As World Cup excitement hits fever pitch, both male and female football fans are finding fashionable ways of showing allegiance to the beautiful game. Traditionally, women might have felt recourse to don the England strip in order to be seen as a true fan, as ‘one of the lads,’ and often ran the risk of being objectified within a ‘hottest female fans list.’
In recent years there’s been a shift in football culture as more and more women become not only fans but active participants on the fields, too. Interest in women’s football continues to grow with each iteration of the UEFA Women's World Championship and greater media coverage on the leading players.
In the UK, players like Toni Duggan, Eniola Aluko and Alex Scott have inspired a generation of young women to take a greater interest in football, a space historically dominated by men.
The recent furore over Patrice Evra’s patronising applause for Aluko’s punditry and Jason Cundy’s criticism of Vicki Sparks, who became the first woman to commentate live during a World Cup match in the UK, have forced many to rethink the outdated notion that women don’t have a place in the football studios, pitches or, in fact, in the stadiums.
Data from Lyst reveals that the rising tide of female interest in the beautiful game has even intersected fashion.
Lyst has seen fashion searches featuring the words ‘football’ and ‘soccer’ rise 107% month on month and 340% year on year respectively, which is perhaps unsurprising in a World Cup year.
More interestingly, women’s football inspired searches have seen significant growth. Searches which include the words ‘football’ and ‘soccer’ are up 210% month on month from May to June 2018, and a massive 520% year on year from 2017 - nearly double the increase of all searches.
Women aren't just searching for practical pieces they can play in; this year we've seen some more playful styles come through. We’ve seen a bit of a retro revival at Lyst with vintage inspired styles receiving the most views. Some of the most wanted football inspired items include this vintage style USSR 1991 mesh dress and a similar Germany 1990 piece from sportswear brand Adidas.
Other female football fans are opting for a more contemporary twist on the modern football kit with this Koche Embellished Football Shirt and the Football Jersey Dress both gaining popularity during World Cup season:
Meanwhile on the catwalk, designers seem to have also been influenced by World Cup fever with Versace featuring this Stripe Logo Football Shirt in their latest best selling collection. As global searches for football scarves rose 13% since March, Versace showcased their logo heavy take on the classic football scarf during Milan Fashion Week.
Louis Vuitton also capitalised on the football frenzy through their official FIFA World Cup Collection of football embossed bags, an innovative reimagining of their classic Apollo and Keepall favourites.