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Kate Hiscox: Football, fashion and how Brentford epitomises the evolution

Kate Hiscox: Football, fashion and how Brentford epitomises the evolution
Kate Hiscox: Football, fashion and how Brentford epitomises the evolution

Welcome to the era where football meets fashion - and players are the trendsetters.

Footballers are, now, often the innovators, using social media to showcase their sartorial flair, with this stylish shift breaking stereotypes and redefining masculinity.

And it’s something that Brentford fan and fashion writer Kate Hiscox insists is a welcome addition to the sport, with Bees players embracing the movement, too.

“The relationship between football and fashion has always been there because footballers have always wanted to be fashionable,” she said.

“They seem to experiment more now. Sports like the NFL and NBA have matchday attire that isn’t sports-related and that’s really grown as well.

“It’s also now not as frowned upon as perhaps it once was, in terms of men just wanting to look good.

“Just because you play football doesn’t mean you have to always be in a tracksuit, you can take an interest in fashion and be interested in what you look like - it’s become more acceptable.”

Bees supporters and, indeed, sports fans in general will have become accustomed to their social media feeds being awash with the latest fashion trends, more often than not being carried by the stars of their team.

“[Social media] has been one of the biggest reasons the relationship between the two has grown,” Hiscox continues.

“There are plenty of accounts that focus on what players are wearing.

“Clubs are catching on now too - teams like Venezia stand out from a few years ago, in terms of being a team that captured the attention of a wide audience through football and fashion.

“I’d never heard of that team, but suddenly everyone seemed to want one of their shirts and people were keen to buy them because it’s cool - it's a great way to get your club’s name on the map.

“Sometimes it takes just that one thing to grab people’s attention in terms of a shirt or item. Not everyone will like it, but it can be a catalyst.”

“Just because you play football doesn’t mean you have to always be in a tracksuit, you can take an interest in fashion and be interested in what you look like - it’s become more acceptable'

Hiscox was speaking from Brentford restaurant Sam’s Waterside, having also given us her time in The Black Dog earlier that day.

The former is one of several newly founded local businesses that have become commonplace and familiar amongst an ever-growing and expanding TW8.

“It’s not an area that’s too well-known for its fashion content in the past, to be honest,” she continued.

“I think it’s massively changing though; I have lived round here for 20 years and in the last five it’s transformed.

“It’s in the process of putting in things like new restaurants, a cinema, a gym, all the things that help a local area and things you’d want as a young person.

“It’s giving people a reason to come to the area, which is brilliant.”

Promotion to the Premier League in the summer of May 2021 for the first time in the football club’s history cemented the town on the global stage.

Hiscox believes there’s an uncanny symmetry between that thrusting into the football limelight and the positive development of the local area and community - but not to the detriment of the area’s roots.

“There’s no denying that, the club being in the Premier League has put the area on the map, it’s brilliant really,” she stated.

“If you’re a town with a club in one of the biggest leagues in world sport then people will come here, and it really feels like the area is also giving them a reason to come back as well.

“Having the brand-new stadium leads into Brentford as a town as well and there’s no doubt you can see a difference. Tradition is important too though, and the two combine well around here.

“The stadium move and the new developments in the area have gone hand-in-hand; it’s a brand-new area and I always thought it would be the best area to have these sorts of places for people to come to.

“The area has both traditional pubs and new places, which is brilliant and giving people a choice now and a wider selection for the area is exciting.

“Somewhere like Sam’s Waterside is somewhere you’d see in central London: it brings new people into the area as well as giving those who already live here somewhere nice to go.

“It’s an exciting time for the area.”