Puma names Rihanna as women's creative director

Singer Rihanna poses at the Foundation for Aids Research (amfAR) fifth annual Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles, California Oct 29. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Singer Rihanna poses at the Foundation for Aids Research (amfAR) fifth annual Inspiration Gala in Los Angeles, California Oct 29. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

FRANKFURT (REUTERS) - Germany's Puma appointed singer Rihanna as its women's creative director on Tuesday to develop its women's wear, the latest move by a sportswear firm to tap into the booming market for female leisure gear.

Puma said in a statement that the multi-year deal would involve Rihanna becoming the face of the Women's Training category, joining celebrities like Olympic champion sprinter Usain Bolt as brand ambassador.

Rihanna, a 26-year-old born in Barbados, will be "ideal" to reach out to young women, who want to stay fit and look good, said Puma Chief Executive Officer Bjørn Gulden in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.

The music star's fitness is an element of her image, he added, and many exercise programs promise to help slim and shape a figure like Rihanna's.

While Sports brands traditionally have targeted men, they are increasingly focusing on fitness-conscious women, Mr Gulden said. The female fitness segment "has enormous growth potential, all over the world. The future is female."

Rihanna burst on the music scene in 2005. Her biggest hits include SOS, Don't Stop the Music and Pon De Replay, Run This Town.