Paris Saint-Germain has been expanding into the lifestyle segment since it fell under Qatari ownership in 2011, said Fabien Allègre, merchandising and brand diversification director at the club.
“The idea was to go beyond the pitch and, through the Parisian values that we try to represent in all humility, to try to reach people who are not necessarily fans of soccer, but who love Paris, again, for the values the city represents, whether it’s the fashion side or tradition, knowhow and aesthetics,” he told WWD.
For the first time, the club has designated a player — 23-year-old Brazilian defender Marquinhos — as the face of its clothing collaborations. That may have something to do with the fact that Brazilians represent the largest contingent among the club’s 30 million Facebook fans, according to Allègre.
PSG worked with Los Angeles-based footwear designer George Esquivel, whose handmade shoes have been worn by the likes of Madonna, Nicole Kidman and Emma Stone, on a navy boot priced at 950 euros, or $1,050, for the men’s version and 850 euros, or $950, for the women’s.
Only 10 pairs were made available, as a teaser for a fuller collection in the fall.
The soccer club also joined forces with French contemporary brand Iro on a gray women’s sweatshirt covered in hand-scrawled words and featuring a Paris Saint-Germain logo on the back. It can be read as the name of both the football club or the tony Left Bank neighborhood that is home to many fashion brands.
Laurent Bitton, cofounder of Iro, said the top, which costs 200 euros, or $225, was an opportunity for the brand to play with traditional women’s wear codes. “You are seeing a lot of luxury labels teaming up with sportswear brands. We wanted to take it a step further,” he said.
PSG has collaborated in the past with brands including Maison Labiche, which specializes in embroidered items, Levi’s and French clothing label Civissum. Colette’s relationship with Paris Saint-Germain stretches back to 2006, when it first sold one of the club’s shirts.