Professional footballers have a notoriously bad sense of fashion. For as long as I can remember it’s been a profession synonymous with diamond-encrusted sneakers, bad sunglasses, and dreadful haircuts – take early 2000s David Beckham, for example.
While things may have picked up more recently (mostly thanks to the easier accessibility of sought-after brands), a footballer’s ongoing ability to throw stacks of cash at a high-end store and come out looking like a 50p Dappy from N-Dubz or “The Situation” is, quite frankly, astounding.
I suppose it’s true that money really can’t buy you style. Who knew?
That being said, there are a small (tiny, in fact) handful of footballers who go against the grain, one of whom in particular is England and Chelsea striker Raheem Sterling, who has reunited with Clarks Originals for a second collaboration.
After designing a one-off limited-edition Wallabee with Clarks last year and being the face of a BAPE collaboration the month before, Sterling returns to try his hand at co-designing a complete footwear collection.
Paying homage to his birthplace of Kingston, Jamaica, ‘1692’ (the year Kingston was founded) can be found embossed on the heel of each shoe, with the country’s national motto “Out of Many – One People” found on the inside.
“In school I wanted to keep up with the kids wearing fresh kicks, so I was selling frozen slush after class to make money to buy my first pair of Wallabees,” explains Sterling on his love for the brand.
“Fast forward and now to be the first Jamaican with my own Clarks collection is an honor. When I heard I could build this line, I was buzzing. It’s a brand I’ve loved from a young age, so to have this opportunity is special.”
The Clarks Originals x Raheem Sterling collection – which is available online now for £120 – includes both Wallabees and Desert Trek silhouettes, two of the footballer's favorite styles.
Sterling's appreciation and eye for fashion in an industry tainted with others obsessed with gaudy designers is refreshing, to say the least. And if his first two releases with Clarks are anything to go by, there's plenty more goodness to come.