If I were a marketing person at Puma, NB, Van's etc. I wouldn't collaborate or sponsor someone who isn't loyal to my brand, maybe that's unrealistic, but a person employed by any corporation can't go and do freelance for the competition, most designers and developers have to sign a non-compete, so why wouldn't the same be true for someone who has been given an entire collection to design? Doing a photoshoot wearing competitor product and designing for the competitor aren't the same, but she's still promoting the competition. And I'm using Sophia + Puma as an example, these bad collaborations happen all the time, is it because there's a lack of common sense in this industry or because no one really cares? Consumer loyalty isn't what it was 10 years ago, however, when you're name is on the shoe and you've been paid a lot of money to do what any of the in-house designers could do - the proper etiquette here is to at least pretend you like the brand that's throwing money at you, you're not just a consumer anymore. On the other hand, if she didn't have a contract with Puma then I guess she can work with whomever she wants. I also understand that for a designer it can be a little awkward to wear your own stuff all the time and there are many pictures of Sophia wearing items from her collection, but maybe it was too soon to be flaunting her AM1's? These types of artist collaborations can be huge for relatively unknown NY based artists, and I don't think should be taken lightly. Look at what Sophia's boyfriend, Jeff Staple, has been able to do after his collaboration with Nike, he's milked that pigeon concept to death, so Sophia is definitely getting advice from someone who knows his way around. With that being said, I could be completely wrong here, but lately it seems Puma and Reebok have been wasting money on collaborations that don't matter. Working with the right retailers and offering relevant product is going to be way more beneficial (kinda stating the obvious), and I think in the last few years these brands have done well or at least I really like what Puma and J.Crew have done and what Reebok has available at UrbanOutfitters. I aslo think all the sportswear brands need to trust their own designers more and stop with the random collaborations. There's no point in a collaboration that doesn't help diversify your brand.
I guess it doesn't really matter.....at all. Sophia Chang is great at self-promotion, she's a great leaper (as demonstrated in the picture above) and she can rock a mean bun, but, as an "influencer," she didn't really do what she needed to for Puma.