Football is The Next Fashion Giant

Wed 13 Dec 23

The beloved game of football is more than just a sport; It’s an integral part of many people’s and country’s identities. Fans passionately express their devotion, joy and sometimes rivalry, going to great lengths to support their favourite team. 

In the era of marketing and brand endorsements, it was only a matter of time before fashion brands delved into the honeypot. 

First you had the young and handsome David Beckham as the face of Adidas and Giorgio Armani; now you have world champion Kylian Mbappé as Dior’s menswear ambassador.

Fashion houses are designing club’s kits, off-pitch formal wear, and releasing limited edition capsule collections for the public. It’s almost analogue to buying ad space around the stadium and on the pitch, but when your favourite player is repping a brand on their person, it carries a lot more weight.


Cross Culture Partnerships

Football fashion, or bloke core as some call it, has become a trend off the pitch too, regardless of whether you follow the sport or not.

Brands such as Balenciaga, Martine Rose, and Off-White have incorporated jerseys and football boots into their shows, whilst celebrities and models popularize football merch to us common folk.

There was a time when fashion labels steered clear of football and its ‘hooligan’ culture, but the influence it has today made it irresistible.

Taking a look at the biggest cross-culture partnerships in the game, it’s clear how football clubs are becoming the new fashion powerhouses.

Jordan x Paris Saint Germain

The 2018 Jordan and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) collaboration was the ground-breaking first union between a football club and an off-pitch brand.

The partnership opened the floodgate for collections that transcend traditional football kits, setting a trend that others would follow.

The inaugural collaboration featured co-branded football kits in black and white and were debuted during two Champions League matches against Liverpool.

They lost the first game, but when they won the rematch, their white kit became a keepsake of that day. Jordan’s sports heritage made it an ideal partner for PSG, and their collaborations have grown with limited edition releases and off-pitch apparel, creating a cultural phenomenon that extends far beyond the football pitch. 


Kappa x Leandro Colacicco x Bari

Special mention goes to the March 2022 collaboration between Kappa, designer Leonardo Colacicco and SSC Bari.

The limited edition ‘Special Pack’ helped the get the team more recognition and the designs were some of the nicest and most thoughtful I’ve seen, with references to the local culture.


Adidas x Palace x Juventus

In 2019 Juventus came out to play a match against Genoa in a new special edition collection made with Palace and Adidas.

The collaboration included training apparel as well as co-branded scarves, hats, and lifestyle pieces, with the main feature being neon green hits of colour on the black and white kit (plus brand logos of course).

Palace is no stranger to the sports industry, being a skateboard brand that also branched out into tennis, taking over Wimbledon by storm in 2018


Dior x Paris Saint Germain

It’s not just sportswear and bold streetwear brands joining the game, but luxury labels too.

They’ve stuck with what they do best, marking their territory off the pitch as formalwear or travel wear partners.

Paris Saint-Germain and Dior are already entering a third year of partnership, having released the team’s new official wardrobe for the 2023-2024 season. Players suit up for interviews, press conferences and before games so they can proudly represent their team in style.


Moncler x Inter Milan

Inter Milan began a strategic partnership with luxury brand Moncler in 2021, marking a distinctive evolution of the Nerazzurro brand beyond the pitch.

With their shared values for excellence and Milanese identity, it made perfect sense for Moncler to become the club’s official formal wear partner.

The latest collaboration features an elegant limited-edition jacket designed by renowned New York artist Daniel Arsham, adorned with iconic design elements including the Inter snake and Moncler M.

Unveiled during the Inter vs. Roma match on Serie A's matchday ten in the 2023/24 season, it introduces a lifestyle collection that is also available for the public to buy.

Fans can go one step further than the football jersey and emulate their favourite team in everyday life with this subtly branded collection.

Moncler in the meantime, can expand its customer base, especially through the (Chinese-owned) club’s expanded community in China.


Zegna x Real Madrid

In August 2022 luxury label Zegna, known for its impeccable use of premium quality fabrics, managed to snag Real Madrid as their Official Luxury Travel wear partner.

Imagine having the best team in the world posing for pictures and going on tour in your clothes. That’s money baby.

The list of luxury partnerships goes on…Armani and Napoli, Off-White, and AC Milan, not to mention the recruitment of footballers for brands campaigns.

The convergence of football and fashion has transformed the game into so much more. Or perhaps it has just upped the stakes of the competition. It’s about scoring the most goals, but also about who wore it best.

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