Wednesday, May 25, 2022

How Grealish is becoming the next Becks, signing with fashion brands like Gucci

LAST summer, the sight of Jack Grealish being welcomed onto the stage by Stormzy at the Leeds festival drew cheers from the young crowd at the sight of two of their heroes.

Hours earlier, Man City’s faithful following had roared him on in a 5-0 rout of Arsenal at the Etihad.

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Jack Grealish has transcended the world of football and become a pop culture iconCredit: Getty
Fashionable Grealish has inked a seven-figure deal with Gucci, according to reports

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Fashionable Grealish has inked a seven-figure deal with Gucci, according to reportsCredit: https://www.instagram.com/jackgrealish/

But this was a different audience. One that knew Grealish as a pop culture figure and fashion icon, not a classy midfielder who can pick apart a defence with a pass.

Dressed in a Balenciaga t-shirt, Gucci shorts, and bucket hat, he looked dashing and every inch the desirable footballer that’s the admiration of female fans.

In that moment, it was clear the £100million signing had transcended the world of football – perhaps helped by universal praise received from starring with England in the Euros.

The current poster boy of the game, Grealish is on his way to becoming the next David Beckham, who embraced bold choices and became a model for fashion houses like Armani.

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Jack, himself, has reportedly landed a major sponsorship deal with Gucci – less than a year after boohooMAN gave him a six-figure sum for a clothing collaboration.

There’s even an Instagram fan page that’s dedicated to identify what outfits he wears.

Style council

Hector Bellerin said it best when he described the current crop of footballers who dress to impress.

He told Esquire: “This new generation have grown up fully in social media where aesthetic is important, so for them dressing cool and expressing themselves in that way is important.

“I feel they’re realising that they are allowed to do that, and just because they’re doing that doesn’t mean that they’re less of a footballer or more of something. it’s just the way they are.”

Of course, footballers of the 1970s like George Best, Pele and the late Frank Worthington were in touch with modern trends.

But today’s stars, on the whole, are conscious of what happens next, when a football career is over.

David Beckham secured his future when he hung up his boots by embracing his good looks and combining that with modelling for the likes of Armani, H&M, Kent & Curwen and others.

Through his savvy business choices and mega profile he still makes around £15million annually.

And that’s the way Grealish is thinking. Like Beckham, he has shown he is not afraid to experiment with his clobber.

Remember, Beckham famously brought sarongs back when he was off duty at France 98.

Last year, on a night out with Love Island star Ellie Brown, Grealish was spotted in a pair of peach-hued trousers as they headed to Chinawhite nightclub in Manchester, drawing ridicule from some on social media.

However, it was that openness that encouraged Gucci to make him their next ambassador – the first footballer to receive such an honour – following in the footsteps of Harry Styles and Hollywood star Jared Leto.

He is said to being paid a seven-figure sum for the privilege.

Grealish models some of his former boohooMAN range

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Grealish models some of his former boohooMAN rangeCredit: Tim Stewart
Beckham modelled for Emporio Armani

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Beckham modelled for Emporio ArmaniCredit: Handout
A love of Gucci has seen the fashion brand approach Grealish to front the Italian brand

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A love of Gucci has seen the fashion brand approach Grealish to front the Italian brandCredit: Cavendish
Grealish seen out and about in Manchester

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Grealish seen out and about in ManchesterCredit: Splash

Before that, it was boohooMAN who threw a reported £250,000 at the former Aston Villa man to collaborate on designs for hoodies, t-shirts, oversized jumpers and more Grealish-like garments.

Certainly, Grealish is the most talked about footballer when it comes to fashion since Beckham.

Who he associates with

Music plays a big part in the transformation of football god to pop culture phenomenon.

Beckham dated and then married Spice Girl Victoria Adams, and was a big fan of the Manchester music scene – admitting his love for the Stone Roses dominated his youth days at Manchester United.

He was even said to have helped the band reunite for live shows and was a regular at Oasis gigs through the 1990s.

Whereas indie was the dominant music force in that era, today it’s British rappers that rule the airwaves.

Grealish has fans in the genre and is name-checked by UK rap stars, including Stormzy who once sang the line, “Slide in the middle like Grealish” for the remix of his hit Sore.

Grealish was spotted at the Leeds festival last summer with friends

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Grealish was spotted at the Leeds festival last summer with friendsCredit: SWNS
Stormzy and Grealish pose backstage in the VIP area

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Stormzy and Grealish pose backstage in the VIP areaCredit: Instagram.jackgrealish

So it was fitting that the Brit Award winner would welcome Grealish on stage fleetingly during his headlining set at the Leeds festival, and the pair would embrace.

Back in 2020, he also revealed his game day playlist, featuring tunes from Akon, Justin Bieber, Stormzy and fellow Birmingham boy Mist in an interview on Match of the Day.

‘Beautiful hair’

Ever-changing haircuts made Beckham front-page news, from growing his mane long long to getting highlights, then shaving it off and even trying out a mohawk.

There was a point in time where he donned an Alice band to hold it all in place.

Grealish, too, adopted an Alice band for his hairdo, that’s now copied by kids in school playgrounds across the land.

Back in February, he did try out a new haircut – visiting footballers’ favourite A Star Barbers for a trim, which went viral.

After lockdown in 2020, he even wore his locks in plaits in training. Again, that made the news.

Beckham wore an Alice band once upon a time

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Beckham wore an Alice band once upon a timeCredit: Getty – Contributor
Grealish's hairstyles have become the envy of men around the country

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Grealish’s hairstyles have become the envy of men around the countryCredit: Getty
When Grealish cut his hair back in February, images went viral online

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When Grealish cut his hair back in February, images went viral onlineCredit: Instagram @astarbarbers

During the Euros, Grealish was interviewed by Josh Denzel in the ‘Lions’ Den’ for the England team’s social media channels about his extensive hair routine.

Shampoo and conditioner, check, apply Moroccan oil, check, wax, and then hold with hairspray.

Like Beckham, Grealish wears No7 for the Three Lions.

Don’t be surprised if the boy from Solihull, outshines his number-sake in years to come as football’s leading fashion star.

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