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“It’s crazy man, crazy. It’s like sometimes it doesn’t feel real,” says Calvin Bassey, reminiscing on his rise through the footballing ranks.

Aged just 23, the Italian-born Nigerian who made his name in Scottish football with Rangers is now taking on a new challenge at one of football’s biggest clubs in Ajax, whose world-renowned reputation for developing players was one of the biggest deciding factors in his decision to swap Glasgow for Amsterdam.

“Everyone knows about Ajax, it’s the best school to learn and improve in football, so it’s just good to be here,” Bassey tells me. “It’s been different. Being away from family, it can be hard at times but we’re all on a mission and it’s the best thing for my career. I’ve come to one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

Aged 15, Bassey joined Premier League side Leicester City and progressed through the Foxes’ youth set-up, featuring regularly for their Under-23s. Despite this, he never earned a senior appearance for the club and would later sign for Rangers on a free transfer in 2020. Fast forward two years later, Bassey would go on to make his Champions League debut this season in Ajax’s 4-0 win over his former club Rangers, something the defender believes was fate.

“Sometimes you have to pinch yourself. I couldn’t believe it!” Bassey tells me four months on with the same level of excitement you’d expect from a post-match interview. “It was against my old team as well, so it was a bit weird but it was like it was meant to be. It just goest to show how far hard work, commitment and focus can get you. I plan to keep that same discipline, desire and focus I’ve had so that I can keep pushing.” 

Keen to capitalise on Bassey’s endless joy when discussing that moment in his career, I ask him just how special hearing the Champions League anthem really is, to which his eyes light up further. “You can’t put it into words how it feels…hearing it really is a dream come true.” 

“Every kid wants to play in the Champions League so when I was there, it felt surreal. I still remember the video that went a bit viral. I was smiling as it played, I was a bit like ‘woah’, it’s a dream come true honestly.”

From Leicester’s reserve sides to Champions League territory in such a short space of time could be daunting for many players but not for Bassey, whose energy for his career and life in general has become so infectious I begin feeling as though I’m there standing side-by-side in each moment with him.

“Everyone loves a Champions League night. The atmosphere is crazy! The teams you’re playing against and some of the players you face. I used to play as them on FIFA not too long ago and now I’m playing against them… it’s a bit mad. Playing against Liverpool and you’re playing against the likes of Mohamed Salah, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago.”

“I’ve watched Thiago for years and to be on that pitch with him was unreal. When you get into the game, it’s game mode and you’re locked in but after, you appreciate it and when you see a picture of you two together you’re like ‘oh s***, that’s me you know’, Bassey laughs. “But it’s nice to be on that stage and be able to test yourself against some of the best players in the world.” 

After leaving Rangers, Bassey became the Scottish club’s most expensive player sale in his £20m move to the Eredivisie despite only spending two years at Ibrox. His journey to Ajax, who carry the nickname de Godenzonen (sons of the Gods), is one that Bassey believes has been down to his faith. “I’m very religious. I’m a Christian, my Mum brought me up to be a Christian and for me, my faith is one of the strongest things I have.”

“When things aren’t going well, I look up or I might say a little prayer when I’m on the pitch because I feel like it gives me strength. It’s my life really. My faith is my life. It shows my journey as well because how many kids want to be footballers in England? I believe the faith I have has got me here.” 

Here being the biggest club in the Netherlands, a country with a national team known for their dress-sense when international duty arrives. From Memphis Depay to Steven Bergwijn, the Dutch hold their own on the drip front, something Bassey is now getting to see first-hand.

“Ay, these boys got drip you know,” Bassey reveals after being quizzed on the style in Ajax’s dressing room. “Best-dressed in the team?” he says firing my question back at me. Amidst a huge grin, he takes a second to exhale, attempting to relieve all of the pressure from a question that has friendships riding on it. “There’s a couple,” he responds, unable to pick just one from a squad full of fashionistas.

“I like the way Steven Bergwijn dresses, then you’ve got Jurriën Timber as well. Devyne Rensch is a good dresser and Brian Brobbey, they’re more my style. They can do like the smart casual or they can do the going out drip, so I think them lot.”

Inevitably, I then prod him to name the worst-dressed in the squad. “I knew this was coming! I knew this was coming!” Bassey says in laughter. “I’ve got one in mind you know,” he says laughing once again but this time with both hands covering his face. “I’ve got one in mind but I can’t do my guy like that, I can’t do my guy like that! We always get on to him for how he comes to training, obviously I know it’s just training but sometimes, wow… he drags it. But I’m not going to say his name because I’ve got too much love for him, man.” 

Away from the dressing room, Bassey’s source of inspiration for style, like many, comes from social media. With football and fashion continuing to grow to new heights, players are fast becoming fashion icons for not just Gen-Z but for fellow ballers too. “When I’m scrolling on Instagram, Joe Willock comes really clean. Reiss Nelson too, he’s clean. Then I’ve got my boys like Glen Kamara and Joe Aribo, I think they dress nice. Nnamdi Ofoborh dresses nice as well and obviously some of the Ajax boys but aside from who I know, Joe and Reiss, I’m really rating them.” 

Bassey himself doesn’t claim to be one of football’s best-dressed just yet, instead, he humbly asks for my opinion on each piece he has laid out on his bed during our shoot, keen to hear ideas on if anything else in his wardrobe would work better. Whilst his rise to Ajax has allowed him to have more options to choose from in his outfits, his admits his childhood drip didn’t quite have the same luxury.

“Yeah I can’t lie, I used to rock the astro’s you know. The Sondico ones were peak! I used to wear astro’s with everything, even jeans. When you’re younger, you don’t think and you don’t care as much. All I cared about is that if I had to look smart then I was also still able to run and play football. I had to try and do both! My drip was a bit mad back in the day,” Bassey admits with a smile, a common theme throughout our conversation.

Now finding himself in a position to experiment with his style, I ask him which has been the worst purchase he’s ever made and in typical fashion, Bassey’s response doesn’t disappoint. “The mandem get on to me sometimes because I’ve got this camouflage Moncler jacket. They really get onto me for that. They got onto me for some Jordan 1s, the black and yellow pair, yeah they gave me stick for them. They were calling me bumblebee and that,” he says bursting into laughter along with the rest of us in the room. “To this day, the laces haven’t even been done. Only one shoe is done, the other still isn’t. I haven’t even worn them so I think that traumatised me a bit still.” 

Whilst the black and yellow Jordan 1s don’t get to see the light of day, Bassey opts for a classic when I ask him to choose one pair he’d wear for the rest of his life. “White Airs. White Airs. CLEAN! “They go with anything, you can chill it out, you can dress it up. White airs, man. It has to be,” he says on the Nike Air Force 1.

Having excelled from youth football to Europe’s elite within such a short space of time on top of the mental and physical demands football places on each athlete, Bassey’s life would predictably have been quite hectic in recent years and he now finds himself in a new country without his family or long-time friends always being around, something many can find difficult. The defender admits whilst it’s something he’s now used to, other players in similar situations shouldn’t suffer in silence.

“I think the awareness of mental health in football has gone up massively,” Bassey tells me.

“I’ve lived away from home since I was 15, so I know how hard it can be moving away at such a young age. There are people in harder situations, I was only two hours away from home and I was still struggling. I can only imagine how it is for players that come from other parts of the world and with that, I think there needs to be more resources available for them to talk and ask for help if they need to. It’s equally, if not more, important for young players to have that support too. They need to feel comfortable enough to know it’s ok to share how they feel and ask for help if they need it..”

Despite the distance between Bassey and his friends, modern-day technology has helped to reduce the impact of being apart with gaming being the way the Ajax man reconnects with those outside of Amsterdam when he finds himself with some downtime.

“How do I relax? COD or FIFA with the boys. I play Ultimate Team but do you know what, FIFA was out for like a week and I’m seeing people with Thierry Henry in their team and I’m like ‘nah man’. It’s unfair. I’ve got myself in my team and I’m trying to play against someone who has Henry, I don’t stand a chance, you know what I’m saying?”

After the laughter settles, I ask how often he uses himself in the game. Again, Bassey brings the humour in his response: “I got the 99 special-rated card of myself but I’d never buy myself because I want gold players and I’m silver, what the hell am I going to do for my team? I normally make a strong Premier League squad or something like that.”

“Warzone? BIG. I play that a lot,” Bassey says in reference to the latest Call Of Duty. “We’ve been off it the past couple of weeks with the World Cup and different schedules but normally, during the season, we’ve got our four and we’re in. Sometimes they snake me because of the hour timezone difference but I’ve got my four that normally play together.”

“My squad is me, Joe, Glen and Nnams. Glen, we call him Capitano. He’s COLD! Glen is one of them where there are two people left and he’s by himself and you’ll just back him. His IQ on the game is a joke. He’s so good man.”

Like gaming, music is another thing Bassey finds enjoyment in away from the pitch. “I could hop up on as the DJ and be confident, yeah,” he says with his ever-present smile.

“I’ve got different genres depending on how I’m feeling. I’ve got the party vibe, Lil Baby, Gunna and Young Thug and then I can switch it to Michael Jackson, he’s cold! I can even switch it to Ed Sheeran or Adele. I think Adele is BIG! In the morning, driving in, nobody needs to be listening to fast songs. You gotta’ slap on a bit of Adele and Ed Sheeran.”

With Bassey in the flow and answering my questions with ease, I hit him with a tougher one, making him choose only three artists to feature in his everyday playlist. “Rah, that’s harsh you know!” he says, struggling for words for the first time this afternoon.

“I would say Lil Baby, actually, I don’t know because I can’t have two U.S artists. Can I put Lil Durk and Lil Baby as one? Those two as one. That’s a hard question you know… Ed Sheeran, because I think sometimes you need a bit of calm, relaxing music and then… you’ve got me here mate.”

Happy in my accomplishment of making Bassey’s mind tick, I then give him an easier question next, to name his favourite album of all time. “I’ve got to say the Lil Baby album when Time came out, the track with Meek Mill. Street Gossip, yeah that’s it. It had just come out and I banged it. I ain’t banged no other album like I banged that one! So probably Lil Baby Street Gossip.”

Though he doesn’t lack confidence in regards to his taste in music, Bassey being new to the scene at Ajax means he’s not quite qualified for the role of the dressing room DJ yet, instead a surprise choice takes over the role.

“It’s Daley Blind [before his Ajax exit] or Kenneth Taylor. Daley surprised me as well because I was thinking ‘who is on DJ’ and there was Daley and I was like ‘yooooo, alright!’. He’s got a bit of everything. He’s got like Dutch music, he’s got Burna Boy, Afrobeats, Latino for the Latino boys so he mixes it very well for the whole team so I’m having it.”

“On match day, I like to listen to Gospel but then like right before I might listen to something that gets me amped, like drill. It depends on how I’m feeling. It depends on my mood on the day.”

To many, Bassey’s rise may be a pipe dream. After rejections in his youth ranging from Leyton Orient to Crystal Palace, losing hope and giving up would have not only been reasonable but expected. But Bassey, against all odds, made it to Europe’s greatest stage before his 23rd birthday. Now, with the blueprint in his hands, he’s aiming to create a legacy to show others from a similar background that they can do it too.

“I want to show kids from my area and less-privileged areas that they’ve always got a chance. With hard work, focus and dedication, they can achieve whatever they want. I think that’s the biggest thing and something I try to spread now, to all the kids, if you have a dream, stick to it and give it all you can,” Bassey says, expressing his vision passionately.

“I’ve always said I’d rather give my best and if it’s not good enough, know I gave everything I could rather than just give up because it was too hard. If you give your best every single day, you won’t waste a day of improving.”

Photography by Shane Bain.

Styling by Calvin Bassey himself.





Amadou Onana lives every single day like it’s his last. Why? Because he knows it truly could be. “Tomorrow, everything could end,” he tells me in the aftermath of our first cover shoot of the year.

“It doesn’t matter how far you’ve made it in football or life, or who you are or where you’ve come from. It’s the same for everyone. Tomorrow, anything could end. You have to live life to the fullest and go after all of your goals.”

The Everton midfielder, who has already played professionally in multiple leagues across Europe before his 23rd birthday, speaks with the maturity and humility of a seasoned pro, though not without the enthusiasm for life of a new kid on the block with the world at his feet.

For Onana, every accomplishment in his short career so far has only been possible due to the sacrifices of the two strongest people in his life: his mother and sister.

Photography by Shane Bain.

“They played a crucial role in my journey to making it as a professional,” he says. “My sister was battling cancer at the same time she helped me get a move to Hoffenheim. To this day, she is my agent. She takes care of everything in my life. Literally everything. From a personal trainer to a chef to a mental coach, whatever I need, she takes care of it. A big shoutout to my sis. She is one of the strongest human beings I know.”

“With my Mum, she did a lot,” Onana adds. “She’s my Queen. She gave up on her life and her dreams for me. She had her own business in Senegal as a physio and gave up on all of that to move to Belgium to make her child’s dream a reality. I could never say ‘thank you’ enough to my Mum.”

Born in Colobane of Dakar, Senegal, Onana’s early life – eleven years to be exact – was spent in West Africa under the roof of a 14-member household. Though originally from Cameroon, Onana’s father lived in Belgium, the place he would first meet Onana’s mother, and therefore Brussels provided the pathway to more opportunities to not only play football but to forge a professional career in the sport.

Despite Belgium’s contribution to his journey in football, Onana’s gratitude for his upbringing in Senegal has never wavered. “Growing up in both Senegal and Belgium gave me different views about life,” he says.

“They are two different countries with two very different cultures. Growing up in Senegal gave me the family values I have now. It humbled me. I’ve been around people who didn’t have much but they lived life with happiness and would help the next person, even when their situation wasn’t the best.”

Photography by Shane Bain.

“With Belgium, I moved there when I was eleven as a young kid. I went to school there, I started my football career there and I think I learned the discipline to make it to the top level during my youth there.”

Onana, by his own admission, is a larger-than-life character. If you’re in a room with him, you will know about it. Not because of his 6’4″ frame, footballer fame or distinctive style choices, but the fearlessness he holds in his self-expression. From dancing to afrobeats to belting out Giveon’s ‘Heartbreak Anniversary’ on set, Onana is never afraid to be himself in any environment, something many athletes are progressively becoming more open to than ever before.

The Belgian believes his travels across the globe have helped shape the person and player he is today. “Growing up around the world was great for me,” he says. “It opened my eyes and my vision for life. I picked up something from every single place I’ve been.”

“In Senegal, I learned family values, creativity and the art of being yourself and doing your own thing. In Belgium, I learned about football, how the industry works and the business side of the game. Going to Germany, the German discipline is just different. You really have to follow the advice you’re given and the steps as they are to succeed.”

Now, England is Onana’s new home. Almost two years on from his switch to Everton from Ligue 1 side Lille, he is one of the Premier League’s hottest prospects with the character to match. Last January, he reportedly turned down interest from Chelsea, refusing to leave the Toffees in the midst of a relegation battle, a decision that would later help keep Everton’s Premier League status intact.

Photography by Shane Bain.

Fast forward to January of this year and once again, Onana’s name is attracting suitors. Reports of interest from both Manchester United and Arsenal are rife and Everton’s troubles with the Premier League continue, including a points deduction for allegedly breaching financial regulations. Despite this, Onana remains at Goodison Park, giving his all in every game as each Evertonian – on the pitch and in the stands – continues to do since the ruling.

“I feel very happy living in England, I’ve been accepted as I am,” he says.

“I’m a loud character and I’m quite different from other people. I think that’s normalised here, which is a great thing for me. In England, I feel like people are very open-minded. You’re accepted no matter who you are, what you come from, what religion you follow and you can be yourself.” 

The importance of being yourself is something that regularly features in conversation with Onana. Whether it be from his time in Senegal or forging a career as a young player in the social media era, being unique and standing out from the crowd is a vital part of his life.

“To me, it’s very important. I can’t be anything else but myself,” he reveals.

“That’s how I’ve been raised. Being proud of who I am, what I do and where I came from. In the most humble way, there is no other human being on this planet that is exactly like me. Everyone has different characters and different views on life, so just be yourself, express yourself the way you want to and do things that you actually want to do.”

Photography by Shane Bain.

Away from football, fashion and music act as an outlet for Onana in his hunt for self-expression. If you aren’t aware of the rise of football x fashion in recent years, firstly, where have you been? Secondly, things are only getting bigger so you may need to catch up whilst you still can. Long gone are the days of athletes being required to stick to football. The new generation of players are leading a wave in which they have become the new age fashion icons and with the backing of the youth, their influence over football fans and Gen-Z consumers knows no bounds.

“Everything has evolved,” says Onana. “Back in the day, football players were just seen as football players. Now, people understand we can do a lot more than that. Football doesn’t define us. Football is not who I am, but what I do and what I love. I do loads of other stuff, like singing, modelling and fashion,” Onana reveals. “It makes me happy that everyone is opening up and showing a different side to themselves. I think it’s a great thing for the game.”

“I feel like fashion is a way of expressing myself and that’s the magic thing about it,” Onana explains, more than happy to continue diving into his fashion exploits. “You get to decide what you rock today. I express myself through the way I dress and I dress the way I feel.”

“If I wake up happy, you will see it in the way I dress with loads of colour combinations. If I’m a bit moody, I’ll go dark. It really depends on my mood and that’s what is so special about it. If I feel comfortable in it, I don’t mind wearing anything. I’ve done crazy styles before and as long as I find it fire, I’mma rock it.”

Photography by Shane Bain.

One thing about top-level athletes is that they are competitive by nature, in any and every field they play. When it comes to football and fashion, things are no different. As the niche continues to grow (a rise which saw training fits and pre-game looks introduced across club socials in Europe last season), so do the levels being displayed by each elite-level baller with a love of self-expression. Naturally, debates between players now go further than just on-the-pitch performances with wardrobe wars replacing everyday football discussions and players battling it out to be the best-dressed athletes in sport. Barcelona’s Jules Koundé and Aston Villa’s Kenza Dali were most recently crowned Footballer Fits’ 2023 MVPs, a prize given to the flyest footballers of the year.

For both club and country, Onana has shared dressing rooms with some of the waviest names in the football x fashion world, aside from his own of course. One baller in particular stands out when I quiz him on the best-dressed players he’s played alongside.

“Number one, Mr Michy Batshuayi. That guy is fly! That guy is cold!” Onana says without a second of hesitation.

“I like the way he dresses because it’s different from anyone else. He does his own thing and you can really see that. The way he dresses matches his personality, which I love.”

“Timothy Weah is another. I played with him back in Lille. He brings that American style and he’s one of the coldest I know. I also like Dominic Calvert-Lewin a lot too. Again, he expresses himself differently to most people. Jérémy Doku is a fly baller and he’s my guy! I play with him at Belgium and every time we come to meet up, it’s a competition, I’m not going to lie! People are always trying to look the best and I like it. I could name even more, but I feel like these guys are the flyest I’ve played with.”

Photography by Shane Bain.

Whilst the endless supply of inspiration from other players may be of use to many, Onana’s inspiration comes from far greater means than the Instagram feeds of his peers. “I feel like I inspire myself from everything I see. I look at other athletes, artists, models or my experience travelling the world and coming from Senegal, where people dress in a very loud and colourful way,” he says.

“Then I can go across the globe to America and look at the NFL players for example. I feel like I can dress in any kind of way, I can dress young, I can dress classy and elegant, I can dress crazy and colourful and do it all, rock n’ roll. I don’t really focus on brands. For me, as I said, if it looks good, I don’t care about anything else. I really look at everyone around me for inspiration but then try to do my own thing.”

Fashion is no longer the only route of self-expression players are exploring outside of the game, though. The new-found trend of footballers launching music careers is becoming harder to ignore with each passing day. AC Milan’s Rafael Leão goes by the pseudonym ‘Way 45′ to release his music, Juventus’ Moise Kean recently released his debut track under the group ’19F’ and Memphis Depay has been dropping heat across all streaming platforms in recent years.

Onana’s musical ability is no secret either. From singing videos on his own channels – including his viral cover of Summer Walker’s ‘Session 32’ – to his ability to rap in multiple languages on the same track, the midfielder sees music as another form of expressiveness that football nor fashion can offer. “With music, I can put everything into words,” he says.

“I’m expressing myself with my voice and I can shout about how I feel. It’s different and expressing myself in a way that everyone can understand in comparison to football and fashion.”

Photography by Shane Bain.

Onana is not just jumping on a popular trend either, as his family will attest to. Since early, music has been a part of his life.

“My love for music started young, you know. I’ve always loved listening to music, singing in the house and in the shower so loud that my Mum would bang the door! I started writing my own tracks since I was young too,” he reveals.

“Ten, eleven-years-old, writing little rap songs and that. I never released them and never will because those songs were crap! Nah, I’m just joking, but those songs were very different to the ones I create now. I released the track with you guys and my guy #17 (Alex Iwobi), which was a great track too by the way and I’m planning on releasing more in the future. It’s something that’s really fun for me.” 

The process of those tracks can start and end anywhere for Onana. Though many musical talents like to lock in during their time at the studio, Onana, like his fashion sense, sources inspiration from all over. “I feel like I could start writing anywhere,” he says, taking me through his creative process.

“I could be on the coach to an away game and a bar will come in my head. Sometimes I see something and I’m able to write about it there and then. There’s no special place or routine. I just need a beat, my creativity and inspiration and that’s it. I can write from anywhere at any time.”

As things stand, the footballer music scene is yet to have as many participants as the fashion wave, but it continues to grow. Draping yourself in designer clothes and the latest fashion trends across social media is a little easier than being born with musical ability, it must be said. Despite the vast improvement of criticism against players for their outside interests, making and releasing music still has some way to go before it’s fully accepted in the sport. Because of this, some players with genuine talent have kept it far from the eyes and ears of football folklore and traditional media, something Onana wants to change.

“There are some very talented ballers out there who are probably scared to release something because of those who say ‘focus on football’. Of course, football is the main part of my life but it’s what I do, it’s not what I am,” Onana says passionately.

Photography by Shane Bain.

“Football is the most important thing so I’m focused on it but I need other interests and to think about different things when I’m away from the pitch. I think that’s more healthy. The ballers out there with talent, go out there and do your thing. Believe in yourself and just drop it, man. If you enjoy it, do it. We have to thank the likes of Memphis Depay who started the wave, so a big shout out to him and the other players that created a pathway for us to express ourselves.”

Spending time with Onana, it is incredibly hard to believe he is still just 22-years-old. From his understanding of life to his humble nature with everything he says and does, you would be forgiven for thinking he had already been there and done it all. A born leader who is focused on using his voice and his platform to inspire those around him and help those who need it most, Onana strays far from the stereotypes given to footballers.

Whilst becoming the best player he can be is a huge ambition and one he will give everything to reach, he understands life does not revolve around eleven people kicking a ball every Saturday, even when we football supporters feel that it does. Instead, leaving a legacy beyond the walls of a football stadium is at the forefront of his mind.

“I want to break records, I want to win as many trophies as I can, I want to push the barriers and play as many games as I can. I want people to remember me as the football player I am.”

“But more importantly, I want people to remember the person I am. To remember the people I inspired and the charity work I’ve done. I want to help as many people as I can, donate as much as I can and do as much as I can for my people.”

“At the end of the day, that’s what really matters to me, man. Football is great, but there’s a life after it. I want to be remembered for way, way more than just football.”

Producer: Jordan Clarke

Executive Producer: Kieran Clarke

Photography: Shane Bain

Video: Cory Shillingford-Cox

BTS Video: Ellie Wickes

Styling/Creative Direction: Marcus Pancho

Make-up: Corrine Gibbons

Lighting: Aaron Price

Retouching: Adam Lupton

Cover Design: Scott Mcroy

Jewellery: Local Kettle Brothers

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Without a doubt, it was an eventful off-season for football. Our favorite ballers have gone from movie-level holiday scenes, all the way into the recent round of international friendlies stateside and beyond. A hectic way to introduce this weekend’s all-new league title race, to say the least, but we’re here for it.

From the Bundesliga to La Liga, the Premier League & Serie A, the top style prospects – some new like the youngbloods on Chelsea’s roster, some veterans – have used this downtime wisely & carried the fashion game on their backs, using any opportunity to showcase their individual styles and character through clothing. 

We’ve seen an impressive variety of fits and dress codes, with players cooling off – and loading up – as far as hillside & courtside L.A. to NYC, beachside in Mexico, yacht settings in French Riviera spots, Mykonos & Ibiza, to kicking ball in Asia. There’s no telling how many beige private jet interiors and clearport content we’ve seen from this season…and we’re not mad at it.

Take AC Milan star forward Rafael Leão for example. Just like his on-pitch play – the smooth stepovers, risktaking strikes – he’s recently come into his own style-wise too, developing much more confidence in his creative flair and how he pulls his fits together. He’s already been coming different with the flat caps, jorts and penny loafers. Tuff.

In anticipation of the new pre-game looks this season, we peeped the braziest fits of the past few months to bring you a round-up of the current fashion trends that are here to stay. Fellow ballers, stylists, personal shoppers, boys and girls of the FF community – take notes (or screenshots).

LV To Kenzo: Luxury Brands Still Have Motion 

Clearly, Louis Vuitton’s streetwear-luxury reign has been extended with Pharrell’s takeover. More than ever, the brand has a growing pull that keeps players loyal to their designs – even without sponsorship deals. The likes of Jude and Jobe Bellingham, Sancho & Marcus Thuram pulled up kitted out in LV to Skateboy P’s opening SS24 Paris Fashion Week show and did numbers on the ‘Gram and TikTok. 

Just like Pharrell, O.G designer and BAPE founder Nigo has brought new eyes to legendary brand Kenzo. The vibrant blend of preppy Parisian vibes with real Japanese formalwear is slowly picking up momentum & motion and saw shots & footage of Leroy Sané and girlfriend Candice Brook in full Kenzo drip at June’s show went viral across socials. It’s no wonder why given the traditional Japanese wrap shirt and wide-leg pleated pants the Bayern Munich winger rocked brought a whole new level of drip to the table, It’s time to see more players taking a chance on Kenzo’s graphic tees, kimono wrap-style blazer jackets and their cold denim pieces going forward.

Now take this in… Jules Koundé’s appearance at both Kenzo & Louis Vuitton’s shows alone made him the third most influential athlete – behind Lebron James and Lewis Hamilton – stacking up almost $1 million in media value* for brands just from online engagement, per Footballers as a whole made up 14% of Fashion Week’s media value. Stats that prove ballers aren’t ditching pieces from the world’s biggest brands just yet.  

This season, we’re hoping to see for ballers rock the new camo, “Minecraft style” Damier LV print pieces introduced by Pharrell. Don’t be surprised to see the new “buttery” leather monogram speedy bags and the latest selection of solid leather jackets either, which have already been seen on Inter Milan’s Marcus Thuram.

The LV x Kid Super Autumn / Winter ‘24 collection is one to watch too, most notably the easily identifiable patchwork-face outerwear, donned by Chelsea’s Diego Moreira and renowned baller fashion-head Jesse Lingard.

Classy And Elegant Flex 

Over the summer, we’ve seen luxurious vacation views and even more luxurious drip from the game’s biggest players. There’s been a clear shift, where ballers are wearing much more formal, understated, and classic fits. Take the classic tailored pants, the linen shirts and even the suede Loro Piana summer walks rocked by Juventus’ Moise Kean for example.

They’ve all been keeping to the unspoken yet strict color scheme too: cool beiges and browns, calm blues and crisp whites. The unshakeable Ousmane Dembélé – now at PSG – and Atlético Madrid’s Memphis Depay are just two ballers doing just that.

This classy theme is heavily inspired by the sweet, city life of fashion hotspots like Milan, Monaco, London and Paris. A life that calls for quality and coolness in all areas. Don’t get it twisted though – there’s no age limit on this trend. Young players like Liverpool’s Stefan Bajčetić have stepped up and made this their own. Check his ‘Gram for proof. At only 18, he’s yet to miss with once in the fashion regard. Designer Martine Rose also had the USWNT looking dapper & chic in their custom pre-game suits at the Women’s World Cup.

The cooler months will call for high thread count cashmere sweaters, flawless blazers, bespoke shirts and trousers with premium leather kicks. Look no further than brands like Prada, Loewe, Ami and JW Anderson for inspiration via their latest collections. Loewe’s introduction of high-waisted, straight and ever-so-slightly flared pants are 10/10. Affordable options in Cos and Massimo Dutti could also do the trick too. 

This is definitely the vibe we’re looking for this season. Plus, with players like Jude Bellingham getting the call-up at Real Madrid and Timothy Weah linking up with the impeccably dressed Juventus guys, it’s no time before they see the vision & catch the Mediterranean wave.

Right (And Left) Wrist Van Cleef 

Drake was spot on when he sealed this trend into current culture with the above lyrics from “BackOutsideBoyz”. The luxury jewelry brand – Van Cleef & Arpels – famed for their neat and lightweight four-leaf clover style “Alhambra” bracelets – have got players like Jadon Sancho spinning the block back to the store and doubling up the amount they wear on one wrist. 

The brand has really caught on due to its “lucky charm” look, which means each link gives off a personal feel to its owner. Now this may not be everyone’s vibe (nor everyone’s price bracket) and that’s cool. More than anything this season we’re looking out for similar jewelry that has a sentimental feel to it. Chains and bracelets that are delicate in weight, but valuable in their meaning fit this criteria. This new trend of jewelry with sentimental value also explains why stars like Drizzy recently grabbed Tupac’s ring (before Karim Benzema got a chance) and Pharrell’s chains at auction. Expensive or cheap – we’re ready for ballers to follow suit.

Heavy On The Denim

If you haven’t been under a rock these past few months, you’ll agree that the jorts – or jeans shorts – trend has been going crazy amongst players. From LV print carpenter shorts to knee length and baggier three-quarter styles, the variety made it an easy summer staple for the likes of Leão and style heavyweight Trevoh Chalobah.

Looking ahead to the 23/24 season, it’s time to turn the denim trend up a notch. After all, jorts can’t be the move in the upcoming colder weather. Brands like Givenchy, Gucci, Loewe, Diesel, Y-Project and JW Anderson are dropping so many denim options back to back that we’re now spoilt for choice. But these aren’t the overly ripped, super bleached or distressed types we’ve been used to.

These are jeans in their purest form, with a heavy-weight look to them: a sign of quality. Whether that be 90s-looking light blues, mildly stonewashed grays or darker-dyed options, good denim is a vibe right now. Jeans that look sturdy & hefty, straight fit and slightly wide (but not ridiculous). We’ve had promising glimpses of this already, but we’re definitely praying to see more across the league. Less of the overdone & typical flashy jeans, more of the traditional, tastefully finished stuff. Alright, the Denim Tears and Chrome Hearts jeans can stay too…

Tales From The Far East 

South Asia has recently provided top-notch hospitality within football over the summer. Hosting the Barcelona boys in Tokyo and welcoming Manchester City in South Korea on their pre-season tours. But it’s Asia’s contribution to fashion that ballers and fashion fanatics should be most grateful for.

We know the Japanese don’t play when it comes to quality design and individualistic 1-of-1 drip that’s made to last a lifetime. Their creation & use of materials is globally respected, as their dyeing & “boro boro” reuse/upcycling process is one that’s been perfected for generations. For those looking to bring different vibes and have a fashion advantage, we recommend locking in & seeking out the rising fashion brands & trends coming out of Asia this season. You’re bound to find unseen archive pieces, crazy silhouettes (again, like Kenzo) and second-to-none textiles & detailing. This is the boundless creativity and freedom football has been needing; Asian fashion and excellent craftsmanship overseas will play a big part.

Brands like Thug Club out of South Korea – already supported by the likes of ASAP Rocky, SZA and Central Cee – are bringing new interpretations of streetwear with fire designs. Their double denim sets are embroidered with their futuristic-looking star & moon “TC” logo are too hard to pass up. And the caps, tees and hoodies? A must-cop! 

Standout designers like Seoul-based Andersson Bell & LVMH prize nominee Juntae Kim are ones we hope to see featured amongst Barca’s tunnel fits & rocked well at the Netherlands’ national team camp. Bell knows ball, since recently the brand hosted Trevoh Chalobah front row at their Milan SS24 show. The new collection features crazy style linkups like doubled-up hoodies & leather pants patched with cargo pockets. The latter brand Juntae goes equally as hard with cropped bomber jackets and immaculately creased denim that give a two-tone effect. Phenomenal. 

Of course, long-standing luxury Asian brands like WooyoungMi & Japanese brand Sacai – most known over here for the Nike Vaporwaffle – could do with some more love in the league. Sacai’s on a different level since their recent collaborations with Carhartt, which is all about upgraded workwear and fits inspired by the great outdoors. Their multi-functional dungarees and pocketed puffers, bombers, long length parka jackets with asymmetric openings would be a perfect fit for a style maverick like Michy Batshuayi. 

This one ain’t just a trend, it’s a movement. Get tapping into the endless brands coming out of Asia! 

Belt Buckle-Mania 

The bigger the buckle, the better! Musicians like Travis Scott & Kendrick Lamar have been rocking custom belts the size of WWE titles and we’re feeling it. Seeing the strong connection between sport and music, it won’t be long before we see ballers tighten up and catch onto the bucklemania effect. You won’t have trouble finding your own, since Gucci has brought back the legendary double G buckle and Loewe have released belts big enough for Wild West cowboys. 

Let us know which trends you’re looking out for ahead of another wavey year in the football x fashion space.

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