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How fashion co-opted the football scarf

Designs by Henry Holland and Versace are gracing catwalks across Europe

Football scarves are making the move from Saturday afternoon fan favourite to this year’s must-have fashion accessory. At the recent autumn/winter 2018 collections, they were featured by some of the most influential brands in fashion.

In Milan, Donatella Versace showed three styles in bold primary hues depicting the family brand, while fellow Italian fashion house MSGM presented five bearing the name of drinks brands and Vodka bars located in the fashion capital.

In London, Henry Holland’s scarves were the talking point. The designer – famous for his statement T-shirts with slogans including ‘I’ll Show You Who’s Boss Kate Moss’ – sent out personalised scarves to influential guests in advance, inserting a cheeky expletive in place of a middle name. “There is a real feeling in the air of having to belong to something, support a cause or be part of a movement and I think the football scarf trend is a representation of this,” says Holland. In Paris, Karl Lagerfeld – the doyen of French fashion – was spotted wearing one backstage after his Chanel show.

The fashion search platform Lyst.com says it has seen global searches for the terms “football scarf” and “soccer scarf” increase by 13% in the last month, while womenswear-specific searches have risen 57% on the previous month.

And it’s not just catwalks that are jumping in on the trend – the most popular Lyst searches include a collaboration between the sportswear brand Reebok and Vetements, and a scarf designed by the TV presenter Alexa Chung for her eponymous label. The latter was made in a limited run of 50, and sold out.

The scarf’s newfound status is riding on the back of the trend for statement logos and genderless items, says Ida Peterson, buying director at Browns. The retailer was one of the first to test the water with an early style from the streetwear brand Y/Project which, she says, performed well. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the trend has emerged the same year we have a World Cup,” says Peterson, who also noted the recent rise in popularity of football shirts.

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