Fashion and sports have never been more intertwined than they are today. From Angel Reese recently making her Met Gala carpet debut to Serena Williams being awarded the CFDA’s 2023 Fashion Icon Award, the power of sports has not gone unnoticed by fashion conglomerates. This summer, the Paris Olympics will be sponsored by LVMH, the biggest fashion company in the world.

Soccer players are some of the most influential public figures not only in sports but also as a whole. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are the two most followed accounts on Instagram, while soccer clubs Real Madrid and FC Barcelona are featured in the top 50. It isn’t surprising that fashion companies would tap into these public figures with devoted followings for their brands.


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A post shared by Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristiano)

For soccer players, fashion also offers the opportunity to develop their personal brand beyond the sport as a way to prepare themselves for retirement.

“A lot of them decide to sculpt their personal brands from the outset of their careers, rather than later down the line,” Daniel-Yaw Miller, senior editorial associate at Business of Fashion, told The Guardian. “Fashion is the perfect way to open the profile up to an audience beyond sport.”

But what any soccer fan will tell you is that personal style has always been an integral part of the sport. This was noticeable through players’ choice of hairstyles throughout the 1990s and the 2000s. They experimented with a variety of cuts, styles and hair dyes, which never failed to catch the attention of fans and media alike. The attention received was often negative and resulted in mockery toward these players, who were in majority Black or from lower socio-economic backgrounds.

French player Paul Pogba made his experimentation with hair his trademark on the field. Fans can never expect what color, pattern, or style he will choose to wear next.

Italian player Mario Balotelli also had a particular affinity for fashion, which he experimented with off the field. Fashion outlets did not regard his sense of style as notable at the time but looking back, one can only be reminded of the 2000s streetwear styles that have resurfaced today.

These soccer players gave their fans a rare representation of Black people celebrating their own personal style at the time. Today, the tide has changed in their favor. Black hair is represented in mainstream media more than it ever has. There has also been a more open and experimental approach towards men’s fashion and personal style.

The late Virgil Abloh’s appointment as creative director of Louis Vuitton sparked a revolution in the fashion industry. Not only did it give a long overdue representation of Black people in fashion, it also gave streetwear its flowers as a well-respected style. When Louis Vuitton collaborated with Supreme in 2017, it was a turning point in what was considered designer fashion. Hip-hop artists and athletes became leading figures in designer streetwear.

Soccer players are now mainstay guests at fashion week shows. They are often featured on the covers of magazines and collaborate with a wide variety of brands.


The French National Football Team arriving in style at Clairefontaine for their international break 🔥 #2ndgenafro #frenchnationalteam #mbappe #soccer #football #kounde #tiakola

♬ original sound – 2nd Gen Afro

Below are some of our favorite outfits recently worn by soccer players.

Jules Kounde arriving at the FC Barcelona game against SSC Napoli during the UEFA Champions League in March 2024


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Marcus Thuram at the Kidsuper Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show during Paris Fashion Week

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Son Heung-Min at a pop-up store opening for Tumi in Seoul in 2023

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Jude Bellingham at the Montblanc Presents The Laureus World Sports Awards 2024 in April

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Samuel Umtiti at the Ami Alexandre Mattiussi Menswear Spring/Summer 2024 show during Paris Fashion Week

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