Over the last few decades, sports icons have risen to the status of international celebrities, through their unique personalities and as much as what they accomplish in their careers. These figures have increasingly become symbols of style, and in some cases ambassadors for luxury lifestyle brands.
Roger Federer, Maria Sharapova, Russell Westbrook…. These are some of the names that easily come to mind when one considers fashion on the world sports scene. Another name that has to be included in the conversation, though, is Cristiano Ronaldo, you remember our feature on fashion footwear for sports enthusiasts? The Portuguese football star who has established himself as one of his sport’s all-time greats – as well as a uniquely interesting athlete from a style standpoint.
On the sporting front, Ronaldo has not only had several significant international moments playing for Portugal, but has also starred in three of Europe’s biggest leagues: Manchester United in the Premier League, Real Madrid in La Liga, and now Juventus in Serie A. His stop with the Italian club could be the last of his prime, but even in Serie A he has been a force. He has continued to be a goal-scoring machine, and odds listings for the Champions League quarters just this spring included his team among the favorites. A Champions League win was not to be, but rest assured Ronaldo isn’t done yet. He’ll have his Italian club in Serie A and Champions League contention for a few years to come.
This isn’t just to recap a career many around the world are intimately familiar with, but rather to convey the scope of Ronaldo’s visibility and influence. Few players have ever had such a large impact on so many fan bases, and it is this, in addition to his skill and accomplishments, that has made Ronaldo an almost unusually larger-than-life celebrity, even for an international footballer. Ronaldo has also become a go-to fashion inspiration, modelling for multiple brands. However he got his luxury style breakthrough when he launched his own footwear brand – CR7.
Now, this might not be a particularly difficult thing for a world-famous athlete to do, as he has the resources and connections to launch just about any sort of brand. The surprise, however, was in the quality. CR7 Footwear isn’t just a vanity project or branded line of generic shoes and clothing. It’s actually an interesting, multi-faceted collection that, is somewhat remarkable.
When Ronaldo first launched CR7 Footwear back in 2015, The Standard referred to it as “a luxurious yet accessible footwear collection,” which is ultimately what a lot of us are looking for. Furthermore, it described the shoes as being hand crafted by experienced “footwear artisans” in Portugal, and reflecting Ronaldo’s much-publicized love of quality style and classic looks. This early review described Ronaldo as having been “very involved” in the creative process as he launched the brand, which he did alongside already-established Portugese Footwear.
The results, particularly a few years in, speak for themselves. On the casual end, CR7 Footwear has a variety of colors and styles of lace-up brogues, leather and suede derby shoes, as well as slip-ons. Among more formal options are gorgeously designed, classic options in leather and suede.
And for those looking for something even more relaxed, a number of creatively conceived slip-on espadrilles are available, and do a slightly more overt job of advertising the broader “CR7” brand. Lastly, the site also provides some accessories, such as bags, belts, and wallets.
It’s all, frankly, better than what you might expect of an athlete’s side project. This is a wonderful footwear and lifestyle line anyone with a taste for high-end style would do well to take a look at.