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Chelsea's football stars find perfect fit with Dolce & Gabbana

By Dean Walsh, for CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • English champions Chelsea sign a three-year-deal with Italian designers Dolce & Gabbana
  • The iconic designer label will supply the London side with formal wear
  • The partnership also sees a new "Dolce & Gabbana Lounge" inside the team's stadium
  • D&G had previously worked with Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning team

London, England (CNN) -- When fashion and football meet, the results can be unpredictable.

Stylish icons such as David Beckham and Thierry Henry pull it off with aplomb, but for every couture success you can generally find several highly-paid stars guilty of "bling" overstatement.

However, the players at English champions Chelsea can now step out in confidence that their fashion will not be labeled "faux pas."

The London outfit has signed a three-year deal with Dolce & Gabbana which will see the Italian designers suit and boot each squad member with formal club suits made with only the finest of materials.

The home of the club, Stamford Bridge, will also be given some Italian tender loving care, with an exclusive designer makeover having already taken place in the directors' lounge, and further upgrades around the stadium are also in the pipeline.

The players will arrive at games wearing the new suits, made in a darker version of the club's traditional blue color, while the famous Chelsea crest will be embroidered on the jacket pocket.

A pair of jeans together with a "Martini" shirt and black sneakers provides the players with a second and more casual option.

Even Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti will go to work kitted out in the designer gear. The Italian will take to the dugout wearing a suit, a two-button jacket, a light blue shirt, a blue jacquard tie and black shoes. Oh, and a belt.

Chelsea romp to title with eight-goal triumph

If you look smart and you feel happy then you can go on the pitch and perform
--Michael Essien
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It seems the London side care not just about winning, but also winning in style.

"We are delighted that Dolce & Gabbana will be our official supplier of formal wear for the next three years," Chelsea's chief executive officer Ron Gourlay said ahead of the launch.

"Their designs for this season's team wear are exceptional, and we're excited to be partnering with such a world-renowned and innovative design house.

"In addition to dressing the team, Dolce & Gabbana's comprehensive redesign of the club's directors' lounge and other key areas of the stadium will also serve to showcase our relationship over the next few seasons."

This is not the first time the Italian designers have paired up with a successful soccer team to showcase their unique look.

They previously created formal uniforms for Italy's national team during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, while their men's underwear campaigns continue to feature top footballers, including Italy's Fabio Cannavaro, Gennaro Gattuso and Gianluca Zambrotta.

As ultra-trendy as the new "Dolce & Gabbana Lounge" is -- replacing the old directors' lounge in Stamford Bridge's West Stand -- it is still hard to envisage die-hard Chelsea supporters debating the team's fortunes after a game while sipping a neat Martini instead of a cold British beer.

But while the lounge oozes style in abundance, the design still manages to stay faithful to the London side's identity. Blue is still the color, from the carpet and marbled walls along the corridor leading up to the lounge, to the designer cushioned seats located near and around the cocktail bar inside it.

BackStory at Dolce & Gabbana's home Video

The brains behind the designs, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, are delighted to have joined forces with one of Europe's biggest football teams.

"We are really happy about this partnership and to be able to link our name to such a prestigious club like Chelsea," they said in a statement. "We are big football fans, for us it means healthy competition, intense passion and great discipline.

"Football players are style icons both on and off the pitch and, on top of this, there is our love of England and of London, which have always been a source of inspiration for our work."

Even sparkling gold frames adorn the players' past successes throughout the lounge, making the team's recent glory all the more glamorous.

But the question is, what do the players think about the clothes? Can wearing the "right" outfit really improve a team's performance on the pitch?

Ghana international Michael Essien, for one, likes the new formal wear and told CNN that for him feeling comfortable is synonymous with being successful.

"The suit is great and I feel very comfortable," he said. "I like the fit and the style.

"Yeah, it's important to feel comfortable in what you wear. It's about how you prepare for a game, and if you look smart and you feel happy then you can go on the pitch and perform."