Behind the HYPE: How Paris Saint-Germain Became Fashion's Favorite Football Club

How PSG went from being a club in crisis to a certified powerhouse.

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Sports
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The ties between football and fashion have always been strong, though more as a contrarian anti-fashion expression than “Fashion-with-a-capital-F.” Starting in the late ’70s, U.K. football fans began to define their own sub-genre of style with the emergence of “terrace culture,” so named for the infamously rowdy standing-only section in football stadiums. This precursor to modern streetwear was marked by necessity-driven style — beat-up sneakers, tracksuits, and, of course, plenty of team merch. Even today, brands like Palace and Stone Island regularly riff on the preppy yet irreverent sportswear once found on the terrace.

Football has also found footing in more luxe fashion, without betraying its roots. Paris Saint-Germain’s sartorial forays have been distinctly higher-end (there’s nothing grungy about a Hublot collab, for instance), yet the club has managed to strike the challenging balance. In recent years, PSG has delivered collaborative, ambitious capsules that hit for the style-conscious football fan, without alienating those who are still hungry for the classics. As chief brand diversification officer Fabien Allegre told HYPEBEAST Magazine, “You want the old, core fan to wear [the jersey], and then you want the influencer or the fashion model to cut it up and wear it to the nightclub.”

And Paris Saint-Germain has managed to capture a high-profile fandom. Rihanna, Tyga, even Naomi Campbell have been spotted in the stands and Travis Scott often wears PSG gear — specifically, pieces from Paris Saint-Germain’s on-going partnership with Air Jordan. The hotly anticipated next chapter in this football-basketball crossover is due this month with the release of a new Air Jordan 4.

For our latest Behind the HYPE, HYPEBEAST delves into PSG’s evolution from a team in crisis to an undeniable powerhouse and why the club has doubled-down on appealing to the next generation of football fans. Check out the previous Behind the HYPE installment on Oakley for more on the world of sports.

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