Celebrity brands: How to make a spectacle of yourself

David gets his kit off in Armani underwear but designer glasses are more Fabio's thing

The evidence is in. The jury has returned. Now, finally, can we put to bed all those arguments about the relative appeal of Italian versus British men?

As a nation, this country is famously talented at disparaging its own. We criticise our looks. We put down our food. The only thing we seem to think we're good at is football (despite all the evidence to the contrary). But the images in this week's papers said it all. The Italian man struggling to claim his place as a British national icon by signing up as the new manager of the England football team is famous for modelling posh designer specs. The homegrown talent... well!

You've got to hand it to Beckham (even if "it" is only a large towelling robe and some frosted windows): he knows how to add to the gaiety of a nation. In the darkest dog days of the year, with the country shivering, a housing crash looming and a recession forecast, who but Becks would jet home, get his kit off and raise a huge smile across the country?

Fabio Capello, on the other hand, is not quite such a hero in his homeland. Despite winning his domestic league with every team he has managed, fans of clubs he has left behind do not always remain friends. "When I go back [to Rome] I have to be very careful," he admitted last year. "I have a trusted dentist there, but when I go I have to alert the DIGOS [Italian special branch]. I can't walk the streets or go into a bar for a coffee." When your best friend is your dentist, you've got to worry. But Fabio, girls don't make passes at boys who model designer glasses. Have you thought of investing in some Armani knickers instead?

Beckham's latest advertising campaign for Giorgio Armani underwear has been criticised by some. But there's something even more intrinsically fake about adverts for eyewear. For a start, the only adverts in which people wear glasses are adverts for glasses. And then there are those red frames: which are even less discreet than Beckham's smalls.

The accompanying literature for the particular Zerorh+4 specs modelled by Capello says that they "combine refined aesthetics and structural strength" just like Beckham. He apparently wears them "not just for the advertising campaign, but also for his sports activities and in his private life". Presumably Beckham wears his pants in his private life, too. (But not his very private life we've heard.) They also promise "peak performance in all weather conditions". So, we hope, do Beckham's briefs. But Beckham's advert says so much more than Capello's ever can. Even Ruud Gullit, who played for Capello at AC Milan, denied that football under him would be "beautiful" or "sexy". It's not just the winning, guys.

But it is the differences between our local hero and the fancy newcomer that best highlight everything that is solid and down-to-earth about this country. Fabio collects art and fine wines; David collects tattoos. Fabio looked grumpy in a tutu; David looked fabulous in a sarong. Fabio is a fan of General Franco; David is more at home with the 1980s pop sensation Frankie goes to Hollywood.

In the coming weeks, Capello is bound to come under scrutiny for his tactics, his attitude, his spectacles, his haircut... But what most concerns football fans is his grasp of English, which is apparently shaky. Never fear, he can learn a lot from a man like Beckham, who has always made a few words go a long way.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
There will be a chance to bid for a rare example of the SAS Diary, collated by a former member of the regiment in the aftermath of World War II but only published – in a limited run of just 5,000 – in 2011
charity appealTime is running out to secure your favourite lot as our auction closes at 2pm today
News
people
News
Elton John and David Furnish exchange marriage vows
peopleSinger posts pictures of nuptials throughout the day
News
File: James Woods attends the 52nd New York Film Festival at Walter Reade Theater on September 27, 2014
peopleActor was tweeting in wake of NYPD police shooting
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Sport
Martin Skrtel heads in the dramatic equaliser
SPORTLiverpool vs Arsenal match report: Bandaged Martin Skrtel heads home in the 97th-minute
News
Billie Whitelaw was best known for her close collaboration with playwright Samuel Beckett, here performing in a Beckett Trilogy at The Riverside Studios, Hammersmith
people'Omen' star was best known for stage work with Samuel Beckett
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Wright has won The Apprentice 2014
tvThe Apprentice 2014 final
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Darrell Banks’s ‘Open The Door To Your Heart’
music
News
Detective Tam Bui works for the Toronto Police force
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

Ashdown Group: Analyst Programmer (Filemaker Pro/ SQL) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days, pension, private medical : Ashdown Group: A highly...

Ashdown Group: IT Support Analyst - Chessington

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...

Charter Selection: Graphic Designer, Guildford

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Charter Selection: This renowned and well establish...

Day In a Page

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

The 12 ways of Christmas

We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

The male exhibits strange behaviour

A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'