Excited to hear from Louis Joseph at the next Design Museum Mornings? We are too! We spent some time with Louis Joseph this week, and here’s what he said.
“Passion tends to abound at PUMA and there are very few instances when designers have to search for inspiration.”
Louis Joseph, Global Director of Strategy & Innovation at PUMA • Design Museum Mornings April presenter
DMB: How much is the professional athlete involved in the process of designing footwear at PUMA?
Joseph: The extent to which the athlete is involved has a lot to do with our familiarity with them as individuals. This means getting to know the characteristics and meticulous requirements of the individual and creating the footwear to best serve them. Most professional athletes have busy schedules but, they and we, find it important to make an effort to connect regarding all matters of product creation and performance expectations, no matter where we might be traveling in the world. More than anything, the understanding that we form with our footballers, sprinters, golfers, and F1 pilots is robust.
DMB: Is there a huge difference in emotional impact when designing performance footwear verses designing an everyday pair of shoes?
Joseph: PUMA designers are highly passionate about whatever type of footwear they are producing. Within our creative process the consumer is always the center of attention whether they are a performance athlete or have a desire for premium style and fashion. Technology and performance are certainly of high demand but the emotional connections and rich experiences that great products generate are what makes a company truly consumer centric. Passion tends to abound at PUMA and there are very few instances when designers have to search for inspiration.
DMB: What was PUMA’s response to the Marathon Bombing on both local and global levels?
Joseph: The response was shock and sadness. I think for all members of the Boston community such a tragic event has provided us with a time to pause and consider the bravery of real heroes such as all of our first responders who we often take for granted. Ultimately, we continue to gain a sense of perspective from last year’s marathon and our goal is to not lose sight of that as we become entrenched and involved in sports every day. However, if sport is a metaphorical journey of challenge and achievement, tragedy and triumph, then I know that we are all extremely excited for the 2014 marathon where Boston’s runners and supporters will illustrate a strength of character and resilience that will be truly powerful and uplifting.