Italian football club shirts in Serie A are often more stylish than teams in other leagues. Why? The influence of Italian fashion houses on the design of Serie A shirts over the last 40 years. A look at this transalpine fashion phenomenon between two seemingly incompatible worlds
Versace, Dolce Gabbana, and Gucci are just some of the Italian fashion houses that have left their mark on the garments worn by the stars of Italian Serie A. As a result, an alliance between two previously opposed worlds now enjoys great success thanks to several collaborations. To explain this fashion phenomenon, let’s look at the history.
A phenomenon born in Uncle Sam’s country…
In the United States in the 70s, Maurizio Pouchain, an Italian entrepreneur, discovered the mutual influence between the world of sports and urban fashion. At the time, Americans proudly wore clothes bearing the name of their favorite sports team. Marked by this experience, Pouchain established the power of merchandising in Italian football by contacting the presidents of Italian football clubs as soon as he returned to Italy. He started a revolution by incorporating color and style into football shirt designs. As a result, the football shirt had become “fashionable”. To make fans proud to wear the shirts of their favorite clubs outside the stadiums, the presidents of Italian football clubs, collaborating with designers from fashion houses, started to develop new models every season. The influence of fashion on football shirts was thus born.
An influence that continues over the years
When high fashion and football flirt, it’s often from the imagination of a few talented designers. However, the union between Italian fashion houses and the world of football is sometimes more distinct. Italian fashion houses such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana, and Gucci collaborate with several leading Serie A clubs such as Juventus, AS Roma, and AC Milan during significant fashion events such as Fashion Week. In 2011, AC Milan players modeled for the Italian ready-to-wear brand Dolce & Gabbana. For the 2020-2021 season, AC Milan’s third shirt has paid tribute to Italian haute couture. A famous print, the houndstooth, inspired the club’s management. The houndstooth check design was rotated 45 degrees to reveal the letter ‘M’ in the design. Today, the Italian fashion house’s influence on Serie A football shirts is evident from the increasing number of collaborations between these two worlds.