With soccer virtually a religion in Italy, it was unsurprising that a number of shows in Milan were stocked with stars of the beautiful game. Versace had a bevy of Inter Milan players on its front-row roster and Dirk Bikkembergs even fi elded a half dozen soccer studs on the runway. But Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani pulled off the biggest coup, drafting Golden Balls himself, David Beckham.
Beckham couldn’t make the front row at Dolce & Gabbana on Saturday afternoon as he was playing later that evening for AC Milan—so the front row came to Beckham. Standing only steps from the field in the designers’ private box, Domenico Dolce, Stefano Gabbana, a gaggle of editors and Formula One driver Felipe Massa looked on as Beckham strutted his stuff on the fi eld. “Can you believe how big a soccer sponsor we’ve become?” joked Dolce, pointing out a colossal Dolce & Gabbana sign that ran alongside the field.
On Sunday afternoon, Beckham, the star of Emporio Armani’s steamy underwear campaign, scrubbed up to take in the Emporio show, his arrival evoking audible sighs, but hardly the pandemonium of the pitch. “We’re civilized,” sniffed one men’s editor. “I’m enjoying my time in Milan so far and I want to make the most of it,” said Beckham, adding, “It’s rare I have time to make a show, so I enjoyed it.”