August 9th, 2010
Footy Fashion: Behind The Scenes At Jada Styles
Jada Pollock, personal shopper, image consultant, stylist and owner of the Jada Styles boutique in London can vouch for this -she’s got over a hundred footballers on her books that shop with her regularly.
And we’re talking household names like Frank Lampard, Zinadine Zidane, Robinho, John Terry (who bought custom kickers for his twins), Salomon Kalou, Michael Ballack, Emmanuel Adebayor, Florent Malouda, Henrique Hilario and Niko Anelka, to name but a few. Oh, and she also styles for Rio Ferdinand’s 5 Magazine.
The point we need to stress: In her day-to-day life, this woman sees footballers in their underwear.
Now let’s get to the insider info.
Didier Droba as a business partner:
“He was a big client of mine and really had a great passion and interest in fashion. When we talked about working together he was really involved- which is surprising, as keeping a footballer’s attention span is quite hard to do. (Laughs). Didier’s very opinionated about clothes and he would always ring me up if he was traveling and saw a new brand or designer he thought I should feature in the shop. If you’re going to have a business partner you want one who will be interested and really involved.”
Why footballers love to work with her:
“It’s the whole shopping-as-experience thing. They like to have someone who’ll pull something special just for them, like if I see a new pair of trainers I think someone might like, I’ll send them over. It’s all about feeling like you’ve got something more exclusive, that no one else has, so I often only buy two or three of a particular item.”
The skull situation:
“So, a few months before the season ended, there was a 50 Cent concert and a bunch of the guys that went wore a skull t-shirt that was from the shop. The next day, I got all these calls saying, ‘Jada! You sold everyone the same shirt and we all wore it on the same day!’ I was like, (feigns innocence) ‘Oh, really?’”
Footballers are hot, but high maintenance:
“The older guys or the married ones are not so bad, but the single ones are non-stop. I’ll get a message on my Blackberry at 11 o’clock at night asking me if they can send some photos of what they’re wearing so I can tell them if it looks good. It’s crazy.”
Hey, big spender!
“Salomon Kalou is one of our best clients. He loves to shop and comes in nearly every week.”
The best dressed ‘baller would be…
“Samuel Eto’o (Inter Milan), definitely. He lives in the heart of fashion and he’s really up on the trends. I think Wayne Bridge (Man City) has got the type of body where he can wear anything and look great. He’s a really simple dresser – jeans and t-shirt kind of guy – but Wayne’s got a flair that makes clothes look really good. Henrique Hilario (Chelsea) looks fantastic whatever he puts on. Kevin-Prince Boateng, who has been working with us for years, is one of my favourite guys to dress. I often say he should have been a singer not a footballer because he’s got that kind of style.”
Gossip is a no-no:
“In my job I can’t gossip. At all. I am like, ‘I see nothing, I hear nothing.’ I love reading about it, though!”
Keeping it profesh
“Everyone asks me why I don’t date a footballer, but to be honest I’ve got so many of them around me and they can be so demanding that I actually want a breather at the end of the workday. I had considered going out to South Africa, but I decided I wanted a vacation from the BBMs and emails. Of course, as soon as they’re all back for pre-season training they’re hitting me up and my phone is beeping!”
[Ed note: Let's all take a few minutes to imagine having dozens of 'ballers blazing your cell phone in need of your "assistance."]
“The best thing about my job is that I have such great relationships with my players – relationships that I’ve worked hard to build for many years. I am very professional with them. Sometimes I’ll travel to see teams, and set up a mini-shop at the team hotel for them to come in and pick up new stuff. As a woman in those kind of environments, you have to be really switched on and totally professional. I just see them as clients, really.
Just clients? Come. On.
“Well… okay, they do all have amazing bodies. I admit to that, I can’t deny it. They’re not even shy about showing them either. So many times at the shop, I’ll say to the guys, ‘Okay, let me just sort the changing room,” and they’re saying, ‘No, it’s okay, don’t bother!’ And they just drop their trousers. (Pause) You know how they’re always wearing those tight boxer shorts? Okay, I admit my job can be very exciting.” (laughs)
Luxury fashion shop Jada Styles offers a slice of celebrity treatment and a range of unique, high end brands – check them out at – 535 Kings Road, London, SW1. www.jadastyles.com