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Kenner Launches In The U.S. With An Exciting Global Campaign Featuring Artists Anitta and Masego

Kenner is Brazil's leading premium footwear brand known for its strong cultural ties and unique design philosophy. With a strong reputation built on innovative design and vibrant collaborations, Kenner is launching in the US with an exciting global campaign featuring renowned artists Anitta and Masego. We interviewed Bernardo Cabral, Kenner’s  International Marketing Manager to share more about Kenner’s big plans in the US and what’s next for the brand. 

Tell us about the Kenner products you’ve chosen to launch in the US.

Kenner was born in 1988 with an aesthetic proposal that firmly supported its functionality and simplicity: “FORM FOLLOWS FUNCTION”. And the main attribute that housed this essence was SURPRISING COMFORT. The focus on comfort hasn't changed, but we've added another layer to our design guidelines. Kenner's aesthetic today emerges from the intersection between the strange and the beautiful, generating an interest in the product.

For the launch of the brand in the USA, we understood that we needed to create a clear message, to bring an archetype that had a singular and easily identifiable identity. That's why we chose the Rakka sole, one of our main products in Brazil. It is composed of three layers. The vulcanized rubber outsole ensures strong grip and durability, the Rakka Technology amplifies elevation and comfort with every step and the sanded EVA insole provides lightweight softness and spring.

To offer a variety of models and occasions for use, we have brought four different products of uppers divided into 3 categories: the slides, which is a prevalent model in the US; the flip-flops, which Brazilians wear and which are the basis of our identity; and the open sneakers, more closed models that connect with the world of fashion. All of them share the Kenner twist, bringing boldness, technology, durability, and a provocative design.

Can you elaborate on the significance of featuring artists Anitta and Masego, who have strong connections to both Brazil and the United States, in Kenner's latest global campaign?

When we decided to introduce Kenner to the U.S. market, we recognized it would be a significant challenge. However, we were confident in the strength of the Kenner brand and the vibrant influence of Brazilian culture. Our goal was to create a narrative of cultural exchange, showcasing Brazilian heritage in a way that resonates globally, engaging people from diverse backgrounds.

To achieve this, we needed partners who could act as cultural bridges, embodying and representing our heritage while introducing it to new audiences with fresh perspectives. Anitta and Masego perfectly fulfill this role.

Anitta, one of Brazil's most prominent artists, has successfully taken our culture to an international stage. Masego, a world-renowned artist with a deep appreciation for Brazil, draws significant inspiration from our country.

Moreover, both Anitta and Masego have a genuine connection to our brand—they have worn Kenner products long before this campaign. This authenticity strengthens the relationship and reinforces our message. We always strive for these genuine connections.

How do you believe this collaboration highlights the cultural exchange between Brazil and the US, particularly in the context of music, fashion, and lifestyle?

We believe in a global logic where contemporary urban cultures share similar structures but exhibit unique characteristics. These cultures constantly inspire each other and exchange ideas. Our goal is to catalyze this exchange, amplifying Brazilian street culture's voice on the world stage.

In music, for example, Brazilian funk engages in a dynamic dialogue with American hip-hop and Latin American reggaeton. This cross-cultural interaction extends to fashion, art, slang, and other forms of expression. By highlighting these connections, our collaboration showcases the rich cultural exchange between Brazil and the U.S., emphasizing how interconnected and influential these urban cultures are globally.

How does the campaign reflect Kenner's brand identity and values, particularly in the context of the diverse cultural landscape of Miami?

Miami is a great cultural mix, with many ethnicities and communities, much like Brazil. The campaign reflects the brand's purpose: to make people enjoy doing things differently. We talk about authenticity, self-expression, and how to be proud of your trajectory. We also show a little of this mix between Brazil and the US with the aesthetic and sound references that permeate Masego and Anitta.

Miami has been chosen as Kenner's headquarters. In what ways do you envision Miami serving as an ideal environment for Kenner to innovate and expand its presence in the US market and beyond?

Miami is culturally closer to Brazil than many other parts of the U.S., making it an ideal environment for Kenner to innovate and expand. It has a very intense cultural life and a climate conducive to wearing sandals and open footwear all year round. Miami is going to be a great laboratory for us to test the approval of the brand and the product and think about how to take the next steps. But we're not limited to Miami, we're going to have a pop-up in NY at the end of May and other possibilities to come.

What’s next for Kenner?

Kenner is set to bring a fresh perspective to the market. Kenner isn't afraid to be daring, yet the brand is deeply committed to authenticity, quality, and comfort—qualities that today's consumers highly value. We recognize the charisma and strength of Brazilian culture, and presenting a new facet of this movement, along with innovative design in the street footwear category, holds immense potential.

We made a powerful start with our campaign featuring Anitta and Masego, showcasing how the essence of our brand translates to the global market. Anitta, as our first global ambassador, exemplifies this vision. In addition to the campaign, we will sponsor five of her concerts on the Baile Funk Experience tour.

Additionally, we're excited about our upcoming initiatives, including the NY Pop-up at Bowery Showroom and our presence in Paris this summer. And there's much more to come…

By ML Staff. Images courtesy of Kenner


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