How Soccer Became Fashion’s Latest Obsession

by MR Magazine Staff

Fashion and football—sorry, soccer—have always made uncomfortable bedfellows. It is a sport in which the star players are cocooned from an early age: no parties, no normal teenage upbringing, none of the elements typically crucial in developing one’s own sense of style. They don’t have time for that. Their reward, of course, is a life that many grow up dreaming of—adoration, glory and money. Lots and lots of money. The sartorial consequences of this have been, unsurprisingly, disastrous. For every Johan Cruyff—coiffed and debonair—there’s a glut of Cristiano Ronaldos—obnoxiously wealthy and utterly devoid of taste. Many of them have gone on to dabble in fashion. Paul Pogba of Manchester United has his own Adidas sub-label, his teammate Zlatan Ibrahimović—the Swedish striker who regularly refers to himself in the third person—has his athleisure wares, and Cristiano Ronaldo owns a denim brand called CR7. All of them are utterly terrible. This has been the traditional paradigm in which soccer and fashion have met, the vanity projects of the sport’s most vain. But of late, soccer and fashion have found a new common ground. At fashion weeks in Paris and Milan, soccer scarves have adorned a host of editors and street style starlets—a trend sparked by Gosha Rubchinskiy and Demna Gvasalia, of Vetements and Balenciaga. Both designers have included faux-soccer scarves in recent collections, like the kind fans would typically wear to show their allegiances on match day. As part of both its Spring and Fall 2018 collections, Parisian label Koché debuted a number of spliced and embellished soccer jerseys created in partnership with the city’s main team, Paris Saint Germain. This is one of the few cases where fashion’s current soccer obsession has resulted in an official collaboration with a team. Versace’s most recent FW18 menswear collection also included soccer scarves, while Donatella posted a picture of herself to Instagram wearing a “Versace FC” jersey in anticipation of the collection. And just last week, Nike unveiled the latest installment of its collaborative conquest with Virgil Abloh, in the form of soccer jerseys and “soccer-inspired” sneakers. Read more at Garage.