Soccer and Fashion Play Ball

With the World Cup finally upon us, soccer seems to have made its way into just about every aspect of our daily lives.

For some, like stylist and editor in chief of German fashion magazineAchtung, Markus Ebner, that’s nothing new. For him, as for many fans of the game from around the world, soccer is part of life, whether it’s a World Cup year or not. Ebner is the founder of Sepp Football Fashion, a magazine that finds creative, visually compelling ways to pair fashion with soccer (and includes among its contributors editor in chief Dirk Standen, who has written an essay on the stylistic choices of football coaches). Here’s an exclusive look at issue No. 8 of Sepp, and our chat with Ebner about sport, style, and the most exciting thing about this year’s World Cup.

Seems like the soccer-fashion relationship has been slowly gaining momentum over the years, but it has finally reached a point of nearly mainstream interest this year. What have you notice about the relationship between the two?

A turning point came this year when Arsenal London decided that they would be dressed by Lanvin. Lanvin menswear is generally considered the most progressive show on the schedule. What Lucas Ossendrijver and Alber Elbaz create is the absolute benchmark for creative menswear. Last season they had every single model with an individual look and hairstyle—it’s nearly haute couture for men. So them dressing a football team with good-looking guys like German Lukas Podolski or Brits Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott and catering to that football audience speaks volumes. We have an interview with the two of them in the new issue conducted by my partner at Sepp, Godfrey Deeny, and a genius shoot by Max Vadukul.

Recently, Giorgio Armani, who has been at the forefront of football fashion with his Beckham jacket and his uniforms for Chelsea, inked a deal with my home team, Bayern Munich, where Pep Guardiola is considered the best-dressed coach in the world. He generally wears clothes by Dsquared². So there’s a clear sign that the designers are starting to target the players and coaches like Hollywood stars. Also, this year’s Ballon d’Or, which was won by Cristiano Ronaldo, came with a full press release by Dsquared² on what he was wearing, with a photo. You could call the Ballon d’Or the Oscars of soccer.

You have some amazing stories with top players in this issue. Can you tell me a bit about how it came together

We really wanted to get as many top players as possible for this Brazil issue to show our idea of football fashion. Not the typical GQ shoot where an athlete is working suits, but a real showcase for how crazy these guys are about clothes. So with help from Adidas, we managed to get Dani Alves, who is a nut for Jeremy Scott, and the fourth most expensive player in the world, Edinson Cavani from Paris Saint-Germain and Uruguay, who sported the best of Parisian menswear like Givenchy and Berluti. Also, being able to work with Kaká, who with Beckham has been one of the most handsome and prominent faces modeling for Emporio Armani for years. He is handsome and looks great in the clothes.

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