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The influence of Jean Paul Gaultier in modern football

As the imprint of the French designer is still visible in the football style

The influence of Jean Paul Gaultier in modern football As the imprint of the French designer is still visible in the football style

Football boots can be considered as one of the newest sources of inspiration for fashion. The latest case is the Nike x Comme des Garçons HO21 Premier  but over the years also brands like Miu Miu, Burberry and Balenciaga have decided to adapt their style to one of the fashion elements of football. Among the precursors of the trend ridden by Miuccia Prada, Riccardo Tisci and Demna Gvasalia is Jean Paul Gaultier, who in his SS 93 has included a heeled shoe inspired by a football boot. Created by Massaro, the idea of JPG was to merge 2 opposite ideas, obtaining a surprising effect. It will be one of the items that the designer will propose again in his fashion shows with different colors.

But it was not the only deviation towards football of the enfant terrible of Pierre Cardin's school. Already in the 80s, football aesthetics began to contaminate fashion: a prime example is the black and yellow sweater whose design recalls a football shirt, complete with a central "sponsor" and vertical stripes. In a 50 years career, spent alternating and mixing haute couture and outfits for music and film stars, Jean Paul Gaultier created a one-of-a-kind aesthetic, becoming a symbol of French fashion that occasionally veered towards football.


The Marinière-inspired kit of French national football team

One of the hallmarks of Jean Paul Gaultier is the marine aesthetic: neckerchief, seaman hat but above all striped sweater. The shorthand of JPG starts from this style - the same made famous in the 1920s by Chanel - to underline its meaning: the lines have always symbolized the social outsider, becoming a cultural indicator over the years.

When in 2011 the French national team signed a new contract with Nike - after 40 years of adidas hegemony - the American brand immediately approached the national team starting from fashion. The result was an away shirt starting from the base of the classic Breton shirt, the one that contributed to making Gaultier so important on the big stages. The link with fashion starts from the French designer but also involves other personalities such as Karl Lagerfeld - creative director of Chanel first and then of Fendi - in the role of photographer. 

Lagerfeld was one of the great precursors of the football-fashion mix, working with Nike Football 7 years before Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones and anticipating the revolution that adidas and Palace brought to the pitch by 8 years. The shooting, which is much closer to a fashion collection than to the launch of a football shirt, enhances the lines of the Gaultierian marinière in the "Vive Le Football Libre" lookbook.

Pelé's football bomber by Jean Paul Gaultier

Edson Arantes do Nascimento aka Pelé retired in 1977 and from that year on he began his life as a "testimonial", almost as if he were a modern influencer. In 1984, Francaise des Jeux launched the "Loto Sportif", the first sports betting on French football. The boom that the executives expected doesn't come and, after 3 years of testing, the company decides to invest in an exceptional testimonial like Pelé. The Brazilian arrived in Paris in 1987 and in one of the most incredible spots ever, he wore a bomber jacket designed specifically by Jean Paul Gaultier. The jacket is in leather and on the sleeves the design recalls the simple style of the footballs of the past.

Recently at the model that Pelé wore 34 years ago reappeared and is on sale for the sum of € 1250. Also in this case, JPG brings football and fashion closer, anticipating the trends that Moschino and Gosha Rubchinskiy will follow years later.

Jean Paul Gaultier Fashion Show 2020 ft. Djibrille Cisse 

The fact that "Djibrille Cisse" on Wikipedia is defined first "disk jockey" and "television personality" and then "footballer" makes us understand so much about the life spent by the former Lazio, Liverpool, OM and Panathinaikos striker. But Mr. Lenoir - name that comes from his personal fragrance - was also a model, thanks to a friendship built over the years with Jean Paul Gaultier. Two characters over the top and out of every scheme found themselves on the same catwalk, that of the designer's farewell show at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris.

But the links between JPG and the DJ of the French Riviera are many and over the years the two have got to know each other off the pitch. In the 10 style lessons of the French national forward you can see all the eclectic and eccentric style of Cisse, with that pinch of aesthetic madness that he probably shares with Gaultier. "Jean Paul knows me too well and has chosen the right clothes for me" commented Cisse. His natural skills as a showman continued even after the show, when at the cocktail party he literally took possession of the console: hand on the plate, glass of champagne in the other. The music, according to the testimonies of those present, was poor but the hugs with Gaultier were more than sincere.