In the absence of fashion shows in the Northern Hemisphere this year, the style-obsessed men of the world have increasingly been turning to major sports leagues for their fashion fix, swapping Milan catwalks for pre-game outfit flexes.
European footballers have long been known for their opulent lifestyles and wild fashion choices – just take a look at Cristiano Ronaldo or Kylian Mbappé – but the focus is now turning towards African-American sports stars, like the NBA’s Lebron James and Russell Westbrook; or the NFL’s Cam Newton and Odell Beckham Jr.
The latest sportsman to make a sartorial splash also plays in the NFL: namely, Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The dapper 28-year-old turned up to the Cardinals’ game against the Seattle Seahawks last Thursday in a wild, patent leather-heavy outfit consisting of a Burberry coat, Cuban heeled boots and matching luggage, contrasted by a knitted beanie on top.
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Patent leather is a type of coated fine grain leather, notable for its highly glossy appearance. First invented in the late 18th century and popularised by American inventor Seth Boyden, patent leather was originally produced by treating leather with linseed oil and lampblack, but most modern patent leathers are made with synthetic resins and plastic. It’s commonly used to make dress shoes but is also a useful material to make coats out of thanks to its naturally water-resistant qualities.
Patent leather is a bold choice. It experienced a revival in the 60s and has been out of fashion for a while, although we’re starting to see it come back into vogue. Patent leather shoes have a somewhat insalubrious reputation – thanks to the high shine one can buff out of them, it used to be said that pervy men would wear them so that they could see up women’s skirts. Thankfully, we’ve got OnlyFans these days…
The Seahawks triumphed over Hopkin’s Cardinals last Thursday at Lumen Field, Seattle, winning 28-21. The Cardinals’ next game will be against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts on Sunday 29th (Monday 30th 5:00am AEDT).