As Paris Fashion Week draws to a close, designers around the globe will be reflecting on the vast array of dresses and garments on display and how they might affect the trends of the coming season.

One particular catwalk run, however, caught the world’s attention with a piece of clothing that almost no one was expecting. At the Vetements show, Georgina Rodríguez walked on in a dress inspired by her famous partner, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Touching tribute or serious fashion statement?

Paris Fashion Week, which this year ran from Monday, 26 February to Tuesday, 5 March, is known for bold statements, original ideas and striking sights, and Rodríguez certainly caused a stir with her dress at the Vetements show. The long red dress was emblazoned with the legendary “Ronaldo 7” on the front in large white lettering, with Ronaldo’s signature written in black pen. The back of the dress featured a second signature alongside what appeared to be a handwritten message from Ronaldo: “For the love of my life Gio x Vetements”.

Although Georgina Rodríguez has modelled on many occasions and is a frequent attendee at the high-class Paris Fashion Week, it is thought to be her first catwalk appearance at the event. The colours were almost certainly a nod to the Red Devils of Manchester United, for whom Ronaldo played for a total of seven and a half years in two spells, winning three league championships and the Champions League. Of course, the iconic number and name refer to the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, Rodríguez’s partner of seven years, who is generally considered one of the greatest players the world has ever seen. Today, Ronaldo’s total goals stand at more than 850. He has also played for the legendary Real Madrid in Spain, and Juventus, the most successful team in Italy.

Image via Instagram

Going viral all over again

Naturally, Rodríguez’s walk caused an internet sensation, garnering numerous likes, shares and comments on social media and hitting the headlines of both the fashion and sports pages around the world. An image of the dress also earned Rodríguez more than 4 million likes in a post on her Instagram page, where the Argentinean star wrote: “Another dream come true ❤️ 🇫🇷Thank you @vetements_official @gvasalia.” Vetements is a Swiss luxury fashion house founded in 2014 and a popular presence on the European fashion scene. The second tag refers to one of the original founders and designers, Demna Gvasalia, who has since moved on to work with Balenciaga.

Rodríguez has developed a significant social media presence in the last few years as a fashion icon and influencer, with an Instagram following of 57.8 million. Ronaldo, the five-time Champions League scorer and the leading international men’s goalscorer of all time is an even bigger star, with a whopping 623 million followers on the same platform and many more across platforms such as X and Facebook. The couple, who met in a Gucci store where Rodríguez was working as a sales assistant, have four children together, while Rodríguez is also the stepmother to Ronaldo’s first child. The pair currently reside with their family in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, where the 39-year-old Ronaldo plays for Al-Nassr FC in the Saudi Pro League.

The power of sport

Some commentators have suggested that Rodríguez’s dress was a nod to blokecore, a fashion trend that primarily features British football culture and often takes inspiration from the 1980s and 90s. The aesthetic has been enjoying a bit of a moment in recent times, with celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Bella Hadid spotted in semi-retro football shirts and a whole host of other famous names in the world of fashion donning uniforms and leisurewear inspired by the movement.

Rodríguez’s walk also follows in the footsteps of other iconic fashion statements from the world of sport, from Eric Cantona’s famous upturned collar and Michael Jordan’s Nike trainers to the rise of the cricket jumper and polo shirts in everyday leisurewear, not to mention the now near-ubiquitous baseball cap which, as its name suggests, originally came from the popular American sport.

There were also plenty of other notable displays during the fashion week, including Hermes’s dramatic rain-based display, a surprise appearance from British singer Sam Smith in a kilt and a Bjork-themed show from Casablanca, Charaf Tajer’s luxury sportswear label. Paris Fashion Week will return in 2025, but for now, all eyes will turn to the grand stores and the appearances of the spring and summer collections influenced by the shows.