Outside of Nike collaborations, Héctor Bellerín, and “athleisure”, fashion’s relationship with sports is pretty tenuous. Most magazine editors would baulk at the idea of joining an office five-a-side, for example, but they might wear a football jersey to fashion week – had it been designed by Martine Rose or Glenn Martens, that is.
Perhaps one of the only individuals working within the industry with a foot in each camp is Elgar Johnson – the former fashion director at GQ Style – who is uniting the two factions with a new biannual magazine. Launching this week, CircleZeroEight will “communicate modern society and culture through the vehicle of sport,” as the editor explained to Dazed back in January. Styled by Katie Grand and shot by Sølve Sundsbo, issue one is helmed by coverstars Declan Rice, Annie Jill Tagoe, and Carl Lewis. Inside the 24-page special, the lives of wheelchair basketball player Amy Conroy, kickboxer Joshua Macdonald, paracyclist Daniel Richards, and gymnast Ellie Down are all given a glossy sheen.
“A famous fashion editor once said people are scared of fashion,” Elgar said, “I think people are scared of sport in the same way.” Given the way in which social media has provided athletes with a platform to enact and voice their politics – consider Naomi Osaka, Colin Kaepernick, and members of the England men’s football team – CircleZeroEight could further soften the edges of a notoriously abrasive arena, fostering dialogue, inclusion, and tolerance.
Click through the gallery above to get a sneak peek at the inaugural issue of CircleZeroEight.