Though the fight for sportswear sponsorships often oscillates between Nike and Adidas, once these world-class professional athletes make their way off the field, it becomes a whole different ball league — and a more high fashion one at that, too.
Joining big fashion names from the likes of Giorgio Armani to Dsquared2, all of whom have been outfitting soccer clubs in recent years, American menswear designer Thom Browne — a.k.a. the sartorial genius behind the revolutionary shrunken suit — just announced an official three-year partnership with professional Spanish soccer club FC Barcelona. Under the official agreement, Browne will provide the club’s entire team of world-renowned professional players (including Lionel Messi from Argentina, Gerard Piqué from Spain, Ivan Rakitić from Croatia and Luis Suárez from Uruguay) with tailored and formalwear suits for the next few years starting from the 2018/2019 season, including the Champions League and La Liga away matches.
“I’m excited to work with the best athletes in the world, especially athletes that share similar values to Thom Browne,” the designer commented in a statement. “The uniforms represent the confidence in showing true individuality and enforce the meaning of representing a team as one strong unit. I have always felt that world class athletes are the best role models. The image of the players in the uniforms show true confidence and individuality that will inspire the youth of today.”
This is not, however, the designer’s first foray into the world of sports. Earlier in March, the designer took a “test-run” dressing the Cleveland Cavaliers in his signature, tailored suits during the NBA playoffs. A fair amount of buzz amongst fashionable netizens ensued as images of players from LeBron James to Jordan Clarkson surfaced over the internet, in which all of them were shown wearing coordinating made-to-measure suits by Thom Browne.
As for Browne’s tailoring plans for the players at FC Barcelona? We’ll just have to patiently wait for the big reveals.