoe and headed to the studio to record an original track inspired by the RS-0’s DNA of mixing retro with the future – a classic 80s hard rock mixed with Kal’s own style of play.
The final next generation Suede is Ashley Wentling, Pastry Chef and Illustrator, representative of the non-traditional side of creativity and its meaning. With a soundtrack created by OG Suede Guerrilla, Nnamdi Eluwah, Ashley’s video showcases different parts of Dubai where she buys ingredients, with the story ending in her home, where she creates pastries inspired by the Thunder Electric sneaker, and shares them with her friends.
Check out the PUMA Middle East handle @pumame on Instagram for updates and insights on this new regional movement and more importantly - how to get involved.
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