On Friday, February 15th, Torsten Hochstetter, Global Creative Director of Puma and one of the institute’s most stellar alumni, returns to Polimoda to translate professional clout into words of wisdom.
Following his recent Polimoda collaborations – from a two-day on-campus workshop to a panel feature at WWD – the design master will address the loaded question of the power of change, unpacking sportswear, international business and achieving relevance in today’s global industry.
Now a point of reference for creative direction in active sportswear, Hochstetter has truly climbed the ranks of fashion, launching his design career at s.Oliver before landing a 15-year tenure as Creative Director of Adidas. While at the famed brand, Hochstetter learned the ins and outs of all sportswear and product categories, working three years as Head of Design in Adidas Tokyo before shifting to lead the American design team in Portland, Oregon. It was back in Germany that he took on the role of Creative Director for Adidas sports style, eventually moving to the Netherlands to become the Creative Director for the legendary surf brand O’Neill. Navigating global landscapes – from new languages to a diverse consumer base – has undoubtedly been a transformative aspect of the creative’s career.
Now, the award-winning thinker leads a creative team of roughly 100 designers and is responsible for all Puma product designs from footwear to apparel, accessories and brand design, as well as all Puma licensee designs. When speaking of his success, Hochstetter states that “the key to understanding markets is deeply nestled in the fabric of each society. If you understand the traditions and people, you are able to put yourself inside their shoes and mindset […] Being such an intrinsic part of another culture helps you grow and equips you with the tools you will need as a creative director.” From the Florence classroom to the global design landscape, Hochstetter proves that leaving your comfort zone is a key ingredient for both creative and corporate success.