Chelsea's latest signing should see the club's stock soar, at least sartorially. The English champions have struck a deal with the Italian label Dolce & Gabbana to design official club suits and off-duty outfits for the players, along with suits for the coach and his staff. They have also redesigned an opulent space inside the stadium, calling it the "Dolce & Gabbana lounge".
But it is by no means the first time that the Italian label has worked with the football world. Designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana created the suits for the Italian national team at the last two World Cups and they also outfit the AC Milan team, but this is the first time they have designed clothes for a British club. It's not only the label's history of working with sportsmen that makes this new partnership seem like a natural fit, however. Dolce & Gabbana's aesthetic is an unashamedly masculine one.
Their clothes are for men who know they've got it and want to flaunt it – in other words, footballers.
For the man who has spent hours honing a buff physique, a deftly-tailored Dolce & Gabbana suit is just the job. And while Marks and Spencer might have chosen a shiny shade of grey with estate agent undertones for England at the last World Cup, Dolce & Gabbana have opted for a suave dark blue. Perhaps the most surprising detail of the player's official suit, however, is the dark shirt, which adds a much more rakish – some might say playboy – air than a classic white or pale blue version. Perhaps the designers decided to play on footballers' reputations for bad behaviour, rather than simply gloss over it.
Dolce & Gabbana said: "We are big football fans. For us it means healthy competition, intense passion and great discipline. Football players are style icons both on and off the pitch."
Alongside a few sartorial triumphs, however, footballers have also given us some of fashion's greatest faux pas, such as Chris Waddle's mullet, David Beckham matching outfits with his wife and Cristiano Ronaldo's denim hotpants. This could explain why there is also a "free time" look of a dark blue shirt, jeans and calfskin trainers.
Of course, by offering a ready-made, off-duty outfit the designers will minimise the chances of players styling themselves.