Fanatic Feelings – Fashion Plays Football

Impressions of the annual Pitti Immagine exhibition in Florence: this year has been all about soccer and style

Markus Ebner, founder and creative director of Achtung Mode and Sepp Football Fashion got the chance to curate this year’s Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery exhibition for the 94th Pitti Uomo Immagine. In collaboration with Francesco Bonami, one of Italy’s leading contemporary art critics and curators, both creative minds connected the dots of football and fashion.


Markus Ebner and Francesco Bonami talking about their Fanatic Feelings – Fashion Plays Football exhibition by Angelo Teardo


With its title: FANATIC FEELINGS – Fashion Plays Football, the exhibition accentuates the highly timely impact the world of sports, in this case football, has on fashion and vice versa. With the World Cup 2018 held in Russia, the collection also indispensable thematizes the influence of Eastern European aesthetics which currently dominate the fashion scene.

“Pitti Discovery has often investigated relationships that bind fashion and contemporary costume phenomena to sports – and soccer in particular that we have been thinking about for some time,” highlights Lapo Cianchi, Secretary General of the Foundation. “Now with the World Cup to be played in Russia – with the opening coinciding with Pitti Uomo, we have the right opportunity for developing a project that will be intellectually stimulating, popular and glamorous.”

A broad multimedia presentation showcases and guides the visitors through the history of football and men’s fashion – from soccer icons and fashion enthusiasts like Eric Cantona, George Best or Gigi Meroni, Street Style shooting stars with a great sense of humor, paired with coolness and chicness such as Franck Ribéry, front row attendees like Paul Pogba or ad campaign shooting stars, for instance David Beckham or Zinédine Zidane. Basically, Fanatic Feelings is documenting the fusion of male avant-garde and sportswear from the very beginning.

“Men’s fashion is going through crazy times where the worlds of tailoring, sports, active and street wear are one big melting pot. Football Fashion as an expression of style will be manifesting itself more and more. Why not wear your team’s jersey with a great suit? The show will give weight to this argument,” emphasizes Markus Ebner who has sensed this phenomenon since 2002.

No wonder that Ebner was chosen for this annual spectacle in Italy’s menswear metropolis. In the tenth issue of Sepp Football Fashion, the magazine collaborated for the third time with Milan’s luxury online shop YOOX. As it is a tradition for the German magazine, totally devoted to the spirit of both métiers, this exhibition features an extensive look into the rich Sepp Football Fashion archives from 2002 to 2018 as selected by Francesco Bonami featuring players such as Jérôme Boateng, Kaka, Mesut Özil or Edinson Cavani.

Fanatic Feelings will focus on the immediacy and the emotional element that fashion and football share,” continues Francesco Bonami, curator of the exhibition, “while the fashion runway compresses in a few linear moments the vision of a whole season, the football field stretches a different sense of time over an entire season.”

Moreover, the Florentine exhibition features a pop up store, the FANATIC FEELINGS MARKET, which offers unique franchise and styles that can be found here. Also, FANATIC BAR as installation is currently open for sports fans and visitors during the exhibition, featuring a sport bar style atmosphere, its walls hung with football club pennants and photos of famous footballers from the Sepp Football Fashion archive. For the opening of the exhibition, famous bartender Charles Schumann was mixing his one-of-a-kind cocktails in his trademark style that have turned him into the true icon that he is. Electronic sounds of DJ Hell, a successor of German techno beats and internationally known for his charismatic character, fused the sound of finales of fashion shows, sound bites of Karl Lagerfeld, with chants of fans and radio transmissions of games, in an exhilarating fashion adding his own electronic samples.

Fanatic Feelings is the third part of the three-year cooperation program between the Fondazione Pitti Immagine Discovery and the Museo della Moda e del Costume di Palazzo Pitti,” says Andrea Cavicchi, president of the CFMI and of the Fondazione Pitti Discovery. “We share the idea of a fashion museum that reaches throughout the city with Eike Schmidt, director of the Gallerie degli Uffizi, and this is why – in concert with the curators and thanks to the City of Florence – we chose a most fascinating venue other than Palazzo Pitti. Through the foundation’s projects we want to go beyond investing in the Museo della Moda’s traditional home and contribute to developing it into an international brand,” Cavicchi ends.


FANATIC FEELINGS – Fashion Plays Football will be running from the 13 June until 22 July 2018. The exhibition is still running two more days in Florence. Further information can be found on Pitti Immagine Uomo’s official website




Special backstage video of the Fanatic Feelings – Fashion Plays Football exhibition opening by Hugo Jozwicki