If designers' infatuation with David Beckham is any indication, it's fair to say that fashion loves football. No, not American football (bless you, Tom Brady). Soccer football.
While Nike and Adidas are busy duking it out for World Cup supremacy — signing the games' top players to edge past each other in the categories of balls, cleats and shirts — womenswear designers haven't missed the opportunity to market around the tournament. In the mass retail camp, Forever21 and Asos are selling country-themed tanks for $12.80 and packs of U.S.A.- and Brazil-stamped underwear, respectively. Also from Asos: A World Cup umbrella hat (?).
It's not only the fast fashion retailers that have churned out World Cup-themed products to capitalize on the event. Elizabeth & James — not a brand particularly associated with sportswear — has gotten in on the action, revamping its popular Bowery t-shirt for some of the countries competing in the games. With their multicolored stripes and contrasting prints, the shirts are chic enough to wear even when the World Cup isn't happening (we're looking at you, France, England and U.S.A.).
While a rep for the label says that the range is a way for fans to support their favorite teams, we can't help but wonder how many shoppers are going to snatch the shirts up with no intention to wear them out to their local sports bar. Probably a lot.
Yoox, too, is selling a capsule collection of sweatshirts designed by brands like Opening Ceremony, Ksubi and Duro Olowu for their home teams (in those cases, the States, Australia and Nigeria). It's a collaboration with the soccer/fashion magazine Sepp, and, according to an Yoox rep, the first time the e-commerce site has done marketing like this around the World Cup.
Perhaps the strangest entrant into the World Cup fashion fray is Karl Lagerfeld, who worked with the Brazilian footwear brand Melissa on pairs of plastic flats adorned with little silver and gold soccer balls. These ones are incredibly literal, though — so anyone less than a hardcore soccer fan, beware.
Click through for our World Cup picks, below.