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Puma Returns to New York Fashion Week with NFT Sneakers

Puma’s physical return to New York Fashion Week will be paired with a digital presence at its “FUTROGRADE” runway show set to celebrate fashion, music, and sports.

After a five-year hiatus, Puma is returning to New York Fashion Week this year with a special digital twist on its traditional presence, the company announced in a press release on Tuesday.

The last time the German sportswear giant’s brand graced an NYFW runway show was in 2017 when it collaborated with Rihanna’s Fenty. Now, Puma is getting back in the game with a futuristic “FUTROGRADE” runway show and an immersive metaverse experience that includes NFTs.

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Black Station

Puma’s web-based metaverse experience, “Black Station,” will be home to the company’s digital presence moving forward, which will include Web3 activations and NFT drops. Puma describes Black Station’s layout as a “3D spatial playground” that will continue to evolve as the company unveils its metaverse road map.

And while Black Station may have a new focus, Puma has notably leveraged the brand in the past to push various design collabs and fashion experimentations.

The revamped Black Station digital land was developed by creative ventures company FTR.

“Twenty years ago, Black Station was Puma’s home for our most innovative designs in fashion,” said Adam Petrick, Puma’s Chief Brand Officer, in a statement. “Given the boundaries we are pushing from a product design and digital standpoint, we found it fitting to bring Black Station back as a new portal for digital exploration across fashion, sport performance, our heritage classics, and innovation.” 

The mint event for Puma’s Nitro Token NFTs kicked off on Aug. 26. The collection of 4,000 NFTs function as passes that grant holders access to Black Station’s offerings. Puma finally revealed some of those offerings today in the form of two sneaker NFT drops — both in digitally and physically redeemable forms — called the Nitro NFRNO and Nitro Fastroid, each featuring futuristic 3D-inspired designs.

The Nitro NFRNO sneakers (pictured left below) come in a black and white colorway with a multi-tier construction. The Nitro Fastroids (right), meanwhile, take on a performance tech shape with an amplified, rainbow-hued base.

NITRO NFRNO and NITRO Fastroid Sneakers debuting at NYFW. (Image via Puma)

Black Station is divided into three portals, with the first two portals launching to the public today, Sept. 7. Mint pass holders can now redeem two NFTs, one of which is tied to a pair of sneakers. The other grants access to a customized experience based on their chosen shoes.

Black Station’s third portal will be an entryway to Puma’s digital New York Fashion Week show in the metaverse. As part of the digital experience, viewers can interact with Puma’s latest collection.

FUTROGRADE Runway Show

Puma’s runway show, FUTROGRADE, takes place on Sept. 13 and will mark the debut of the Nitro NFRNO and Nitro Fastroid shoes. After the show, NFT holders can claim their physical versions of the sneakers.

The brand vows its NYFW return will reflect on its history, looking into its future with physical and digital components. Per a press release, Puma will reveal remixed retro signatures, upcoming collaborations, custom pieces, and other future looks.

Puma has a tough act to follow in the metaverse with its “phygital” (physical + digital) presence. Nike and RTFKT quickly climbed the ranks in the digital sneaker space, and Prada and Adidas collaborated earlier this year on art NFTs. Despite the competition, Puma seems to be pushing its Web3 mission forward on its own, boasting a broad roadmap of project announcements slated through 2023.

We’ll be following to see what Puma does next in the metaverse. Stay tuned.

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