How Football Fell for fashion

With fashionistas wearing team shirts, footballers on catwalks, and clubs with creative directors – style and footie are closer than ever. My own daughter wears her Arsenal shirt with her Skims dress and platform Uggs to Uni and various parties with pride.

If the Netflix doc ‘Beckham’ has taught me anything it’s that fashion and football are a brilliant double act. Victoria Beckham with a dash of Man Utd was so brilliant to watch. THE beautiful game might have taken Becks out of Leytonstone, but fashion polished his bleached blond locks into a multi -millionaire beyond his wildest dreams.

So, Romeo’s Beckham’s girlfriend propped up on the front row at a recent show in a top from the new Arsenal Women’s away kit, the second drop from Stella McCartney’s Adidas collaboration with the club.

Polyester football shirts at fashion shows you ask? It’s happening. In London, Fashionistas turned up in blue Inter Milan tops, Adidas Sambas were spotted and even Ian Wright was an opening model for a catwalk show at LFW.

The link between football and fashion is coming ever sharper into view with clubs eyeing creative partnerships to elevate and broaden their offering beyond the usual terrace merch. It’s an unsurprisingly lucrative move, the football apparel industry is forecast to reach around £90 billion by 2028. Earlier this summer, Manchester United signed a record-breaking 10-year sponsorship deal with Adidas worth £900 million.

Crystal Palace is the first Premier League side to hire a creative director, Kenny Annan-Jonathan, who will oversee kits and fashion partnerships. His first collection, released later this year, aims to create “products that go beyond typical sports team merch and grow the team’s fan base”. Arsenal has dipped a similarly stylish studded boot into the market, first with its retro-infused third kit (a riff off the 1982/83 season shirt), and then with its new McCartney women’s kit.

There has been a shift in how people are wearing them, but also in the way they are marketed. Football and fashion are hugely similar, both are morphing into a highly visible modern form of entertainment that is very media savvy. 

The younger people at Arsenal are definitely making more effort in what they wear to the games. Girls and women (including my daughter) are attending games with very glamorous nails, eyelashes and big hair wearing Arsenal shirts with cool jeans, skirts and footwear (with a dash of uber cool Skims base layers for those chilly night matches).

Shop the fashion footie look:

Stella McCartney x Adidas

Stella McCartney x Adidas, player jersey, £110,

Martine Rose x Nike

Martine Rose x Nike

Martine Rose x Nike, Shox Mule MR4, £185,

Walthamstow FC

Walthamstow jacket, £59.99,

Adidas x Wales Bonner

Adidas x Wales Bonner, leather trim knit trainers, £155,