Keynote: Pushing the boundaries of Fashiontech (Former Puma)
For nearly three decades Johnson has worked within the context of sports, fashion, and active lifestyle products for leading global brands. With a design degree from Carnegie Mellon, Charles’ professional starting point as a product designer specializing in footwear has transformed into executive-level leadership shaping vision, teams and global strategies. Today that means combining connected experiences with digital technology that benefit modern and active lifestyles. Johnson started at Puma in 2010 as Head of Footwear Design and then Head of Innovation Design. He was appointed Global Director of Innovation in 2015, where he has led a team of researchers, designers, material engineers and a host of industry specialists to create new performance-enhancing technologies for athletes. Under his leadership the brand launched technologies including Ignite, EvoKnit, and Netfit, helping to fuel historical growth in sales. Johnson has driven the charge towards connected products and experiences such as Pumatrac and Fit Intelligence. More recently he has been the force behind Esports and Gaming product initiatives including Puma Playseat® and Active Gaming Footwear. He is a chief collaborator in partnerships with MIT Design Lab and performance apparel brand XBionic.