What inspired the shoe's design and colour ways?
At the time I came on board for this collaboration, I had already started thinking about my role as a woman in the industry. Things that inspired me, who I enjoyed working with, where I wanted to go. The challenge in being a business owner, yet a creative, and thriving among the fast pace growth of the music industry.
I have always supported young entrepreneurs and I am inspired by the creative arts. Especially the younger generation of creatives, who are so carefree and fearless, yet need constant re-assurance that they are good enough. Social media makes it difficult to believe in yourself, when you’re constantly comparing yourself and your work to other people, and your worth feels like it’s dictated by the amount of likes and comments and shares you get online.
For me, the campaign came first, and the design second. The entire campaign for the Nova was inspired by female empowerment. It’s a two part campaign, the second of which I can’t really discuss, but Girl Power is this first launch. Women are strong, they are smart, they are resourceful, organised, and nearly every powerful individual I know has a team of amazing women that run the show. I just wanted to create something that was a little reminder of that for everyone.
Once I confirmed the concept I wanted to run with, I worked with a creative team on some mood boards that reflected it. Then PUMA’s designer Carly and I sat down in Germany to design the shoe. We looked at a ton of samples, fabrics, colourways, different types of embossing and printing, to finally come up with the GRL PWR Nova.
What challenges have you had to overcome in being a girl boss in a largely male-dominated industry?
Working alongside male artists in a male-dominated field, it was challenging at times to get my voice heard. It was even more challenging to ask for what I deserved. I see so many women who kick ass every single day, but their efforts are often not recognised or they are overlooked.
The main challenge hasn’t been getting the respect of my peers, because my work has attained that for me, but rather the inclusivity in recognition. The fact that most men are praised and awarded for work they do behind the scenes, but very few women are. The fact that men are the ones that hold the power to make decisions, and less women.
I have never, however, allowed my gender to dictate my behaviour or my ability to do the job. I have never seen myself as a woman in a room full of men, but rather an equal. I think that has allowed me to be the girl boss I am today!
What does girl power mean to you?
Girl Power, to me, is the ability to do it all. To be anything and everything we want.
And that’s what I want this campaign to tell girls all over the world. That they can be anything and everything they want to be. That they can change the world. That everything they need in order to do that is already within them. That there is no one out there in the world exactly like them, and that they do not need to change or try to fit in to be like everyone else. And that originality always wins. That the people who are big and famous and have a ton of followers and seem really cool, usually get inspired by individuals who are unique and different from everyone else. And that no dream is too big to achieve.
The PUMA Nova GRL PWR, retailing for R1 799, will be available from 1 February 2019 at PUMA SELECT, X-Trend, Archive, The Office, Superbalist and selected retailers.