Check out why Vogue thinks that Héctor Bellerín Is Football’s Most Stylish Player

With his high-fashion looks and outspoken views, footballer Héctor Bellerín is breaking the modern sportsman mould, finds Ellie Pithers, in Vogue’s April 2019 issue.

ELLIE PITHERS

British football scandals are usually sparked by a grainy snap of a player snorting a suspicious substance in a soupy Mayfair nightclub or kissing someone who definitely isn’t his wife. But in December 2018, when a photograph of the Arsenal footballer Héctor Bellerín went viral, the furore centred on a pair of micro-sunglasses.
Also ,Hector gets a lot of insults and vitirol for wearing his hair long or putting on a moustache or living a *hipster* lifestyle.

“A lot of people didn’t get it,” the Spanish defender explains, smiling, when I ask about the image, taken when he was watching his team from the stands, excluded from the squad due to injury. In it, he is wearing a Burberry trench coat and scarf, hair pulled into a ponytail, Blyszak sunnies perched on the end of his nose. “I know a lot of people who support football teams don’t care about fashion. For them, it can be quite weird to see someone looking very different,” he reasons. “But I’ve learnt not to read the comments.”

Héctor Bellerín wears a full look by Prada, styled by Florence Arnold and photographed by Tom Hoops, for Vogue’s April 2019 issue.

Styled by TOM HOOPS

It’s a wise move. The 23-year-old’s Maison Margiela PVC trench coats, Prada bucket hats and double denim combinations are frequently met with an abusive response from fans. A fixture on the front row at A Cold Wall and Christopher Raeburn, he’s also regularly upbraided for “not focusing on his football”. His response? Train hard, play well and wear something even more cutting-edge. “I’m living my life the way I want to live it, and not the way people think I should,” he says.

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“I was taught that education is the most important thing,” Bellerín recalls. “You need a back-up plan.”


Styled by TOM HOOPS

If his clothing choices are unexpected, then so are his outspoken views on everything from climate change to education, delivered in a mellifluous Cockney-meets-Catalonia accent. The son of a pattern-cutter mother and a father who worked in insurance, he trained at Barcelona between the ages of eight and 16, when he came to London to play for Arsenal. He quickly broke into the first team – and, in keeping with football tradition, bought a Gucci belt and Louis Vuitton wash bag. “I went to Westfield, I was so excited!” he laughs. “Now, I’m more careful. I’ve learnt that money comes very quickly, but it leaves even quicker.”

Wearing Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton, styled by Florence Arnold, photographed by Tom Hoops for Vogue’s April 2019 issue.


Styled by TOM HOOPS

Bellerín’s first major purchase was a house for his parents in Spain. He bought a Mercedes, but traded it in for a more eco-friendly second-hand Tesla. In his spare time, he completed a marketing diploma, set up a marketing agency with his housemate and invested in property. “I was taught that education is the most important thing,” he recalls. “You need a back-up plan.” It’s a philosophy that will stand him in good stead as he recovers from a knee injury that sees him sidelined him for nine months.

Wearing Alexander McQueen, styled by Florence Arnold, photographed by Tom Hoops, for Vogue’s April 2019 issue.


Styled by TOM HOOPS

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Football is still Bellerín’s first love. If he loses a game, he can’t sleep. Yoga, meditation and a vegan diet are all coping mechanisms for the pressure. He spends weekends at art galleries and, although he has largely curbed his shopping habit, he didn’t hold back on a recent trip to Machine-A in Soho. “I got some very nice Raf Simons for Calvin Klein stuff,” he says sheepishly. “He’s a genius!” He’d love to work in fashion post-retirement, and is currently completing a university course in branding and styling. “The creative process excites me. As a kid I used to paint for, like, time. My mum bought me some painting things recently. It’s about what makes you happy.”


“I’ve learnt that money comes very quickly, but it leaves even quicker.”


Styled by TOM HOOPS

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