Ever since basketball player Chuck Taylor signed that lucrative contract with Converse Rubber Shoe Company back in 1932, sports and apparel have had a long and successful relationship.
There are plenty of footballers, tennis players, basketball players, (etc. etc. — you get the picture) who have put out their very own clothing line throughout the years to various degrees of success.
A bit like sports competitions themselves, there are winners and losers when it comes to athletes’ clothing lines. Here are 10 of the very best that we think deserve a gold medal:
Cristiano Ronaldo & CR7
Cristiano shows a flair for the dramatic on the football pitch, whether it’s his Oscar-worthy dives or his perfectly plucked eyebrows (always on fleek!). His official clothing line site is filled with equally dramatic shots of him modelling his collection, which he designed with Richard Chai (a clothing designer based in New York). With 187K likes on Facebook alone, we’re betting he moves some serious product.
Jack Nicklaus Apparel
I hope I’m not the only one who had to look up who Jack Nicklaus was; and I hope I’m not the only one who, upon consulting Google Images, was shocked that he had a clothing line. Still, somebody out there must be buying all those popped-neck polo tees in obnoxious colours, because the guy’s got an extensive line of golf apparel for men and women. Sadly, I couldn’t find any chequered flared trousers for sale, despite the abundance of photographs of Mr. Nicklaus sporting them on the green.
LeBron James & Nike
LeBron has a full line with Nike that consists of men’s and women’s options, and also clothing plus accessories and shoes. It sounds like he’s a pretty busy man when he’s not scoring points for the Cavs! Fun fact: LeBron’s jersey is one of the most popular ones for basketball fans to buy.
Maria Sharapova & Nike
Another huge name in sport, another collaboration with Nike. Tennis legend Maria Sharapova has her line of branded clothing items at Nike, and she’s got a lot of stuff just for women, like sports bras and tennis skirts. Even after Sharapova tested positive for using a banned substance earlier this year, Nike is still standing by her as a sponsor.
Neymar & Nike
FC Barcelona football star Neymar is always a stylish man on the pitch, with so many dramatically changing hairstyles that I often don’t recognise him from one game to the next. He’s currently teamed up with Nike to create a line of branded gear, including “Hypervenom” cleats in an appropriate range of shockingly bright colours and tees to wear while you kick the ball about.
This tennis legend has made some of his fortune playing tennis, but much of it is due to his lucrative deals he’s gotten thanks to his sporting fame (Forbes puts the estimate at nearly ⅔ of his earnings as coming from deals like this). He’s got his own clothing line, and the “RF” logo is sure to be seen at any major tennis event. You can find it with stores like Nike, Tennis Warehouse, and Tennis Express.
Russell Westbrook & Barneys
Five-time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook also turns out to be rather good at fashion; the Oklahoma City Thunder player created a high-line clothing line for fancy department store Barneys. He also became their guest fashion director for the 2016 New York Fashion Week.
Stephen Curry & Express
Basketball player Stephen Curry is the brand ambassador for shops Express. The line of products in the section with his name on the website include lots of slim-fit pants, fitted button down tees and polished accessories, perfect for a smart-casual look for men of all ages. But he’s not a one-brand man. Stephen has also worked with Under Armour and Active Faith Sports.
Steve Nash & Indochino
Another basketball player, another fashionable clothing line. What is it with these guys? Maybe they’re tired of not being able to find clothing to fit their lanky frames. Anyway, Steve Nash has a line of very stylish suits with Indochina, all in classic colours with timeless fits. It’s no wonder that a lot of the styles are already sold out! Here’s another fun fact: back in the 90s, Steve actually used to be a suit model for the catalogue of American retailer Sears.
Tony Hawk & Kohl’s
Skateboarding is one sport that’s quite strongly intertwined with fashion and style, so it’s no surprise that one of the biggest skateboarders of all time has got his own clothing line. Tony Hawk has a line with Kohl’s department stores, including a children’s skate clothing line called Hawk Clothing. He also founded Birdhouse, a company that sells skateboard gear.
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