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The Sports-Fashion Complex

Courtesy of Nike News

Courtesy of Nike News

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Fashion has always been a fundamental component of society – the allure of being dressed better than the common man, the exclusivity, the refined taste, and a sense of power all accompanying this trend. Fashion surely has evolved over time, based on the material of clothing and the brand names. However, a striking modern-day change within fashion occurs in its means of transmission: fashion today is often intertwined with the world of athletics. Sports and athleticism are defining features of fashion, and pro-sports players occupy a fundamental niche within this interconnected system.

The massive Nike Jordan brand is itself evidence of the significant influence sports has upon fashion. The very name of the brand is derived from Michael Jordan, a celebrated NBA basketball player. The brand is quite successful and has a broad outreach, with revenue totaling over $2.8 billion in 2016 (Forbes). The Jordan brand, while still offering styles designed for the game of basketball, has rapidly gained traction within the world of style. With numerous colors schemes and designs of Retro Jordan’s, they have become a staple within fashion. With different styles of Jordan’s releasing every month, Nike’s Jordan brand has become a coveted and ever-evolving part of the world of fashion.

Moreover, moving beyond brands, players themselves serve as lynchpins in the sports-fashion complex. A major-league athlete or player simply dressing a certain way is often enough to initiate a trend. For example, Cristiano Ronaldo and Roger Federer were recently spotted wearing shoes from the Off-White x Nike “The 10” shoe collection (Footwearnews). In fact, for the designer of the collection, a key method of advertising was to gift custom versions of his product to major athletes. A powerful fashion company like Off-White catering to major athletes only further entrenches the connectivity between athletes and fashion in the modern world. By wearing Off-White x Nikes, athletes like Ronaldo and Federer signal their role within the world of fashion.

While the material or brand of clothes may change over time, the appeal of major league athletes within fashion will never change— for fashion, sports will continue to remain a primary mechanism for inspiration, advertising, and stylistic appeal.

 

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The Sports-Fashion Complex