Alou Diarra by Karl Lagerfeld

The Chanel Designer Shoots the France Captain in Nike’s New Football Jersey

Karl Lagerfeld, an accomplished photographer and football enthusiast, snapped French national captain Alou Diarra in his team’s just-introduced Nike away kit for the arresting portrait above. Nike’s design team embraced the French heritage of the traditional marinière stripe for the jersey, which is made from a sustainable fabric derived from recycled plastic. Further high-fashion connections: for The Away Project, Nike's collaboration with Colette, the concept store invited iconic brands to riff on the Breton-style uniform for limited-edition products, including a nautical-inspired Chanel handbag, an Yves Saint Laurent make-up palette and a Montblanc pen, each emblazoned with navy and white stripes. NOWNESS spoke with Diarra about his new threads.

What was your first impression of the new jersey?
I just loved it immediately. When I saw it I thought about sailors and about Jean Paul Gaultier.

How about the rest of the team?
We all love it. It’s very fitted and you can wear it in everyday life. After the France game against Croatia [in March], we all wanted to keep our jerseys, so we refused to exchange them with the Croatian players [a football tradition]. Philippe Mexès [the France international] told me that his teammates at AS Roma have asked him to bring some jerseys for them!

Do you feel more patriotic playing in something so inimitably French?
It’s surprising to see such a design on a jersey, but when you think about it, it’s very representative of our culture. We are the country of fashion and design.

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