William Saliba is Championing Unapologetic Individuality as Crocs’ Latest Ambassador

“Going off-pitch is an opportunity to showcase who I am and my creativity through my fashion,” the footballer says in an exclusive interview with Hypebeast.

Fashion 
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Continuing its long run of high-profile appointments, Crocs has named William Saliba as its latest brand ambassador. With his suave dress sense, the Arsenal center-back joins the footwear family in an effort to inspire more people to express themselves through style but more importantly, share the message that athletes can also be fashion heavyweights.

Landing at the north London club during a time when football-inspired fashion was on its way up, he used his platform to show off his expressive style, making him one to be closely-watched both on and off the pitch. Whilst the world of football hasn’t always favored players’ interests in fashion, Saliba hopes to be part of a changing narrative alongside his style-savvy teammates. But, had the sports-driven trend never happened, the footballer would’ve still raised eyebrows for his unique flair and bold dress sense.

Hailing from northern France, later relocating to Saint-Étienne in the south, and now living in London, Saliba confidently uses his style as a way to represent the places he’s called home. Typically, he opts for a base that appears to be “very French” with minimal-yet-classic mid-layers crafted by high-end designers. He then takes a more cutting-edge approach when accessorizing his outfits, with bright shoes, statement bags and a vast collection of tinted sunglasses.

In the latest Crocs campaign, the brand highlights this style journey through a collage of snapshots that sees Saliba move from the depths of the countryside to the city. Adorning a slick look consisting of a short-sleeve shirt, shorts and Crocs’ Echo Clog in a bold red tone, he shows how his style is an encompassing part of his identity and will stay in-tact no matter where he moves to.

In an exclusive interview with Hypebeast, Saliba discusses his personal style and why it holds such an important role in his life.

Hypebeast: Tell us a bit about your relationship with Crocs and how your partnership with the brand came to life.

William Saliba: Crocs has always been on my radar because its various designs and styles are very cool. In the modern-day footwear scene, Crocs epitomizes the fusion of comfort and personal style, allowing individuals to express themselves uniquely. Like Crocs, I’ve always embraced individuality. I think everyone who knows shoes, knows Crocs. You just need a pair of Crocs.

The new campaign focuses on the streetwear-orientated Echo clog. What are your favorite features of the model and how do they fit into your on-the-go lifestyle?

The Echo Clog is a whole new design language for the brand with an emphasis on innovative sculpting, bold form, and of course, comfort. My day-to-day usually involves a mix of team training, meetings and personal time. Whether I’m heading to the training ground or just doing my own thing – chilling or going out for a walk – the Echo Clogs fit all situations perfectly. I know for the Echo family there are many plans in the pipeline so keep an eye out for new drops, they’re all looking crazy!

“It’s a way to show that as a professional athlete, I can have a unique sense of fashion and still perform at the highest level on the pitch.”

Take us through the role that fashion and footwear plays in your life off the pitch?

Off the pitch, fashion and footwear are super important to me, they are a means of expressing my personality and how I am feeling on that day. I like to experiment with different styles and trends, and my footwear choices are an essential part of that expression because they can make, or break, an outfit. I appreciate shoes that not only look good but also provide comfort, especially during long days or when I’m traveling with Arsenal or my national team. I enjoy sharing my personal style and getting love from fans. It’s a way to show that as a professional athlete, I can have a unique sense of fashion and still perform at the highest level on the pitch.

How has the uniformity of football encouraged you to experiment with your own personal style?

The football fashion community nowadays is thriving. The uniformity in the scene has actually encouraged me to experiment even more with my personal style off the pitch. When you’re on the field, you’re wearing the same kit as your teammates, and there’s limited room for personal expression in terms of clothing. So, when I’m not playing, I see it as an opportunity to showcase who I am and my creativity through my fashion.

What do you think makes the London fashion scene unique?

London is like a big pot of diverse cultures, styles and influences from all over the world. In my opinion, this cultural diversity creates an environment of individuality and innovation that’s hard to find elsewhere. London’s fashion history is rich, but not as rich as Paris, and the city’s vibrant street style scene adds to its uniqueness. What I love about the city and the places I’ve seen, is that you can go to different areas and everyone’s style will be different.

“There’s a vibrant street style culture [in London] that encourages self-expression and individuality and no brand represents that better than Crocs.”

As a French native who lives and works in the UK capital, what are the contrasting differences you’ve spotted in style and expression across the two countries?

In general, France has a strong emphasis on classic and timeless fashion. French style is known for its elegance and sophistication. I feel my home country’s fashion tends to favor neutral colors, well-tailored pieces and a minimalist approach. It goes without saying that there is also a mad love for luxury brands and high-end craftsmanship. We know our style.

In the UK, especially in cities like London, there is a more eclectic and diverse style. I feel there’s a vibrant street style culture that encourages self-expression and individuality and no brand represents that better than Crocs.. It’s so amazing to see how culture, history and society influence the way people dress and express themselves in different parts of the world.

In what ways have you adopted aesthetics from both the UK and France, in your own style?

In my own style I definitely let my French heritage shine through as I do like to play with the concept of elegance and minimalism. I appreciate well-tailored pieces and love to feel sleek and sophisticated in what I’m wearing. People around me know how picky I can be, I really fuss over the small things. From my time in London, I’ve developed a penchant for mixing and matching different styles, experimenting with streetwear elements, and embracing a more relaxed and thoughtful approach to fashion.

Discover William Saliba’s unique style codes in the latest campaign video featured in the gallery above. To shop the Crocs Echo Clog, head to the brand’s website or select stockists worldwide now.

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