Amid the ongoing global pandemic and social distancing restrictions, watching the Champions League live was arguably one of the biggest highlights of 2020. French and German residents took their days off and bolted to the iconic battleground of Parc des Princes to watch the match. While we know the score has gone to Bayern Munich, Paris Saint Germain seems to be leading in the game of fashion.
In case you haven’t noticed, football kits have been everywhere, straying from the pitch to make an appearance on the runways and flying off the shelves of Dover Street Market. Designers like Martine Rose, Gosha Rubchinskiy, and Alexander Wang have all recontextualised the distinctive sports gear by adding a touch of high fashion. It was only last season when Demna Gvasalia sent models down the catwalk in kits from the imagined Balenciaga Football Club for his AW20 presentation. If you need any more convincing, just take a look on Instagram. Football jerseys are a closet staple for Drake alongside his signature tracksuit ensembles, and he’s not the only celebrity that’s been donning the uniform of the iconic ball game.
One team that has been particularly popular amongst A-listers, is none other than Paris Saint-Germain. All over the world, celebrities are flocking to their games. Their kit has been worn by Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, and Beyoncé, who showed off a one of one diamond-encrusted iteration of the iconic uniform on her Instagram. On the streets, influencers Sami Miro and Sita Bellan have flaunted the 2019/20 Third Shirt from the club, while on the stage, Travis Scott and Justin Timberlake have sported PSG x Nike Air Jordan apparel. It’s safe to say that PSG has infiltrated fashion on all fronts, and it’s no coincidence—it’s all part of the team’s strategy to become one of the world’s biggest lifestyle brands that extend beyond football.
PSG has differentiated themselves from any other club with their long line of collaborations, notably, Japanese streetwear brand BAPE and Nike’s Air Jordan brand. Air Jordan may have been founded as a basketball brand, but they have proven they are just as established in another ball sport too. In 2018, PSG kicked off an exclusive three year partnership with Jordan to create Champions League uniforms, along with a full range of Air Jordan-branded PSG apparel. Renowned for fusing athleticwear and street style, the brand is the perfect teammate for PSG. In fact, the partnership seemed to have resonated with a lot of people—in 2019, the team reported shirt sales increase by 470% in the USA alone, extending their reach beyond Europe to the States, no doubt marking a milestone in their journey to become a global brand. The success of the kits aside, the PSG uniform has found itself arriving at Paris Fashion Week, and no—not just worn by the stylish attendees, but on the runways itself. The club collaborated with Koché in 2017 who fused PSG shirts with dresses to the delight of attendees. The following year, PSG hit the catwalks again when Indian designer Manish Arora presented the faces of players Thiago Silva, Kylian Mbappe, Marco Verratti and Edinson Cavani into his SS19 collection.
Congratulations to Bayern Munich for winning the Champion’s League, but in HEAT’s fashion match, the vote goes to Paris Saint Germain. It’s worth mentioning that a club that hails from a city as stylish as Paris, would be hard to beat, so no hard feelings.