On a frosty morning in January, Esquire rolled up to watch adidas shoot the promo campaign for Arsenal’s new 20/21 home kit. We were ostensibly there to throw some style questions at the squad and escape with as many Gram-worthy photos as possible (three), but we were pretty keen to experience an empty, echoey Emirates Stadium too. The lesson is: be careful what you wish for.
Oh well. Without further ado or any form of social distancing, here is the result: the Arsenal squad opening up about the best dressed players and managers in the world, their favourite brands and greatest style regrets.
Who’s the most stylish Arsenal player?
Tierney: There are a few who are brave, and I like that. Auba and Hector are probably the most out there. Not for me, but I’d say they’d vote themselves the most stylish. Hector’s tried to take me under his wing a few times, but I stick to what I know. Plain and simple. The London style and lifestyle is totally different to what I knew in Glasgow, so it was kind of a culture shock for me. But it’s good to be different.
Martinelli: Auba. He has quite a crazy style, but it’s good.
Bellerin: Granit likes his suits. Laca’s got good style too.
Aubameyang: When someone comes in the changing room and we like what they’re wearing, we just sing.
Kolasinac: It depends what you like. Hector has a different style, Auba too. He wears Louis Vuitton, Gucci. I’m simple. I wear a lot of tracksuits. Easy. I wore them when I was a small boy, and it’s still the same.
Ozil: Hector’s style has changed the most over the years.
Bellerin: For bad, no?
Kolasinac: No, don’t say worse, but now it’s really oversized.
Ozil: Let’s say different.
Bellerin: I’ll take that as a compliment. I think the young guys like Joe [Willock] and Reiss [Nelson] are dressing really well and outside the box.
Pepe: Auba, Bellerin, Lacazette, and me.
Any style regrets?
Kolasinac: I tried everything, but I kept thinking ‘this is not your style, stay with the tracksuit’. Even if I have to wear a suit now from the bus to the stadium, I look to the mirror and say: ‘Sead, this is not you’. Even on my wedding night I was thinking, argh.
Martinelli: Superhero costumes.
The most stylish manager?
Pepe: In the world? Jurgen Klopp. He’s quite relaxed, I like that.
Bellerin: I used to like Mancini back in the day, with his scarf.
Ozil & Kolasinac: Pep Guardiola.
Lacazette: If you want to play this weekend…
Aubemayang: Class, clean, every day, wow!
Tierney: Mikel’s a stylish man, a cool man. A few years ago, I noticed that Di Canio was wearing a few Stone Island pieces that were good. Pep too.
Who spends the most time in front of the changing room mirror?
Kolasinac: Maybe Auba. After the shower, if he wants to do his hair he needs quite long. Mesut as well.
Ozil: Me?! No way, trust me.
Kolasinac: Fine, it’s Auba.
Auba: I take a long time.
Lacazette: I think the ugliest guys, they need more time, you know?
Aubameyang: Ha! The ugliest?! Of course.
If you went into management, how would you dress?
Tierney: I’d be tracksuit all-day. Even in the cup finals, get a tracksuit on. It’s all about comfort on the sidelines.
Pepe: Relaxed. I’m generally relaxed.
Bellerin: It depends on the game…
Kolasinac: You’d wear a suit.
Bellerin: Usually, yeah. But for a cup game? Easy, tracksuit.
Luiz: I’d put a suit on and cut my hair.
Lacazette: You’d cut your hair?!
Luiz: I can’t be a coach with this hair, nobody’s going to respect me!
Kolasinac: Tracksuit. I don’t think David would actually go through with that haircut. He can’t, it’s David! I think he’d look better with his hair.
Bellerin: No way. He wouldn’t be David Luiz anymore. He’d be someone else.
Ozil: Tracksuit. Easier, more comfortable.
Bellerin: The Arsenal 424 [matchday suits] with Guillermo [Andrade, founder of the label] is a pretty sick collection, they’re doing it again for another year too. I’m already working on it. It was a big step for a club to do something like that with a streetwear partnership.
Ozil: I don’t like it [putting on suits].
Martinelli: Armani and Hugo Boss.
Bellerin: British fashion, over the past two years, has been having a great moment. With [Grace] Wales Bonner, Paria Farzaneh and Craig Green.
Luiz: For me, Luis Vuitton. I like what they’re doing at the moment.
Kolasinac: Palm Angels, Gucci, Dior.
Tierney: I like Stone Island, CP Company, old school classic stuff. Fila and Ellesse. That’s what I wore growing up. When I turned 16 and went full-time with Celtic and got my first wage, I remember buying adidas red Trimm Stars and a pair of yellow Malmos, and that was my first purchase with my own money. I’ve still got them.
Best dressed footballers ever?
Kolasinac: David Beckham. He started everything. Last season he was in the stadium and he dressed really well. I saw him once upstairs and got a picture, he’s a legend.
Bellerin: Beckham’s the obvious one. I think Ronaldinho was really cool as well, with his chains and stuff. When he was at Barca I thought he had a lot of sauce.
Martinelli: Neymar has a cool style. I met him at the Copa America. How does it feel to be complimented by Brazil players? I was really proud. Not just myself, but my family too.
Let’s talk soap bags. What’s inside yours?
Bellerin: Me and Mesut have the same one, and when we travel he always takes mine. I have to go to his room and get it back. For me, it’s perfume. Tobacco and vanilla, classic.
Luiz: A little dog.
Who controls the music?
Kolasinac: It was Eme [Emilio Martinez], but finally we changed because he’d only put on his own Spanish, Argentinian, Latino music. One, two songs, it’s fine. But if you hear before the game 45/50 minutes of the same music, I start to get tired. That’s why sometimes I ask Joe Willock, please put your music on.
Bellerin: Kieran’s been putting a lot on in the gym. Just Fleetwood Mac and stuff.
Who can bench press the most?
Kolasinac: Callum Chambers and Rob Holding aren’t bad.
The new adidas x Arsenal 2020/21 home jersey is available from www.adidas.co.uk/arsenal and adidas stores across the UK
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