Newspaper article International New York Times

Yamamoto Breaks New Ground ; Designer Has Fashioned the Game Jerseys for the Soccer Club Real Madrid

Newspaper article International New York Times

Yamamoto Breaks New Ground ; Designer Has Fashioned the Game Jerseys for the Soccer Club Real Madrid

Article excerpt

Yohji Yamamoto has designed 2014-15 uniforms for the European champion Real Madrid under the auspices of his Y-3 Adidas line.

Finally, our post-World Cup prayers have been answered: A designer has linked up with a soccer club to make the players' game jerseys. Yohji Yamamoto has designed the 2014-15 uniforms for the European champions Real Madrid under the auspices of his Y-3 Adidas line. I have to say, they are pretty cool.

This may not seem like a big deal, but as far as soccer and fashion are concerned, actual play uniforms have been, up to now, the final frontier. (The Yamamoto jerseys will be the team's third, the ones players wear if both the home and away uniforms are too similar to an opponent's.)

While European soccer clubs have had longstanding relationships with fashion houses -- Giorgio Armani has worked with the English national team and Chelsea, and has signed on to make the formal wear for the Bayern Munich club, while Dolce & Gabbana work with Milan and the Italian national team; Paul Smith has worked with Manchester United, and Lanvin has signed on with Arsenal -- the collaborations have generally stopped at the locker room door.

I'm not sure why, other than perhaps, as I posted earlier this summer when thinking about Wimbledon, there's a kind of taint to having serious athletes seem TOO fashion-y when they get down to the gladiatorial business of their sport.

Pointedly, an exception to this no-fashion-in-the-arena rule has been Stella McCartney, whose longstanding collaboration with Adidas has given her a performance stamp of approval. She did, after all, do all the gear for the British team at the London 2012 Olympics. And she told me at the time that the athletes quite liked the confidence an edge of fashion provided.

So it makes sense that, given the long-term Adidas-Yamamoto relationship, the Adidas sportswear brand, which sponsors Real Madrid, might move his work from the leisure wear side of things to the performance side. …

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