Kai Collective's Fisayo Longe Partners With Puma and Liberty to Celebrate Women Making Big Moves
As POPSUGAR editors, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. If you buy a product we have recommended, we may receive affiliate commission, which in turn supports our work.
Puma and Liberty's first collaboration is inspired by women who are thriving despite the challenges they face. Starring in the campaign are six impressive young British talents, including UN Women UK activist Emma Breschi, photographer Michaela Quan, founder of XYZZY collective Coumba Samba, editor of Bricks magazine Tori West, musician Chi Virgo — and Kai Collective founder Fisayo Longe.
Puma x Liberty includes trainers, activewear, loungewear, and accessories that combine Puma's signature styles with Liberty's famous prints. Titled "Wild Garden", the collection is meant to reflect feminine strength, and features jewel-toned flora and fauna, exotic birds, pumas, and Asian-style landscapes from the Liberty archive. Classic Puma styles like the Wild Rider, Basket, Cruise Rider, Suede Mayu, and the Forever XT training shoe are reimagined with intricate Liberty floral embroidery. Ahead of the Puma x Liberty launch, Fisayo Longe spoke to POPSUGAR about rethinking the narratives around women's strength, and how her life has changed since being named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Art & Culture 2021 honouree.
Since launching Kai Collective in 2016, Longe's brand has consistently grown into one of London's most talked-about online boutiques. But as a young woman business owner, her strength has definitely been tested. "Strength to me is doing the best you can and being your authentic self. It's about standing up for other women even when it's difficult to stand up for ourselves. Defending and embracing femininity in every way possible. That's what strength means to me as a woman," she told POPSUGAR. Longe believes that the narrative around women's strength is not always correct, and she wants to challenge the misconception that a woman's strength is determined by how much she can endure.
Image Source: Puma
"I find strength every day when I overcome a challenge that I didn't really think I could overcome, and one thing I've learned from entrepreneurship is that everything that can go wrong will go wrong. There are so many moments like shipments getting lost, not making pieces according to the samples, and then not being able to sell them or having to amend hundreds of items. Those are the moments where I am like, 'Oh my God, I don't think I'm going to make it to the next day.' And I do."
Despite Longe being a confident person, it wasn't until being named on Forbes 30 Under 30 list that she decided to stop doubting herself. "I've always wanted to be on the list but I felt like time was running out because I just turned 29. I wasn't sure that I would make it. For me, I learned to not underestimate where I am. I do, as a lot of other women do, have imposter syndrome because I didn't get traditionally trained in fashion design. Despite also modelling and being a talent for Puma, I don't always see myself as a person who can be and achieve great things. Making the Forbes list was a reminder that I am greater than my imposter syndrome and to never let that hold me back."
The strength that is celebrated in the Puma x Liberty campaign is a reflection of Longe's own personal journey of entrepreneurship, self-doubt, and then stepping into the complete authenticity of who she is. "The campaign is brilliant", Longe said. "I love what it stands for, the concept of still growing. And I thought that room of women really embodied it. From the cast, to the models, to the team behind the scenes, the team that was putting the shoot together, the photographers, the set designers, there was a lot of diversity, a mix of cultures, ethnicities and genders. I thought that was great."
Ranging from £50 - £220, keep reading to shop the Puma x Liberty collection, and Longe's favourite piece — the quilted reversible Kimono.