Cardi B Signs Ree­bok Deal

While the specifics of the part­ner­ship haven’t been re­vealed, Cardi B will help push Ree­bok’s Aztrek sneaker along with some of its ap­parel.

WWD Digital Daily - - Front Page - BY ARIA HUGHES

Cardi B is part­ner­ing with Ree­bok.

The 26-year-old artist, who has at­tracted fans and fol­low­ers with her out­size per­son­al­ity and chart-top­ping mu­sic, will pro­mote Ree­bok’s Aztrek sneaker, a sil­hou­ette from the Nineties that re­tails for $100 and falls in line with the “dad shoe” trend. She will also push some of Ree­bok’s ap­parel, which started to pop up on her In­sta­gram feed last month.

“For us, she re­ally is em­blem­atic of what our brand has done well over the years and that is to be bold, provoca­tive and un­in­hib­ited,” said Matthew O’Toole, Ree­bok’s pres­i­dent. “If we look at some of the things we’ve done with Allen Iver­son or be­ing the first to sign mu­si­cians, or more re­cently with Kerby [ Jean-Ray­mond] of Pyer Moss, when we are at our best we are with peo­ple who are com­fort­able liv­ing out loud and Cardi fits that.”

O’Toole wasn’t forth­com­ing about the de­tails of the deal, but said this start­ing point is a can­vas to cre­ate more

and there are plans to fea­ture Cardi B in cam­paigns and con­nect her per­sonal style with some of the prod­ucts the brand de­vel­ops.

Cardi B, whose real name is Bel­calis Al­man­zar, has part­nered with brands in­clud­ing Fash­ion Nova — she will re­lease a cap­sule col­lec­tion with the com­pany on Nov. 15; Steve Mad­den; Tom Ford, and the pub­lic re­cently found out she turned down a col­lab­o­ra­tion with Diesel. But her deal with Ree­bok marks one of her big­ger cor­po­rate al­liances and her ar­rival as a global pop star with bank­a­bil­ity.

Ree­bok was the first ath­letic brand to part­ner with hip-hop artists in­clud­ing Jay-Z, Phar­rell and Fu­ture, on their own footwear lines. The brand has also worked closely with fe­male artists in­clud­ing Missy El­liott, Eve and Queen Lat­i­fah.

Todd Krin­sky, gen­eral man­ager of Ree­bok Per­for­mance, pre­vi­ously told WWD that the strat­egy has shifted from celebri­ties cre­at­ing their own sub-brands and sil­hou­ettes to celebri­ties bring­ing at­ten­tion to Ree­bok’s iconic sneaker mod­els.

For the past few years, Ree­bok has made a big push into the women’s mar­ket sign­ing deals with more women than men. The com­pany has brought on am­bas­sadors in­clud­ing Gigi Ha­did, Gal Gadot, Ari­ana Grande and Danai Gurira. Ac­cord­ing to O’Toole, more than 40 per­cent of its busi­ness comes from fe­male con­sumers.

“For us, we are try­ing to bring to­gether a group that’s re­ally rep­re­sen­ta­tive of our con­sumer and I feel like we’ve brought a num­ber of amaz­ing women to­gether and they are all con­tribut­ing to our story,” said O’Toole. “We prob­a­bly won’t be sign­ing on more women at the same pace be­cause we feel good about where we are.”

Ree­bok, which is owned by Adi­das, is fo­cused on the North Amer­i­can mar­ket where sales rose 6 per­cent in the sec­ond quar­ter de­spite store clo­sures. Adi­das chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Kasper Rorsted said the busi­ness has had very strong progress and should re­turn to prof­itabil­ity by 2020.

He added the com­pany has been po­si­tion­ing the brand in the fit­ness cat­e­gory, not­ing con­sumers had been un­clear whether it fit into the fash­ion cat­e­gory, but a part­ner­ship with Vic­to­ria Beck­ham, this deal with Cardi and its re­cent cam­paigns that fea­ture in­flu­encers rang­ing from stylists to vin­tage re­sellers, are help­ing clar­ify Ree­bok’s stake in fash­ion and fit­ness.

“For us, she re­ally is em­blem­atic of what our brand has done well over the years and that is to be bold, provoca­tive and un­in­hib­ited.” — MATTHEW O’TOOLE, REE­BOK

Cardi B joins the ranks of other hip-hop artists, in­clud­ing Missy El­liott and Jay-Z, who have had lu­cra­tive deals with Ree­bok.

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