Cristiano Ronaldo has expensive taste.When the Real Madrid soccer player isn’t on the field, he likes to wear denim from Balmain, Givenchy and Dsquared2. But oftentimes, these brands don’t fit him off the rack. This dilemma was the starting point for CR7, his men’s denim brand that will be available in June.
“I don’t take myself too seriously, but I take what I do very seriously. So when I had the opportunity to launch my own denim line, I didn’t want it to be like any other line on the market,” Ronaldo said. “Inspired by what’s important to me, this collection is for more than just my fans. It’s for anyone who shares my values, who lives a limitless life and loves denim.”
It’s being produced and distributed by Uniti Fashion, a sourcing and manufacturing company founded in South Africa. The line is designed around the premise of comfort and high-fashion influences.
“We are doing more on a daily basis and we need clothes that can work for us,” said Henry Monsell, global marketing director for CR7. “With this line, we are showing Cristiano’s persona off the field and telling a story about his work ethic, discipline and loyalty.”
The men’s denim collection is made from three types of fabric that either include stretch or are washed down to allow full movement. The assortment includes a core, signature and fashion collection, and within these collections there are five fits: R is the modern straight fit with a taper; C is the slim straight fit; T sits low on the waist with a slight drop crotch; S is the classic skinny, and P is the painted-on jegging style. The collection, which also includes woven shirts and jackets, is priced from $69 to $179.
“Once you identify your type, you are able to easily pick it out of each collection,” said Chris Allison, the lead designer for the collection who added that they are targeting a customer age 18 to 26. “We wanted to make it easy for the consumer to shop from the entire assortment.”
Instead of bold logos, Allison has integrated subtle nods to R0naldo including tonal “7” stitching on the fly and branded rivets. Each piece has a signature “torque” pocket.
In the U.S., the collection will launch exclusively on CR7.com, but globally, the company has partnered with Zalora, Zalando, Myntra and Namshi for distribution. The goal is to expand retail distribution in the U.S. for the fall 2017 season.
Uniti Fashion opened its New York office in 2014, and according to Angela Curry, the firm’s executive vice president, tapping Ronaldo will help Uniti expand in the U.S.
“We’re really excited to be part of this new era for the CR7 brand as it looks to build its fashion offering on a global stage,” Curry said. “What we’ve been able to do with Cristiano is not only produce a premium denim range that talks to where the fashion world is heading, but also at an attainable price point for our various markets.”
Curry said the goal is to build CR7 into a full lifestyle brand. Ronaldo has footwear and underwear licenses, but they aren’t distributed in the U.S.