Soccer Models: Giorgio Armani started it all

David James.jpg
Christiano Ronaldo models Pepe Jeans
We all know that David Beckham and Victoria Adams have a big empire, with their many creations under the David Beckham Designer Products logo, which is a million-dollar spinner especially in the Far East.
But it was the ‘Beckham jacket’ designed by Giorgio Armani that gave David Beckham the sobriquet of the sartorial prince of the footy world.
Giorgio Armani, a renowned leader in the fashion world, who recently turned seventy, pioneered the marriage of fashion and football. He understood the real values of such a twinning combination years ago. Armani employs 5,000 people worldwide and his empire has a turnover of 1.3 billion euros a year!. He designed football wear for teams like Chelsea, Newcastle United, and the Italian National team. The present England squad’s off field and formal wear is designed by him.
It started in 1995 when Armani brought on David James then of Liverpool, as a catwalk and advertising face. Since then world stars were turned into models!
David James, now Manchester City’s goalkeeper models H&M’ s tailored spring collection for men in the Swedish company’s newest advertisements. 21-year-old Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo who plays for Manchester United is the new face of Pepe Jeans. Brazil’s Kaká, is the new star of Armani Jeans. Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United who signed a three-year contract with shirt brand Ben Sherman. Arsenal star Freddie Ljungberg who appeared in sexy underwear ads for Calvin Klein.
Football stars have also turned fashion entrepreneurs spurred by Armani’s success. Andreij Shevchenko of AC Milan has opened an Armani franchise in his home city of Kiev, Ukraine. A couple of years ago, Christian Vieri and Paolo Maldini launched their ‘Sweet Years,’ while Francesco Totti and Ilary have their own brand ‘Never without you.’ Japanese player Hide Nakata recently introduced his own stylish tops after establishing a big market of his team’s colours, in Japan when he played for Perugia, Roma and Parma.
George Best was the natty style icon of the 60’s and 70’s but Giorgio Armani was the first to take the present day soccer stars to a different level of haute couture altogether.

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