The world of professional football commands a lot of cultural clout. Every weekend, hundreds of thousands of people pour into the nation’s stadia to sing the praises of their favourite teams – and millions more watch from their sofas. For many, it’s a modern religion, complete with songs of praise, tribal loyalty, and a dress code.
If you want to pay homage to your chosen team, then donning a replica shirt is a fairly reliable way to do it. If you’re a die-hard fan of Liverpool midfielder Dominik Szoboszlai, then you can buy the shirt to prove it. And the world of fashion is now recognising this as never before, with big-name designers paying tribute to some of the iconic teams and players.
Of course, the association between football and fashion isn’t a new thing. For decades, high-street brands have sought the endorsement of respected footballers. And this trend isn’t going away. Recently, Arsenal centre-back William Saliba was announced as a brand ambassador for Crocs.
But things have escalated recently, with big-name celebrities like Kim Kardashian being papped wearing a classic Roma shirt. It isn’t just football stars looking to dress nicely; it’s non-football stars looking to dress up as footballers. We see the same trend emerging across the elites of music, film and television, too: sports are fashionable, and football is especially fashionable!
The fashion industry has responded to this coming together by creating a string of product that will appeal to football fans, casual and hardcore alike. These goods are often made in partnership with the clubs in question. Equally, they might be made as one-off tributes to much-loved players of bygone days. Many a t-shirt has been sold bearing the image of Diego Maradona.
We should also mention the impact made by women’s sport, which is best exemplified by the increased visibility of the England Lionesses. Given that women and girls are enthusiastic consumers (and in the world of fashion, more enthusiastic than men), this represents an opportunity for manufacturers to elevate their profiles and appeal to a broader audience.
The Olympic appeal
Paris will be hosting the 2024 Olympics, and the Parisian fashion industry is already looking to capitalise by making forays into fashionable sportswear, and sports-related fashion in general. We should expect to see a number of interesting collisions between the two worlds over the course of the coming year!