Sportswear, new fashion icons

Fashion loves public figures. From soccer players to NBA players to K-POP artists who are becoming more and more popular with luxury, the situation is clear. And if there are many muses that brands have been especially fond of in recent years, it’s the sports ones.

Charismatic, inspiring and driven. It is their own magnetic “je ne sais quoi” that makes them fashion icons. While the start Olympic Games in Tokyo has already been given, focus on these new fashion icons.

Serena Williams, Megan Rapinoe… unexpected fashion icons

They are no longer represented in their respective areas. But elsewhere, female athletes have suffered greatly, landing where they were not expected: in the narrowest circle of fashion.

His new icons are called Serena Williams, Simone Biles or even Megan Rapinoe. And if we never predicted their future in the industry, it was precisely because she never saw them as compliant. Because fashion loves silhouettes of slender women and slightly athletic bodies, but what about athletes? It’s not.

Protruding muscles, underdeveloped breasts, toned calves… In a word, the characteristics that many athletes possess do not fit into the usual female codes. Which is why their bodies have never made the cover of major fashion magazines… At least until 2018, when Serena Williams appeared in a bikini on the front page of fashion magazines. Harper’s Bazaar United Kingdom.

Then the way is open, and many of her sisters will be entitled to the cover of a women’s magazine. Like football player Megan Rapino, who appeared topless under a blazer on the front page american glamor.

Athletes have made a difference. Every day, as before the eyes of cameras, they demonstrate a new facet of femininity, which has not previously been confirmed by either fashion or society as a whole.

Athletes, new pop culture icons

It’s not just magazine covers or endorsements. Like actors and singers, fashion is finally opening its doors to female athletes who are now ambassadors and sometimes even co-creators of exclusive collections.

And if fashion attracts them, it is not (only) because of the amount of trophies they accumulate. First of all, brands are looking for models for inspiration. Ordinary women with whom we can identify ourselves, admiring their extraordinary aura.

In 2016, toy maker Mattel puts one in the spotlight. This athlete? This is former soccer player Abby Wambach. Barbie doll in her image, of course, glorifies women’s football, but also the courage of the striker. Because Abby Wambach spoke repeatedly to discuss his homosexuality and the difficulties he faced, including rejection of his own mother.

Megan Rapino, Lor Manaudu, Eileen Gu,… What they represent in the eyes of society elevates them to the rank of icons. Thanks to them, our idea of ​​femininity tends to evolve, as evidenced by the case of Caster Semenya, a South African athlete convicted of hyperandrogenismand consider that femininity is plural.

But these champions across all disciplines didn’t wait for brands to christen them to make a name for themselves in the fashion world. Proof with 7 athletes who use fashion as a means to achieve results.


Florence Griffith-Joyner, pioneer

Without it, this style would certainly have no place on tennis courts and race tracks.

In the 80s Florence Griffith-Joyner phenomenon to follow. In 1988, she broke the 100m record in 10.46, leaving onlookers stunned and filled with speculation. Also, to admire its view, the crowds move to the stands.

Because, “Flo Joe“always tucked in: gold bangles, brush, perfect lipstick. She is also the first runner to wear a body-hugging jumpsuit from head to toe. In addition, the sprinter shows off long acrylic nails. An aesthetic luxury that many consider “ghetto” because it happens from black American culture. And if this manicure is still stereotyped, then even more so at that time. Many are surprised how an American manages to master his races with such “attributes”.

If Florence Griffith-Joyner tragically died at the age of 38, she paved the way for several generations of athletes who combined performance and style. It’s safe to say that Sha’Karri Richardson is his worthy successor. The 21-year-old American runner is already impressive with her bright hair and the same neat manicure as Griffith-Joyner.


Serena Williams, fashion queen on the courts

She is the greatest tennis player in history. From her first tournaments, Serena Williams has been admired for her quality of play and her very assertive style of dress. His clay court images are more iconic than each other, though some have generated controversy. And outside the tennis courts, her looks are watched (and criticized).

Like tonight at the MET Gala 2019. Serena Williams draws ire as she walks down the red carpet dressed in dress Workshop Versace. An object fashion crime : it is his Nike x Off-White sneakers neon yellow color. When not pairing a dress and sneakers is frowned upon, her detractors attack her for her choice of dresses that are deemed too tight for her supposedly too masculine musculature.

But nothing to tarnish her fashion credentials, as it was with Virgil Abloh’s label OFF-WHITE that Williams signed an exclusive collaboration in 2018. name just one.


Megan Rapinoe, golden muse

He is one of the favorite brand athletes. American Megan Rapino, World Cup Champion, became the face of the LOEWE House in 2019. Logically, because Rapino creates a sensation, grabbing everything in its path.

The World Cup, the Ballon d’Or – the highest individual award in the world of football – and the hearts of Internet users. Why ? For her frankness and activism, in particular for the cause of LGBTQIA + and equal pay for professional athletes.

A great leader in every field, Megan Rapinoe has been selected as the new Victoria’s Secret Ambassador in June 2021. The star of the round ball can no longer count the covers of fashion magazines. However, we keep the one she shares with her partner, basketball player Sue Bird, on the front page of the magazine. Tastefully, tastefully, stylishly. The sporty couple wears two Gucci looks.


Simone Biles, “GOAT”

Vogue, Glamour, Teen Vogue. gymnast Simone Biles also has a good track record of major magazine covers. Moreover, at the age of 24, the American demonstrates that the athletic physique “fashionable”. Her method is to expose muscular shoulders and legs with short, sleeveless evening gowns. On the red carpetit is always a success.

Another fashion statement: her swimwear. In June 2021, Simone Biles arrives at the U.S. National Gymnastics Championships in an eloquent outfit. In question: A drawing of a goat, all in rhinestones, on the back of her bathing suit. And if the goat says to itself goat in English, this is an abbreviation of the term, which must be taken into account here. Greatest of All Time (GOAT) : The best of all time.

If she first wore a totem animal on one of her costumes long before that date, then this time “the idea was to answer the haters,” the American gymnast claims. Here is the stylistic selfishness, as we love it in the sports field. But in this particular case, can we really talk about ego when we are the most decorated gymnast in history?


Ibtihaj Muhammad, modest fashionista

The general public opened it during the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. The fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad won the team bronze there, and at the same time the attention of the whole world. Indeed, she is the first hijab-wearing American to be crowned during the Games.

In everyday life Ibtihaj Muhammad demonstrates his love for fashion, more specifically modest fashion. In other words, a section dedicated to Muslim, Christian, Jewish and non-Muslim women that combines style and modesty. Then in 2014, she launched her own modest fashion house called Louella.

But modest fashion is above all a sector that regularly finds itself at the center of controversy provoked by the extreme right. In 2017, Nike launches the Pro Hijab, a sports hijab for Muslim female athletes.

Consequences ? A surge in calls for a boycott. The year before, Lawrence Rossignol, Minister for Family, Children and Women, had already rioted about “Islamic fashion”: “We cannot admit that it is banal, that it is harmless that big brands are investing in this market. It’s irresponsible for some of these brands.”

One thing’s for sure: it’s hard to navigate the all too little inclusive realm of fashion when you’re a Muslim and a veiled woman, as evidenced by the departure from the catwalks of Halima Aden, the first-ever veiled model.

However, a few months after the Rio Games, Mattel introduced first veiled barbie in history, with likeness of Ibtihaj Muhammad. This doll is part of Mattel’s Shero Collection, a tribute to inspiring women. Evidence that the veiled swordsman is considered a model of representation.


Abby Wambach androgynous

American football player Abby Wambach made an impression with her androgynous look. Short shaved hair to the side, stud earrings and crew neck T-shirts. She also collaborated with an American brand to create a collection of cotton T-shirts. wild fang. in trick attacker’s signature mode? Blazers.

This unique style is reproduced on Barbie than Mattel dedicated to her, and the football player praised the fact that this doll violates the standards of beauty. “I myself played with a Barbie that didn’t look like me, and seeing this doll today is proof that things are changing. We’re not all born equal, and if your Barbie doesn’t look like what you feel: here’s another option.”

Throughout his career, Abby Wambach has landed on the front pages of several magazines, the most significant of which remains the one where she posed nude for ESPN in 2012.


Naomi Osaka, Louis Vuitton champion

Another athlete who conquered fashion: Naomi Osaka. If since 2019 the tennis player has been sponsored by Nike, then in 2021 she will become the ambassador of Louis Vuitton.

Not a surprising choice, since the Japanese of Haitian origin is an important member of the new generation. She stands out for her commitment, especially against racial injustice.

In May 2020, Naomi Osaka broke a taboo on the mental health of top athletes by reporting her concerns.

In January 2021, back at Louis Vuitton, Nicolas Ghesquière, world No. 2, posed for the first time on the cover of the magazine. American Vogue.