Tiémoué Bakayoko for Etudes Studio

TEAM PLAYER: It seems like professional athletes are no longer content with simply posing for fashion brands — they are looking to seriously get involved.

French footballer Tiémoué Bakayoko is the latest to dive in, investing in Paris-based fashion label Études Studio.

He is to be a shareholder, ambassador and collaborator all rolled into one, according to a company statement, and will sit on the brand’s executive committee. The amount of his minority investment has not been disclosed.

“We’ve always been inspired by the creation of bridges between disciplines, bringing fashion closer to art and music, for example,” said Études cofounder Aurélien Arbet, adding that French musicians Pedro Winter, Woodkid and Orelsan are also minority stakeholders within the company. “Adding the world of sport to our universe seemed like a natural step for us. All these different things influence each other.”

Bakayoko, who plays for Monaco on loan from Premiere League club Chelsea, was introduced to founders Arbet, Jérémie Egry and José Lamali via David Bellion, a former footballer who created Super Vision Office, an agency aiming to partner professional athletes with the fashion industry.

“He already was an Études client, and things happened very naturally,” said Arbet of Bakayoko, adding that there will be more projects involving the footballer soon. “The idea was also to create a new story for the brand around sports, which has always been part of Études in one way or another.”

The French label revealed its new shareholder in an unexpected way: a dedicated photo shoot was organized to publicize the news, in which the 25-year-old athlete, dressed in Études, is photographed at the bright blue Villa Paloma in Monaco, where he is based.

“It was our way to show that we’re aiming to blur the lines between shareholder, ambassador and collaborator,” said Arbet.

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