words Alexa Wang
Football has not only left an indelible mark on the sporting world, but has also significantly influenced the realm of fashion in the UK and beyond. Over the decades, this dynamic relationship between football and fashion has evolved from a style seen on the terraces to football stars attending fashion shows around the world.
Here, we look at this sartorial journey and look at where we are today.
The 1970s: a fashion revolution
The 1970s was a transformative era for both football and fashion in the UK. It was a decade marked by social and cultural changes, and football fans embraced this shift by making bold statements.
The iconic ‘football casuals’ scene emerged during this period, with fans wearing high-end designer clothing to matches, often representing their favourite teams through colourful scarves and vintage tracksuits and trainers.
This casual fashion-forward approach had a significant impact on the broader fashion scene. Luxury brands such as Stone Island and CP Company became synonymous with football culture, producing clothing that merged function and fashion. The football stadium became a runway of sorts, where fans showcased their unique style, inspiring the fashion industry to take note.
The growth of football kits
In the years that followed, football kits underwent a transformation of their own. No longer just athletic gear, these kits became fashion statements. Clubs began collaborating with renowned designers and brands to create visually striking jerseys that resonated with fans and fashion enthusiasts alike.
The popularity of football kits expanded beyond matchdays. Fans started wearing them as everyday streetwear, leading to an increase in demand for replica jerseys. Football clubs began offering a wide range of merchandise, from clothing to accessories, capitalising on the growing trend. As a result, the influence of football on fashion extended far beyond the pitch – something that’s still true today.
Now, we wear the name of our favourite footballing superstar on our backs and change kit to match the new season.
Football superstars as fashion ambassadors
While fans on the terraces have set trends and those on the High Street walk around in the newest kit, footballers themselves have embraced fashion too.
One of the most significant developments in the fusion of football and fashion has been the rise of football superstars as fashion ambassadors. Players like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Neymar have transcended the sport, becoming global icons in the fashion world.
David Beckham, in particular, is known for his impeccable sense of style. His collaborations with luxury brands such as Armani and Kent & Curwen have further cemented his status as a fashion influencer. Back in 2018, he was named Ambassadorial President of the British Fashion Council, cementing his status as a big name in the fashion world.
Ronaldo, with his own line of clothing and fragrances, and Neymar, who has worked with brands like Nike and Replay, have also made their mark.
These football superstars leverage their massive fan following to promote fashion brands and trends, bridging the gap between sport and style. They have shown that football and fashion are not mutually exclusive but can coexist harmoniously.
The impact of football on fashion in the UK has been a journey of evolution. From the rebellious fashion statements of the 1970s casuals to the modern-day fusion of football kits and luxury collaborations, football has played a pivotal role in shaping fashion trends and inspiring designers.