Feature: Puma x Pam Pam
Exploring the singular experience of sisterhood, award-winning portrait photographer Denisse Ariana Pérez places powerful feline energy front and centre in this exclusive pam pam editorial!
Known for work which lifts the voices of those marginalised and oft-forgotten in western culture, Denisse Ariana Pérez is a cornerstone of the feminine gaze: a pivotal voice in contemporary portraiture who captures power and vulnerability in equal strides. A current finalist in the 2020 Portrait of Humanity awards for her work documenting the experiences of children living with Albinism in Tanzania, Denisse captures her subjects with dignity and self-determination. The end result is a portfolio of international work which feels tender and intimate and real; a testament to Denisse’s artistic credentials and ability to connect with those she shoots on a human level first and foremost.
Exploring themes of evolution and growth, Denisse’s work centres on highlighting the beauty of the individual by capturing them in the context of the cultures and communities which shape them. Exploring the singular experience of sisterhood, Denisse illustrates the bond between sisters Aida and Arijana in this exclusive photo set.
Born more than a decade apart, the sisters share a unique kinship forged as part of their childhood experience as Kosovan-Albanians living in Denmark, having fled the Kosovo war of ’98-‘99. “Our culture has absolutely influenced our bond. We’ve never fought. We can call each other out, but we don’t fight – sometimes sisterhood is about holding each other accountable. In Kosovar culture the older siblings look after the younger ones, so our bond is very maternal,” Aida explains of her younger sister, Arijana. “Although you’ve not lived in our house since I was around 8, we’ve just always connected. Our culture teaches us not to fight and to keep each other close,” Arijana echoes.
Sharing a spiritual affinity which has transcended space and time (crossing a decade-long age gap and Aida’s relocation to London as a young adult), the sisters are unabashed and honest in their affection when asked about the importance of their bond and what they’ve taught one another. “Arijana is much more patient that I am. I’ve always felt like I couldn’t focus or commit to something and she’s always taught me that if you’re patient and give things time you’ll get there,” Aida says. “As I’ve gotten older and learned more about different topics, she’s taught me how to express the way I feel or state my opinion and not to be afraid. I love the honesty between us. I don’t think I’ve ever kept a secret from Aida.” Arijana replies.
Shot on location on the outskirts of Copenhagen, we’ve teamed up with PUMA and Denisse to document the powerful feline energy of sisterhood to mark the release of the upcoming PUMA Wild Cats pack, capturing Arijana and Aida in the iconic Future Rider silhouette.
Courageous, resilient, and endlessly resourceful, wild cats are masters of adapting to their ever-changing environments. Framing this energy with Aida and Arijana’s personal narratives, Denisse creates work cut through with true emotion, all underpinned by real-life stories of culture, creativity, and community. We can’t think of a better love letter to unique female bonds and the strength of sisterhood!
Giving three iconic PUMA silhouettes the Wild Cat treatment, the pack features a streamlined Future Rider – as seen on foot and in motion in this photo set – alongside a hyper-stylised RSX3, and the eternally curb-ready Cali Sport. Built with a combination of contrasting animal prints, fresh material mixes, and accented details, the Wildcats pack is a fearless statement of style built from the ground up.
Speaking to us about her intentions for the collaboration, Denisse highlights her personal affinity for the female-focused mission of the pam pam brand. ‘“Our want is to create a space where women of all walks can feel comfortable in their own sense of style.” I deeply connect with this sentiment from pam pam’s brand statement. I want my work to speak to people from all walks of life. I want to highlight their beauty and elevate them through composition, style and aesthetic while still remaining true to their character.’
“There’s something very different about women holding each other up through everything,” Denisse says. “That’s when sisterhood really forms and becomes something cosmic. It’s bigger than you and it’s very animalistic.”
“No one will ever love you the way a sister does.”