During their match against Troyes on Sunday, Stade Rennais F.C. debuted a freshly-minted jersey kit designed by Balenciaga, as part of the Spanish-born fashion house’s first foray into the football stadium as the official dresser for a Ligue 1 team.
The distinctive uniform does more than merge the football club’s emblems with those of Balenciaga; it features a design inspired by the Pride Flag’s colors, in an effort to combat hate toward the LGBTQ+ community on International Day Against Homophobia (May 17). As part of a larger campaign from the French Football League, the Stade Rennais team proudly sported the new uniforms at Roazhon Park, prominently displaying Balenciaga’s lettering above each player’s name and their rainbow-filled numbers.
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Balenciaga shared the jersey design to its Instagram Stories, alongside the hashtags #STOPHOMOPHOBIA, #STOPTRANSPHOBIA and #STOPBIPHOBIA, aligning itself with the league’s social cause. As the Demna-led label looks to continue repairing its damaged image after two controversial campaigns led to its detrimental downfall at the tail end of last year, this latest partnership marks one step in the right direction.
Balenciaga first announced its Stade Rennais F.C. sponsorship deal in September of last year. The fashion label is owned by Kering — a luxury parent company operated by François-Henri Pinault, who also happens to own the football team. At the time, the partnership simply made sense.
Balenciaga’s Stade Rennais F.C. sponsorship is just one of the several fashion-meets-football partnerships from this season. Others include Loro Piana x Real Madrid CF, Fendi x Roma and Off-White™ x AC Milan.
See Balenciaga’s fresh Stade Rennais F.C. jersey kit above.