German shoe and sportswear manufacturer. Worn by Pelé in the 1958 World Cup final, by Boris Becker on the grass courts of Wimbledon, and by Linford Christie when sprinting for Gold in the Olympics. Founded in Herzogenaruach in 1948 by Rudolf Dassler and his brother Adolf as part of a family business which had been going since 1924. Today it is an international company with more than 70 factories, and bases in another 57 countries. The Italian branch was opened in 1997.
&Quad;2001. A record year for the German multinational, with a turnover of 598.1 million euros — an increase of 29% on 2000.
&Quad;Futurenet secured the five-year license for the production and distribution of a new line of casualwear. The company, based in Padua, near Venice, already managed the Puma Black Station brand, for which it produces the Nuala and Platinum ranges. The new line was available for distribution in the Spring in around 200 shops in Europe and the USA.
&Quad;2002. For the Spring-Summer 2003 collection a unisex shoe was designed by Neil Barrett. This fashion shoe, made of a mixture of new leather, appliquéd canvas, and aged leather, is presented at Milano Moda Uomo and represented the first stage of what was to be an on-going partnership.
&Quad;The year concluded with the launch of the Feline range, aimed at girls of 15 to 20 years old. The collection includes shirts, vest tops, T-“shirts, shorts, and tracksuit pants stamped with the number 48, the year of foundation of the German fashion company.
&Quad;The future looked rosy at the end of 2002. Consolidated sales had reach 909.8 million euros, marking an increase of 52% and pre-tax profits of 124.4 million euros.
&Quad;2003, January. Long-term partnership with Schiesser Lifestyle GmbH to produce the underwear line Puma bodywear Man & Woman from Fall-Winter 2003. Puma cosmetics and perfume are produced by Muelhens, eyewear by Licefa, watches by Iom and socks by Dobotex.
&Quad;Fashion industry Oscar for Puma. The Forum Award is presented annually by the German magazine Textil Wirtshchaft to the fashion houses that have excelled in the clothing sector.
&Quad;June represented a new phase in the Puma story. Monarchy Enterprises, a Dutch company that has been increasingly involved with Puma since 1996, puts its 40% share of the sports company up for sale. These had an estimated value of 580 million euros.
&Quad;Le Bonitas of Prato won production rights for underwear and swimwear for the Italian, French and English markets.
&Quad;The company’s dominance of its markets seems to be proved by the sales for the first six months of the year, which jumped to 644 million euros. For the first time in the history of the business, sales of clothing exceeded those of footwear.”