Slick back style and plenty shades o'cool we caught up with Hector Bellerin this week at Pro:Direct's LDN19 to talk a fashion game as he launched the PUMA x FC Herzogenaurach collection. From teenage looks to contemporary class and with strength in depth, he's a character of creative means and a player that sets the pace.

This collection is very much a meeting of two worlds in the shape of football and fashion, does that tick two boxes nicely for you in terms of what you're about?

"Well, I think it’s a really good collection. I’ve been really happy to be asked to participate in something like this that obviously involves both football and PUMA. I think the whole meaning behind it is just great, I’ve read all about the heritage between PUMA and FC Herzo and I think it’s a great collection with a lot of meaning to it. To be one of the people they chose to promote it made me feel very happy because I’m a fashion guy as well and I think the designs are really cool so I’m really happy to be involved in it all." 

We know Hector Bellerin as one of the most stylish young players in the modern game, where does that come from?

"To be fair, when I was a young kid I always like to dress well and be on trend to what it was at that time but it was probably more when I came to London and I saw how people would take it a little more seriously and spending more time on what they were wearing. It really got me into it and I think it’s a bit of a London thing. It kind of became another hobby apart from football when I came here. It’s something I’m really into and I spend a lot of time on it too. I think it’s important to look and feel good and feel confident in what you’re wearing. I think this collection is one of the best I’ve seen." 

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So has your mum got a load of old clothes back home that she’s threatening to chuck out?

"Ha, actually I have a cousin and he likes to wear all the old clothes I had and when I see them now I do think “did I really used to wear all those clothes?” but it’s really funny. It’s nice though, I’m like his role model and he really wants to be like his older cousin so I can understand it."

Do you ever look back to some of the stuff you were wearing say 10 years ago and just think "what was I doing"? What was a teenage Hector's dress sense like?

"Yeah, actually, my mum sent me some pictures recently showing me the clothes I was wearing when I was about 10/11. I don’t know what it was but for some reason I got really into people like 50 Cent, Sean Paul and at that age I was loving rappers and things like that so I think I was trying to dress like them." 


"Exactly that you know, long t-shirts, baggy t-shirts, a hat in a different direction. It’s really funny you know but I guess that’s what used to be cool. For kids back then, it all seemed really cool but that’s how it goes."

Big into shoes like us all, how many pairs would you say you have?

"I’ve got so many. Probably more than a hundred and I’d say probably 85% are PUMA. Every PUMA shoe I see, I tend to be like “yo, what are these?!”. I’ve got a lot of pairs but I wouldn’t really consider myself a sneakerhead or a collector of shoes, I just like them and with PUMA I have the chance to get them as soon as they come out so I take up that opportunity."

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Hector meets "Mr PUMA", Helmut Fischer.

Are there a safe pair of shoes you always go back too?

"PUMA Baskets, the white ones. I think they are my pair. I must have about ten pairs of them. As soon as they get a bit dirty, I step in a big puddle or something like that, I head to the PUMA shop and pick up a replacement. They’re such good shoes." 

How big is that walk-in-wardrobe of yours? Has it changed a lot since you came to London?

"Yeah, it’s changed a lot. When I first came to London I barely had one piece of storage but over the years that’s changed. I’ve got a nice big walk in wardrobe and to be fair I’ve got a lot of clothes too but I’m actually involved in a foundation too and we do a lot with my stuff to raise money for them so it’s great to be able to help out like this too."

How difficult is it for players of today not to get swept up in samey trends, do you like to look for something different?

"I mean, it’s really hard you know. Sometimes a lot of the time, the most expensive things are not always the nicest things. For so many footballers these days, it just seems like the most expensive things are the best things. But what happens is they can end up wearing lots of expensive things together and it doesn’t really make sense you know. I’m a guy just like anyone else that would shop on ASOS or somewhere like that. For me, it doesn’t have to be expensive to look good, I just try to keep fresh with street style and street brands that are coming out. Also adding clothes and things that I like, I’m not the kind of person that would go all in on Gucci and stuff like this. I’m not that guy."

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

"Obviously social media is big. That’s probably where I find the most ideas - I follow loads of accounts and have friends who are upcoming stylists for various people. They help me look for items and things like that. There’s a really cool team behind the stuff I do as well so that helps a lot."

Who in or outside of football have you seen lately and just thought "that person has got serious style?"

"I suppose it might be a bit of an obvious one but I’ve always been a big Kanye fan. Not just in his music but his style as well. I think he’s always killing it. Even though I don’t follow his style exactly, I get a lot of inspiration from him. He’s probably one of the best people out there right now."

What car are you driving right now? When in London are you much of a tube man?

"Right now, I’m driving a Mercedes S63. I’ve had it for a little while now but it’s probably the best car I’ve ever had. I’m not mad about cars but as soon as I had a chance I was like “I want to get a car that I can keep for a long time, that’s comfortable and I can feel good in for a while”, it’s cool. I used to be a tube man all the time, I remember the first time I came to the club, one of the first things Arsenal gave me was an Oyster so I was just going around by train and bus and getting to know the place. Now though I tend to drive most of the time. Get an Uber from time to time but yeah most of the time I like to drive."

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Photography by Joshua Atkins for SoccerBible