Soccer and style, the perfect match

“Recently, the football and fashion trend has been taken to the next level with Liberal Youth Ministry and their collaborations with several high-level clubs, even showcasing these looks in Paris fashion week runway shows.”

Soccer is not just a sport, it’s a global phenomenon that transcends borders and languages, has been known to start and stop wars, and to bring brothers to blows. It’s also a game that brings people together, not only for its passion on the field but also for its off-field influences.

One of the most exciting and high-profile aspects of soccer culture is its deep-rooted connection with fashion. Fashion and soccer go hand in hand and have for years and years now. When you think of soccer, you might think roaring fans draped in their team’s colours, scarves held high, zip-ups and jerseys covered with iconic logos. But the influence of fashion on soccer culture goes beyond fan gear. It extends to the players themselves.

Soccer players are modern-day style icons. From David Beckham’s sharp suits and haircuts to Cristiano Ronaldo’s impeccable grooming and toiletry bags, these athletes have become synonymous with style. Some soccer stars use their platform to make bold fashion statements, not just on the pitch but also on the red carpet and all over social media.

More and more of these stars are creating their own fashion lines and their influence can be felt across the fashion world, inspiring trends and collaborations with luxury brands. I don’t think you will ever see a fashion show again without a footballer sitting in the front row.

Beyond luxury brands, almost every soccer club has tapped into the fashion industry by creating merchandise that goes beyond traditional jerseys. Scarves, hats, jackets, and even sneakers emblazoned with club logos have become fashion statements. Sports team collabs with fashion brands or designers is what ‘must be done’ these days just to keep up with the Joneses.

Fans wear these items proudly, not just to show allegiance but also as fashion accessories.

Streetwear culture’s blend of sportswear and high fashion has further cemented the connection between soccer and style. Brands like Adidas and Nike have collaborated with top clubs and designers, creating limited-edition collections that unite the worlds of sport and fashion seamlessly.

Don’t even get me started about the vintage soccer market. When Kim Kardashian wore an AS Roma 1997/98 vintage kit, Google search data reported a 2.3 million increase in search volume for the Italian club and gear associated with it. Just try and find this shirt today.

Soccer’s fashion influence isn’t a purely European phenomenon. Across the world, jerseys are worn proudly as casual wear, not just by fans but by people who may have never kicked a soccer ball or even know or care about the team they’re representing.

Recently, the football and fashion trend has been taken to the next level with Liberal Youth Ministry and their collaborations with several high-level clubs, even showcasing these looks in Paris fashion week runway shows.

Collaborations between soccer clubs and brands are also heading in a more pro-environment direction. Eco-friendly materials are being used in jerseys, boots, scarves and packaging. 

Soccer is also no longer a male-dominated sport, and this is reflected in fashion. We are also seeing a larger range of gender-inclusive designs and sizes. Women’s soccer fashion is gaining more steam, notably Angle City FC, and with more options for kits for female fans and players. I personally like the women’s Team Canada kit better than the men’s version.

BAPE x Inter Miami, Birmingham City FC x UNDEFEATED, Daniel Patrick x New York Red Bulls, Ed Sheeran x Ipswich Town FC and AC Milan x Off-White, just to name a few partnerships that will keep pushing the boundaries of soccer-inspired fashion, creating limited-edition pieces that are both collectible and stylish.

I can’t wait to see what the beautiful game and high fashion have in store for us next. What we’re seeing in soccer and fashion is an important piece of the larger sports culture, and with the World Cup 2026 just around the corner, I think this market segment is just getting started. ■

Check out The 1st Half podcast (about soccer and football culture in Montreal and beyond) here.

This article was originally published in the October 2023 issue of Cult MTL.

For more Montreal sports coverage, please visit our Sports section.