We live in an age where luxury and sportswear are a common pairing in fashion. In fact, the two markets have morphed into one phenomenal trend. Big sportswear brands have elevated themselves to accommodate for luxe sports looks, and now, high fashion houses are designing their collections with practicality and comfort at its heart. As recently as 10 years ago this wasnt the case.
However, there was one brand who went against the grain of what was considered fashion: Cruyff
. Cruyff stands as an original template for sleek yet comfortable off-duty sportswear.
The then called, Cruyff Sports Brands, was founded in 1979 by the legendary football player Johan Cruyff. As well as being a renowned icon on the pitch, Cruyff was an icon in the fashion world. To this day, he is still referred to as the “Original Dandy”. In comparison to other particularly scruffy football players, he wore unusually smart and slim fit clothing in his spare time, gaining the attention of men and women worldwide. His unrivalled desirability had a knock-on effect on football, with more heads turning to the sport just to see him.
Cruyff’s fascination with clothing urged him to play around with design in 1974. Creating his own shirt, he showed he had a natural flair for design as well as styling his own looks. Just 2 years later, Cruyff founded his namesake brand. He reached out to his friend Emidio Lazzarini who was a shoe maker at the time, and together they began creating clothing and sneakers which would breathe “luxury football fashion”. With Cruyff already having a firm fashion fanbase, the brand was about to see great success.
During the inception of Cruyff Sports, there was an emergence of the football subculture called Casual Culture, or better known, Terrace culture. Adidas, Sergio Tacchini and Fila made up the wardrobes of these football fanatics. But, Cruyff Sports’ tailored luxe wear didn’t necessarily fit to the image that this subculture wanted to portray. While it may have missed out on a huge slew of fans, it swerved the hooliganism connotations that was later attached to the subculture.
Instead, Cruyff Sports spoke to a more mature audience, in particular those who admired his slim fit Italian luxury style. The brand prides itself on incorporating avant-garde materials and techniques on their clothing and sneakers which enhances its premium edge. But all in all, it has always fed wearers with confidence. In the words of Johan Cruyff himself, “Life is all about working on becoming the best possible version of yourself”- and this has formed the mission statement in which Cruyff Classics follows.
Today, Cruyff can be identified from either of its 2 logos: an outlined lion or a hexagonal football shape, showing its heritage and strong connections to football and their founder, Johan Cruyff. The brand still abides by the smart, tailored aesthetic that Johan Cruyff aimed to produce in his clothing, and footwear stays minimal with sleek designs and silhouettes.