NEW YORK – The World Cup may have come to an end, but the fashions inspired by the sport are just kicking off.
Soccer team jerseys were snatched off sporting good shelves during the tournament by sleep-deprived fans. But the fanatical fashion has trickled down to the streets — and even to high fashion.
"Athletic wear is a big trend, it's functional but chic," said Nicole Fritton, Glamour magazine's senior fashion market editor. "Celine, the French fashion house designed by Michael Kors, launched a collection directly related to the World Cup including ready-to-wear and great accessories."
It's hard to picture a rowdy soccer fan toting an adorable bag, but these fashions are inspired by the sport and the players, not the painted faces packing stadiums.
Some of the items in the Celine 2002 collection are a round shoulder bag with shoelace detail, a leather cardholder case inspired by a referee's penalty card and leg warmers.
One of the reasons jerseys work as street wear now is because "some of the teams have gotten jerseys that are more body conscious, more form fitting," Fritton said. "They used to be cotton but now technology has made them sleeker, chicer."
Markus Ebner, a fashion and football fanatic, combined his two loves to create Sepp, a special edition magazine dedicated to the subjects.
"Tons of designers are just really crazy football fans," he said, referring to soccer. "The point of the magazine for me was to visualize that link and culture."
Ebner received requests for subscriptions and heaps of praise for his publication — sold in finer fashion boutiques around the world — and is planning another edition.
One feature in Sepp, "Nine Stylish Reasons to Become a Fan," illustrates the mixing of fashion and football. Eight different designers ranging from Donatella Versace to Paul Smith designed fashionable jerseys, each uniquely melding sport and style.
The fashion spread "Jersey Girls" features top fashion models wearing team jerseys with lacey skirts, bikinis, leather studded belts — and lots of skin.
"With jerseys becoming more available, people will gravitate towards the cool dynamic look of them, whether they are fans of soccer or not," said Bob Yeager, fashion editor at GQ. "You will see people wearing the fanciest, coolest pair of soccer sneakers with their clothes and they might have never played a sport before, just because they like the look."
The old-school look of soccer shoes makes them a hot choice for everyday wear, said Yeager. Gola, an old soccer brand, is bringing back some of their classic shoe styles and Adidas Sambas are very popular, Yeager said. "We shoot them for GQ all the time and celebrities love to wear them."
Another classic favorite, PUMA, launched a Shudoh Collection to reflect the World Cup, held in Japan and Korea. Shudoh is Japanese for "the way to become the master of soccer."
The line includes high-tech soccer playing shoes and gear, but also includes a sport lifestyle collection that uses similar stitch patters and the low profile of a soccer boot on casual footwear.
Worn on the feet, or elsewhere, soccer chic won't be dying out anytime soon, Yeager said.
"[When] the World Cup comes around, people run out and buy soccer shoes or a jersey as an immediate reaction because they're into it," he said. "Designers have also become inspired and will work on clothes that will be seen for spring summer season next year."