He may have made his name wearing a pair of knee length socks, a pair of shirts and a tight-shirt, but Cristiano Ronaldo is now using his off the pitch skills to style out football fans across the world.
Following in the fashion footsteps laid down by the likes of David Beckham, Ronaldo launched his own clothing brand, CR7, in 2013 and since that time he’s gradually increased his product line to include a range of men’s apparel.
Working alongside the likes of New York designer, Richard Chai, and the JBS Textile Group, Ronaldo now offers a range of casual and luxury items, including underwear, shirts, socks and shoes. In fact, with his off the pitch interests now taking him in a number of new directions, it’s likely the CR7 range will continue to grow in the coming years.
The Many Faces of Ronaldo
Indeed, alongside his sponsorship deal with a Japanese fitness equipment manufacturer, Ronaldo has deals with online poker operator PokerStars, mobile tech company Samsung and KFC. According to Bloomberg, Ronald has covered virtually every part of his body with sponsors; a move which has made him multi-million dollar empire.
In fact, while Ronaldo enjoys critical acclaim for his skills on the pitch, his interests away from it have certainly helped give him a varied set of skills. Although he may not yet be a poker expert, he’s now an ambassador for PokerStars and that means he’ll get to play alongside a slew of pro players and refine his skills. Moreover, Ronaldo’s work with TAG, Clear Shampoo and KFC has given him the ability to cross cultural boundaries and become all things to all men.
This sort of social diversity is something that’s not only helped Ronaldo become the most followed sportsman in the world, but a master at spotting trends and crafting his clothes to fit a number of demographics. While there’s no doubt his design team help out a lot when it comes to CR7’s overall look, it’s also apparent that Ronaldo’s varied interests help him to connect and, therefore, relate to a number of different markets.
The CR7 Range
At its core, CR7 is built on underwear. Thanks to Ronaldo’s athletic frame, the CR7 underwear range has boomed over the last two years. After starting out with a fairly modest collection of briefs and boxers, Ronaldo now has more than 50 products available for sale with prices ranging from €14 ($15) up to €30+ ($33).
Of course, to survive in the world of fashion, diversity is key and to ensure CR7 is able to cater to the dapper sportsperson, CR7 is now able to kit out men from head-to-toe. However, if the quality isn’t there then it doesn’t matter how many products a company offers, it will never succeed. So, with that in mind, how good is the CR7 brand?
Naturally, as with anything in fashion, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but on the whole Ronaldo’s products boast impressive quality. Although the marketing literature suggests that each item is “Ronaldo approved”, the facts are what really count. As mentioned, New York designer Richard Chai has drawn up many of the designs and Denmark’s JBS Textile Group has put them together.
Moreover, his latest fashion venture, shoes, use the highest quality materials. Products such as the Grunge Stitch Down Derby offer a suede cow upper, leather lining and detailed stitching and don’t break the bank at €69.99 ($77). At the top of the shoe spectrum, the €174.99 ($193) “Jazzy Dress Brogue Boots” offer a smart/casual mix that sits well with modern trends. Striking the right balance between formality and comfort, these shoes are perfect for a night out on the town sipping Cristal like a footballer.
More Than Shoes
Away from the shoes, Ronaldo’s range of shirts has a similar air of quality wafting over them. The bulk of the range is made up of classic slim fits offering solid colors and two-tone paneling, a style which fits well with Ronaldo’s personality and physique. In fact, that could be one of the main problems with the range. If you don’t look like Ronaldo, then the style may not suit.
Overall, however, the CR7 range looks both good on paper and on the backs of men across the world and it’s one of the reasons Ronaldo is as much of a trend follower as a trend setter. Having his finger in a number of different pies has allowed Ronaldo to spread his roots far beyond the football world and take inspiration from a range of different sources. This multi-faceted approach to his career certainly shows in his collection.
Is it likely Ronaldo will become the biggest name in fashion in the next ten years? Probably not. But in the world of sportsman-turned-fashionista, the Real Madrid star is certainly one of the most stylish and innovative.