We know and are hyper-aware of how sports are a male-centric industry. When you browse through sports news articles, the coverage is 90% about how men are succeeding in football, soccer, tennis, boxing, and basketball; and in the sea of male-centered news is one lone article about how a woman is succeeding in her passion for sports. But this bias is not just evident in media coverage. It is also evident in sports apparel and gear design.
Fortunately, Puma is making leaps and bounds in creating a more equal world for women in the sports industry by launching their first-ever women’s basketball shoes collection. Author, costume designer, and stylist June Ambrose explains the vision behind Puma’s first women’s basketball collection. But first, let us know more about June Ambrose and how equality in sports became her passion project.
All About June Ambrose
June Ambrose hails from Antigua, and she is a stylist, costume designer, author, creative director, influencer, and TV host. She is currently investing her talents, time, and skill as the creative director for the Puma brand. June is most known for her unique hip-hop, rhythm, and blues style – and has styled Missy Elliot, Mary J. Blige, and Jay Z during their height of popularity in the 1990s.
In 2020, June joined Puma to become the creative director behind the brand, specifically in the womenswear for basketball category called Puma Hoops. She noticed that Puma was keeping it safe with tank tops and mesh shorts – and when she became large and in charge, she was having none of that and took a risk in redesigning the brand.
She focused on transforming the brand and designed sports womenswear that the ladies would not have trouble wearing during Sunday Brunch – or right after their practice session in court. June was very hands-on in everything from design to creation. She set out to add her personal flair to the brand, including their footwear, apparel, and accessories, by reinventing what women can look like on and off the basketball court. June then launched the new Puma sportswear for women and aptly called it “High Court” – because who runs the (sports) world? Girls!
The High Court collection is a first for Puma. In the past, the women’s basketball category was an exact replica of the men’s collection but in daintier sizes. The High Court redefined and redesigned this to celebrate the uniqueness of the female – including their achievement, their passion, and the courage it takes for them to be successful in sports. In their adverts, Puma had a team powerhouse where the campaign visuals were directed by Hype Williams featured WNBA stars Skylar Diggins-Smith, Breanna Stewart, Katie Lou Samuelson, and Jackie Young.
Professional athletes like Serena Williams, Ashlyn Harris, and Elizabeth Cambage have a personal style they flaunt on and off the field or court. For Ambrose, it was important to create a collection with women of all ages, body types, and identities while acknowledging the history of women being unseen and unheard in professional and recreational sports. This is her vision for the high court, and with her passion for women in sports, this dream became a reality.