Italian designers will dress Chelsea players

Milan - Italian designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have entered a three-year deal with English soccer club Chelsea to dress their players, muscling their way in the fashion-hungry soccer market.

The soccer-loving duo, best known for their sharp men's tailoring and southern Italian style, said on Tuesday they would design the official suits and new stadium areas for the Premier League champions over the next three seasons.

"We are big football fans, for us it means healthy competition, intense passion and great discipline," Dolce and Gabbana said in a statement.

The deal marks the first partnership with a foreign top soccer club for the two designers - whose suits already dress AC Milan players and Italy's national team. Dolce is an AC Milan fan and never misses their home matches at Milan's San Siro stadium.

Financial details of the partnership have not been disclosed.

Under the deal, the Premier League champions, including the Italian manager and former AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, will wear blue suits - the club's colour - with two-button jackets and blue jacquard ties.

Dolce and Gabbana - whose wholesale sales were of 1.379 billion euros in the fiscal year ended in March - will also design exclusive spaces at the Stamford Bridge stadium for guests attending matches.

For their worldwide appeal to fans, sculpted soccer stars have always been a safe bet for fashion brands such as Dolce and Gabbana, whose business interest in the game dates back to 2003.

The Italian designers also hired five Italian soccer players to strip down for their underwear campaigns ahead of the World Cup in South Africa in June. Italy was knocked out in the group stage. - Reuters


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