While David Beckham’s docuseries was mostly about football, it also reminded us just how crucial the star was in shifting the fashion landscape for footballers. In the modern era, we’re used to our stars on the pitch treating the matchday tunnel like a runway, striking deals with luxury fashion labels, and having that word everyone is talking about right now: “aura”. One player with an undeniably similar magnetism is Manchester City and England star Phil Foden (who could forget his bleach-blonde Gazza look in the 2021 World Cup?), who’s taking notes from Becks and dipping his toes into the jewellery world.
The 23-year-old announced earlier this year he’d be partnering up with London-based brand Cernucci to co-design his own jewellery range, and now the Stockport native has just revealed his second collection. At the time we sat down with Foden, only 24 hours earlier he was playing in front of a packed-out Etihad Stadium, spraying crossfield balls with ease and pulling off flicks that most of us wouldn’t even dream of attempting. Still, he showed no signs of fatigue as his gleaming smile all but reflected off his blinged-out jewels.
The Cernucci line itself includes rings, bracelets, earrings and necklaces, arriving in a variety of vibrant tones, including blues, purples and greens, embodying the flair and confidence that Foden showed on the field the day before. One thing’s for sure, though, considering Foden has already won the treble at such a young age (an almost impossible feat in modern football), his range of jewellery acts as the perfect physical representation for his glistening future both on and off the pitch.
Here, we sit down with the sports star to talk about his collab with Cernucci, fashion inspirations, and the importance of showing his personality off the pitch…
So, this is your second range for Cernucci. Was jewellery always something you wanted to get into, or is that an interest that’s come about more recently?
Foden: I definitely wanted to get into it because obviously, being from where I’m from, you see people with a little bit of jewellery on, and everyone would be like, “Oh, what’s that?” Because, to be fair, I came from a bit of a poor place. If you ever had anything nice on, people would always ask about it. It was something I was always interested in, and being able to stand out. I think it suits my personality, you know, I’m quite chatty and talkative, so when Cernucci approached me, it was a no-brainer, really.
Of course. So it’s a bit like an extension of your personality in a way. Has Cernucci been a brand you’ve had an affinity for a while, even before the range?
Foden: Yeah, I saw James Maddison’s collection, which was the first time I got into it and thought, “Oh, I quite like some of that stuff.” And then I got to know Fred Buckley [CEO of Cernucci] as well, and I just liked all the people working with him. I really enjoyed the whole process of it.
What’s it been like stepping into this world outside of football and into jewellery?
Foden: Well, it’s nice to show your personality away from football. It’s important because people think they know you when you play football, but they don’t know what you get up to away from it. So, obviously, it was important to show them what I’m about and do interviews and to see how I come across – it’s good for the people to see that side of me.
What was your inspiration behind the range?
Foden: I like things that are quite out there, so there’s a lot of colours and icy pieces. This range that we’re bringing out now suits me the best, and some of it’s my ideas and what I like so I’m looking forward to it coming out.
And if you could describe the range in three words, what would it be?
Foden: Shining, icy and durable.
What are some of your personal favourite pieces from the collection?
Foden: This piece I’ve got on now, which is coming soon. This is my favourite piece because I like variety, it’s got a lot of different jewels on it, and I just like the idea of a lot of colours, so there’s a lot of blues as well.
And how would you go about styling the pieces? What kind of outfit would you pair with them?
Foden: You only need a plain fit, really, because the jewellery is doing enough. So it’ll stand out. Just go for a nice dark fit, and then the jewellery does the rest.
Speaking outfits, who are some of your biggest fashion inspirations?
Foden: I like to think of myself as my own person in that sense. I wouldn’t say I look up to someone, but some of my teammates, when I see them in new stuff that’s just come out, it obviously makes you want to buy it when it looks great on them. I’d say some of my teammates have inspired me with some of the things that they wear, 100%.
Who would you say is the best dressed in the Man City squad?
Foden: Well, when João Cancelo was there, he was very good. He always seemed like he had prepared a week before and like he didn’t have to prepare at all. I just get up and throw something on at home sometimes. But, yeah, I’d probably say Cancelo, and now I’d say Rúben Dias. Those are my favourites.
How would you describe your style right now?
Foden: I go through stages. I think right now I’m in a very chill mindset, so quite plain and dark clothes. Mostly just tracksuits right now, but like I said, I go through phases. Sometimes, I can’t be bothered dressing very out there, and I just wear trackies. I think it’s the weather as well now that it’s cold. I just go for comfort over what I actually look like.
Is there ever an outfit that you wore back in the day or like a piece of jewellery that you had, and you look back, and you’re just like, why did I ever wear that?
Foden: I used to have a thick, ropy bracelet and chain. My brothers would be like, “What do you want for your birthday?” And I wanted one of them. I look back on it now in old photos, and it’s shocking, it’s terrible.
Cernucci x Phil Foden is now available to purchase here