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Fashion and football fall in love again


Highlights: Zegna has designed the street uniform for the Real Madrid players. Herno has made the F.C. Barcelona uniform. The brands of the first division of men's fashion dispute their own derby inside and outside the football fields. Footballers today communicate values that go beyond sports, says Alessandro Sartori, creative director of Zegna. The collaborations of Mbappé with Dior, Camavinga with Balenciaga and Jack Grealish with Gucci are the most visible face of the phenomenon.

The Italian firm Zegna has made the street uniform for the Real Madrid players, while Herno has made the F.C. Barcelona. The brands of the first division of men's fashion dispute their own derby inside and outside the football fields

Fashion, like any social phenomenon, is best understood in border areas. And its relationship with football, which can be seen in the evolution of red carpet kits and looks, acquires much more subtle dyes in a previously unexplored territory: that of the off-field suit, which is the one that players wear when they represent their team off the field, on trips or official press conferences. Until a few years ago, the clothes worn by footballers outside the pitch were hardly a protocol uniform, just an office suit, a way to prevent them from displaying logos or too ostentatious garments.

However, things are changing. The wardrobe that the Italian firm Zegna has made for Real Madrid is the antipodes of the label. It includes sophisticated overshirts, relaxed trousers and knitwear made in the luxurious cashmere brand of the house. And Alessandro Sartori, creative director of the firm, corroborates that this paradigm shift has not been easy. "Before, when a team contacted us to dress the players, they almost always asked for a serious suit, with a shirt and tie, or things that are too formal that do not represent us. So we rejected all proposals of this kind," he explains. "With Real Madrid it was different. We started talking about our values and theirs. We told them about our recycled materials and from there we talked about our vision of relaxed, luxurious and modern fashion, in bright but elegant colors and with a sustainable vision. They got excited. And that's how our style became Real Madrid's."

Ansu Fati, FC Barcelona player, tries on the off-field suit that Herno has designed for the Catalan team. Herno

The case of Zegna is especially illustrative because the capsule they have created for Real Madrid – and which can also be purchased in the stores of the Italian brand – is a clear reflection of the Copernican turn that Sartori has introduced since his appointment in 2016. From the textile fibers that the company produces exclusively, Sartori has transformed the brand's repertoire to banish classic tailoring from its catwalk collections. He has replaced it with garments of fluid cut and sporty airs, combinable with each other to infinity and made mostly in point. And their silhouettes adapt perfectly to a guild that, little by little, has learned to enjoy fashion, perhaps because fashion has also learned to appreciate its codes.

Last year, the World Cup fueled this synergy. The collaborations of Mbappé with Dior, Camavinga with Balenciaga and Jack Grealish with Gucci are the most visible face of a phenomenon that began in the early two thousands, when Dolce & Gabbana dressed David Beckham or made an underwear campaign with stars of the Italian national team. Dirk Bikkembergs became the owner, between 2005 and 2010, of Fossombrone, a small Italian team. Dsquared2, the Italian firm founded by Canadians Dean and Dan Caten, also made history by designing a collection for Pep Guardiola's Barça in 2009 and signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the face of their campaigns. Meanwhile, the outfits of Ballon d'Or winners or football stars at awards ceremonies, parties or holidays have gained weight in style publications. And the new generations of footballers, who have lost their fear of styling, today communicate values that go beyond sports.

Gavi, FC Barcelona midfielder, with his Herno.Herno look

It is precisely these values that have united the paths of Herno and FC Barcelona. In his case, with a uniform that declines traditional tailoring from sports and technical codes. This brand, born in the mid-twentieth century to create outdoor garments, has experienced in recent decades a boost thanks to the innovations introduced by Claudio Marenzi, part of the second generation at the head of the company. If the outerwear we wear today is lighter, more effective and more sustainable, it is largely thanks to Herno and the technologies he has introduced. And the uniform for FC Barcelona, which includes a technical jacket, elegant sports trousers and different knitwear in neutral tones, demonstrates its vocation to conquer the entire wardrobe.

"Barcelona is one of the most followed teams in the world," explains Marenzi about the collaboration, which was presented last January at the Pitti Uomo fashion fair. "For us, for example, Japan is a very important market, and we have realized that most of our customers have Barcelona as a reference team. Football, in addition to being a sport, is about values and people. And we share many values with Barcelona. It's a nice team and so are we. We value things in their proper measure. A football match or a jacket does not solve world hunger, so we do our job seriously, but without forgetting to have fun. In addition, in Herno we share the idea of quarry that cultivates Barcelona. Most of our managers have been with us for years and started from the bottom."

Real Madrid players wear the looks that Zegna created for the team to take off the field. MIGUEL BENAJES (Zegna)

Those of Herno and Zegna are the most striking cases, but not the only ones. In a more conservative key, Loro Piana's suits for Juventus, made of a wool fabric with technical properties, show that the so-called silent luxury has also reached the stadiums. If fashion is a thermometer of society, football can become a thermometer of fashion and an ally when it comes to achieving its usual goal: to reach everywhere.

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Source: elparis

All news articles on 2023-05-29

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Life/Entertain 2023-07-24T09:41:49.837Z

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