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  • Renoch Insider

Why athletes are the new fashion influencers

With athletes embracing designer fashion outside of the field and some of the biggest sporting events taking place in major fashion cities, brands are looking to leverage the reach and influence of star athletes post pandemic.

From left: Lewis Hamilton at Louis Vuitton SS24 show, Image by Stéphane Fèugere. Steffon Diggs and Rick Owens via Instagram @steffondiggs. Marcus Rashford and and Jude Bellingham by Pierre Mouton.

During men's fashion week last month menswear label 3. Paradis unveiled a sports jersey for the soccer team Paris Saint-Germain as was the case with Lagos Space Programme for the Nigerian football jersey. Shortly after Thebe Magugu announced their new sportswear kit for South African football team Orlando Pirates, available at Adidas. Sports fever is in the air and is reaching new levels of influence in fashion thanks to an increasing overlap between the two industries and the current buzzy sporting events taking place in leading fashion cities which attract fashion and sports enthusiasts alike.

From the Milan to the Paris shows we saw athletes from different sports including the NBA, Formula 1, tennis and boxing occupying the front row more than usual. According to Vogue Business athletes were on the guest lists of 44 fashion houses this season (Valentino, Prada, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, and Rick Owens are a few examples) and represented a 7.8 per cent of talent up from 0.03 per cent last season.

For fashion designers, this strategy creates brand alignment and enables them to tap into the global reach and influence of athletes. However, this opportunity doesn't only fall on international fashion brands but has big potential in Africa too, a continent with a strong culture of sports. For a fashion brand of any size, working with a soccer or cricket star for example can help your brand expand its reach to a sports audience and vice versa. Not to mention the potential press value and social media engagement that can be attained from a collaboration like this. It's a win for both parties. Athletes get to express themselves outside of their uniform, through personalized styling and fashion collaborations.

In conclusion, if you're a fashion brand looking to boost your brand awareness and increase consumer base, the sports influencer is a good strategy to explore.

At Renoch Group we help fashion and design brands achieve their goals through tailored PR, communication and retail strategies. If you're fashion brand looking to boost your influencer and partnership strategy email our director at to start the conversation.

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