How does one reinvent the Puma Suede Classic, an iconic sneaker that has been an American classic since its debut in the 1980s? If you're Solange Knowles, you start with the kind of iconoclastic, creative women who would make the kicks their own and go from there.
Word to The Woman is Solange's third collaboration with Puma, and like her last stint as artistic director in 2014, it will comprise two separate micro-collections. While the second half is still yet to come, Solange debuted a quartet of sneaks on Monday. This time she's traded neon and geometric prints for an understated palette of hyper-saturated, monochrome color combined with a subtle pattern of textures—quilted squares on navy, a woven herringbone on marigold yellow, etc.—across the suede upper.
Solange imprinted the collection further by recruiting 14 inspiring women of color who are, as she says, "doing incredible innovating things and redefining their roles in various walks of life" to pose as part of the campaign—which was, of course, also creative directed by Knowles herself.
Among the women featured are visual and performing artists February James, Empress Of and Kitty Cash, poet Cleo Wade, literary magazine founder Celestine Maddy and designer Mengly Hernandez, as well as a doctor and a clinical research coordinator. The collection and it's Instagram account will feature the stories of each woman and her work in addition to artistic images of each of them in the Pumas.