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How Rhude became one of the most beloved brands among football players

Credit to the NBA of course and the circularity of fashion between designers and athletes

How Rhude became one of the most beloved brands among football players Credit to the NBA of course and the circularity of fashion between designers and athletes

Everyone from Paul Pogba to Moise Kean was at Rhude's Paris Fashion Week show, ready to follow what is establishing itself as one of the most beloved brands among athletes. Founded by Rhuigi Villaseñor in 2015 in Los Angeles, Rhude first received notoriety when one of its bandana shirts was worn onstage at the BET Awards by Kendrick Lamar, but it is in recent years that it has established itself as a true reference for all those looking for a luxury, updated version of streetwear. Among them are, of course, sportsmen, who have repeatedly shown how much they appreciate a style that indiscriminately overlaps high-end fashion and ready-to-wear, through hoodies and tees with graphic prints, varsity jackets, logoed shorts and Hi-Top sneakers. 

A style that combines Villaseñor's two major influences, his childhood in Manila and his adolescence in California. It is no coincidence that one of the first to wear Rhude was Jordan Clarkson, a basketball player of Filipino descent with a past with the Los Angeles Lakers. After him, the brand became a constant in the Tunnel Fits of NBA arenas, which, as always, proved to be an excellent thermometer for measuring the degree of hype around a brand on the verge of launch. True to its roots firmly rooted in the West Coast aesthetic, Rhude released a capsule collection dedicated to the purple-and-gold squad and later began collaborating with various local artists, eventually going so far as to design the varsity jacket for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction of Jay-Z, a longtime Bel Air resident. 

The allure of the City of Angels has helped make Rhude's massive logo increasingly visible, now not just luxury streetwear but legitimized by its presence at Fashion Weeks. A new dimension, however, in which Rhude seems at ease, thanks in part to the presence of the many sportsmen who crowd the front rows of the fashion shows and who have been the real driving force for Rhuigi Villaseñor's brand. But not only the NBA superstars who, as always, were not missing, from Karl-Anthony Towns to Jaylen Brown via Rudy Gay and, of course, Jordan Clarkson, but also many footballers. In fact, in the last year Rhude has also landed overseas among European football players, who are always attentive to the style choices of their colleagues in the NBA and who increasingly choose him for their off-court outfits.

In a recent interview, Plug Leon, one of the most relevant personal shoppers in European football, pointed out that the Los Angeles-based brand was one of the most sought-after by its clients in recent times, who are then eager to tag it in their photos on Instagram. But Rhude's rapid and vertical success is not accidental; rather, it is yet another demonstration of the circular relationship between designers and sportspeople, where the latter not only inspire but help make the latter's garments visible. An ecosystem that Rhude has made the most of, increasingly blurring the boundaries between luxury and sportswear as much as those between on and off the playing field.