Sweden’s larger-than-life soccer superstar, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, has announced his very own sportswear brand, A-Z. The first ever A-Z collection was unveiled with the intention of giving everybody the opportunity to play sports.
The brand’s collection was released in Paris on June 7th, 2016, accompanied with a choreographed show and press conference. The launch was live streamed, with millions of fans tuning in all over the world, through Facebook. The event was attended by over 300 guests from around the world, including press, buyers and Ibrahimovic’s family and friends.
The soccer star has joined forces with Petter Varner, head of the Norwegian clothing giant, Varner Group, to produce a range of sports-inspired shirts, shorts, jackets and underwear. “Only one thing can take you from A-Z”; the brands mission statement focuses on the idea of sweat and hard work being the driving force in achieving your goals.
The move follows the releases of fragrances for both men and women, from the player, and the launch of an energy drink brand, Zlatan. It was also announced this week that Ibrahimovic will be the new face of Volvo’s V90 campaign.
If history has taught us anything, the industry has become overwhelmed with celebrity collaborations and endorsements, in an effort to capitalise on the individual’s popularity. With this, comes the exclamation that “our collection isn’t just another celebrity collaboration”. Ibrahimovic states that “History is full of random partnerships that have enriched our world,” and that his goal is to make A-Z one of those globe-inspiring partnerships.
The recent athleisure trend has redefined fashion and athletic collaboration, changing the way we see sportswear within the industry. Clare Varga, an executive for the trend-forecasting company WSGN tells Racked that, “The lines between fashion and sports are completely blurred. Consumers are demanding transitional sports products that deliver style and function.”
Ned Munroe, global chief design officer of Champion, claims that “No one wants a basic pullover hoodie any longer. It’s gotta feel special.” Through brand – sports star collaborations, consumers are given more than just a basic t-shirt. They are given an opportunity to join an exclusive portion of the sportswear market.
“All you need is one T-shirt. One pair of shorts. One pair of shoes. You don’t need a hi-tech t-shirt to get picked for the national team.”
Despite not being able to help Paris Saint Germain win the Champions League, the Swedish captain said it was the right moment to call time on his career in the French capital. Ibrahimovic has stated that his “future is A-Z” and we believe him. The sportswear collaboration represents an optimistic step forward in celebrity collaboration, with an emphasis on consumer satisfaction and inspiration, rather than personal gain and self-indulgence.