The luxury Italian fashion house has announced its partnership with the Chinese Women’s National Football Team ahead of the sporting event kicking off on 20 July.
Top fashion house Prada has announced a new partnership with the Chinese Women’s National Football Team ahead of the upcoming World Cup.
The Italian luxury brand is among a number of high end designers venturing further into the world of sport. The industry’s style credentials are typically the preserve of mid-range houses but, just this week, Gucci teamed up with tennis pro Jannik Sinner, making Wimbledon’s greens something akin to a Milanese runway.
Prada will dress the 23-player squad and delegates in a quasi-uniform of black blazers and matching trousers, button-down shirts and loafers.
The brand hopes the looks will give off “a fresh and contemporary off-the-field image” while travelling and at formal events, according to a statement released by Prada.
The partnership was revealed as the Chinese team set off on a trip east, where they’re set to play in the FIFA Women’s World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand. The long-awaited tournament will kick off on 20 July, as interest in the women’s iteration of the sport grows ever larger.
China’s team is ranked 14th in the world. Nicknamed the ‘Steel Roses’, they’re coming off a high, having won the Asian Cup just last year. Their first match, against Denmark, will take place on 22 July.
Regardless of the outcome of their early games, the relationship with Prada will be ongoing. It’s expected the partnership with the team will stretch to September’s Asian Games and the 2024 Olympics, to be held in Paris - and beyond.
While some critics say being associated with China under the current political climate is a risky business, Prada are leading the pack in moving away from the fashion industry’s reliance on celebrity endorsements.
In a statement, they explained: “The China Women’s Football Team has forged a global reputation and is a source of inspiration for young female athletes, focusing public and institutional attention on a democratic and inclusive sport”.
Prada have previously dived into the sports world, announcing Chinese basketball player Shuyu Yang as its latest brand ambassador in May, who followed table tennis player Ma Long in the same role last year.
The Italian house isn’t the only exciting fashion partnership in the World Cup though. Jamaica’s team will play in kits designed by Grace Wales Bonner as part of her long-standing collaboration with Adidas.
The British talent has continuously celebrated her Jamaican heritage throughout her career and her designs have been hailed as the most stylish apparel we’re likely to see on the pitch.