Puma apologises for House of Hustle event

“We regret any misunderstandings in this respect”

Following Puma’s House of Hustle party, which took place last week, the brand was accused of appropriating urban youth culture and glamourising the selling and dealing of drugs. Invitees were sent shoe boxes full of fake £50 notes, a ‘burner’ phone, and a business card asking them to “turn on the trapline”.

Puma has now released a statement to apologise for the terms employed in the invitation. They said the terms ‘trap’ and ‘trapping’ were used “with the intention of the colloquial interpretation of ‘hard work’ and ‘hustle’ in a number of fields.” The statement continued saying: “Unfortunately, these words can in some contexts be associated with the illegal drug trade.”

“We never intended associations with drug usage, drug culture or drug dealing in any way and we regret any misunderstandings in this respect. We apologise for any upset or offence caused in the usage of this language,” the response finished.

The statement followed an open letter posted to Instagram a few days after the event by social worker Amber Gilbert Coutts, who called the event and its theme “far from cool” while accusing Puma of trivialising the hardships of the young people that they were trying to imitate.

Read the full statement below.

Last week, the Puma House of Hustle set out to celebrate youth culture in line with our ‘Run the streets’ campaign. The campaign is designed to highlight young entrepreneurs who use their skills and talents to build businesses and have an impact on culture, whether it is through making jewellery, music, photography, or other creative pursuits.

In our invitations to the event, we used the terms ‘trap’ and ‘trapping’ with the intention of the colloquial interpretation of ‘hard work’ and ‘hustle’ in a number of fields. Unfortunately, these words can in some contexts be associated with the illegal drug trade.

We want to make clear that Puma in no way endorses or intends to glamourise drug culture. We never intended associations with drug usage, drug culture or drug dealing in any way and we regret any misunderstandings in this respect. We apologise for any upset or offence caused in the usage of this language.