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What Jack Grealish Signing with Gucci Means

Manchester City's number 10 joins a long list of footballers who have become the faces of major fashion brands

What Jack Grealish Signing with Gucci Means Manchester City's number 10 joins a long list of footballers who have become the faces of major fashion brands

Jack Grealish will become Gucci's next brand ambassador through a seven-figure contract that could revolutionize the relationship between soccer and fashion. After his transfer from Aston Villa to Manchester City last year made him the highest paid English footballer ever, Graelish is ready to take another step in his career by joining the stable of the Italian fashion house. An unthinkable aim until a few years ago and that instead will project the English national player among the most recognizable faces of world soccer, despite his performances on the field have not lived up to expectations and costs incurred. In his first season under Guardiola, Grealish scored just two goals in his 18 appearances as a starter, but Gucci hopes that his inclusion among the Italian fashion house's brand ambassadors will have a different impact.

For Gucci, the City winger represents a perfect profile thanks also to his social presence, especially on TikTok, where he has managed to amass a very strong following with short videos of his daily life, in which he sometimes shows off Alessandro Michele's branded clothes. His Instagram profile counts 4.7 million followers while he has 2.4 on the 10-second social: important numbers that have certainly convinced the Italian fashion house to fish in the Premier League, the league that in recent years has invested more in the creation and communication of its brand. A success that has also reverberated on the players, who have found themselves in the perfect situation to take advantage of the many attentions reserved for them and become perfect testimonials for luxury companies, which have recently turned their eyes towards the green field. 

A trend that has ended up conquering even Gucci, which in recent years has built its style through an imagery dotted with artists, musicians, actors and creative people portrayed in a maximalist and ingenious context. In other words, far removed from the sporty or football aesthetic that other brands have pursued in recent years, and which Gucci had not yet integrated into its collections. Grealish is in fact the first sportsman and footballer chosen for the role of testimonial, a choice that presents many hints and obvious interest in how it will evolve in the future. In particular, on which side of the personality of the Manchester City player they will decide to focus, whether on the more on-field or off-field side. Needless to say, fashion brands have been searching for years for a new David Beckham on which to build a sophisticated and elegant character, far from the stereotype of the footballer, in a return to the iconic fashion of Y2K. 

Moreover, fashion houses seem to be interested above all in players who have created a defined and recognizable profile beyond the sporting aspect, thus using that three-dimensionality to enter other markets and demographics. In this direction, for example, are the signatures of Marcus Rashford for Burberry and Kylian Mbappé for Dior, two young talents who have become known for their social initiatives in addition to their talents on the field, and who bring a breath of youth and freshness to their respective maisons. Not to mention the partnership between Megan Rapinoe and Loewe for the fall/winter 2020 campaign focused on the newfound centrality of women's sports and the recognition of minorities.

Never before has the football aesthetic become commonplace in fashion collections, whether it's stealing items to take to the catwalk or using the well-known faces of footballers to bring added value to their shoots. From game jerseys also used in lifestyle contexts to the upcycling of old garments into new items to be used at a safe distance from the field, soccer is once again becoming a true protagonist of the fashion world. So it will be intriguing to see what plans Gucci, which has always known how to take its talents out of context with surprising and innovative results, has in store for Jack Grealish