In a move that unites luxury fashion, football, and social advocacy, BALENCIAGA, the Spanish-born high fashion house, steps into the football arena for a cause greater than sport. The fashion icon made its debut on the jerseys of Stade Rennais during their match against Troyes, marking a novel foray into the sporting world and drawing attention to an urgent social issue – homophobia.
Stade Rennais’ Stand Against Homophobia
The 35th day of Ligue 1 bore witness to an inspiring mobilization campaign by the French Football League (LFP) in a bid to combat homophobia. Rising to the occasion, Stade Rennais, along with Montpellier, showcased a distinctive uniform for their match. This unique jersey served not merely as sportswear, but as a banner of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community, featuring a design inspired by the pride flag’s colors.
The twist in the tale? Luxury brand BALENCIAGA, a newcomer to the football sphere, appeared as the new jersey sponsor, aligning itself with this noble cause through a strategic communications move.
BALENCIAGA’s First Foray into Football
BALENCIAGA, revered as a beacon of luxury ready-to-wear fashion, has been a partner and outfitter of Stade Rennais since the previous September. Its appearance on the jersey for the match against Troyes marks the brand’s inaugural sponsorship of a football club.
The Stade Rennais players donned their new jerseys with pride at Roazhon Park, welcoming BALENCIAGA alongside the club’s traditional sponsors – Samsic, Del Arte, and Launay. The BALENCIAGA brand graced both the front and the back of the jerseys, its logo meticulously embedded in the heart of the design, and prominently displayed above the players’ names.
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A Timely Stand against Homophobia
The match, and BALENCIAGA’s debut, came just days before the world day against homophobia on May 17th. This presented an opportune moment for the Spanish fashion house to align itself with a cause of global significance, demonstrating its commitment to social issues beyond the realm of fashion.
An Association That Makes Sense
BALENCIAGA’s collaboration with Stade Rennais is far from a random occurrence. François-Henri Pinault, the owner of the club, is a minority shareholder of PUMA and the Kering group, which counts BALENCIAGA among its luxury brands. Thus, this association is not just a novel fusion of high fashion and football, but a meaningful alignment of Pinault’s various business interests for a common good.
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