In collaboration with

Off the pitch, the footballer is turning heads making his mark on the fashion industry and becoming the first UK face of Braun. He tells Notion how both his dad and the music of the past influence his stylistic fingerprint and self-defined style.

 

 

Gaining the confidence to express yourself is no easy feat, but for Dominic Calvert-Lewin, it seems almost second nature. And as we witness a wave of men’s experimental fashion from the likes of Harry Styles, Timothee Chalamet, Billy Porter and Steve Lacey, it’s refreshing to see a footballer chiming in with his deeply personal styling choices, which take their cues from family histories and a love affair with music. The music and style of the 50s, 60s and 70s particularly inspires the footballer; sifting through images of the men of these eras, the way they would wear suits and “how they express themselves in different ways as creative people” has “always been interesting” to him. The difference is, the Everton and England striker’s day job doesn’t immediately reveal an obvious link to the worlds of music and fashion. In fact, sporting skirtesque flared shorts or a Chanel handbag on the front covers of magazines has, unsurprisingly, been met with some hostility from a hypermasculine football world.

 

But with a cheeky grin, he tells me over Zoom that “you know what you’re getting yourself into and you have to be prepared for that. That’s just a byproduct of being a little bit different. But as long as you do what makes you feel good and you stay true to yourself, then you almost make yourself impenetrable to that.” Staying true to himself is about having the freedom to experiment and self-define his style. Which would explain why Calvert-Lewin has become the new face of male grooming brand Braun over the last year, and its new campaign championing self-defined style and freedom of expression.

 

  • Jacket Paul Smith
  • Turtleneck Dunhill
  • Shorts Paul Smith
  • Loafters GH Bass
  • Suit Casablanca
  • Shirt Valentino

 

It’s not just musical greats that have affected Calvert-Lewin’s taste in both music and style, but someone even greater: his dad. “Music with no words, I used to call it!” the footballer explains to me about the House music his father used to listen to. “He used to have decks in the living room and he’d mix different vinyls. He had this one Ziggy Marley track, I used to love it. As I got older and started to get into more House music, I started to appreciate why my dad used to like it.”

 

Vivienne Westwood shirts are what dad passed down to his son as well as music taste. As with the ball, Calvert-Lewin took these hand-me-downs and ran with them, changing and adapting music and style in tow as the times modernised. “[Dad] called me [after the Homme+ cover] and he was laughing because he was like, ‘you really pushed it this time.’ He’ll give me a bit of banter, he’s proud to see me be myself more than anything and be comfortable in my own skin. His father – a “frustrated movie star” Calvert-Lewin jests – would encourage the footballer as a young boy at try-outs when he was too shy to play. “The thing I rate my dad for most is that even in those days, he didn’t shrug off my feelings, he let me feel the vulnerability and that’s what’s made me stronger. My confidence continued to grow – and this plays out off the pitch too with my sense of style and experimenting with my grooming looks.”

 

At just 25, DCL is carving out space for footballers who resonate with his creative pursuits. His teammate Tom Davies is just one – Hector Bellerin and now even Jack Grealish are among a couple of others. We haven’t witnessed this much of a reactionary relationship between men’s fashion and football since David Beckham of the nineties and noughties decided which hairstyle would be in vogue. But Calvert-Lewin isn’t intentionally jumping on trends. “I don’t do it for anybody else,” he claims. “It’s all about how it makes you feel.” True that the young footballer is proving that playing with clothing is not only a girl’s game, but “pushing boundaries is not something that I’m looking to do intentionally,” he says. “If that’s the way it’s interpreted, then so be it.” Again, the alignment of DCL and Braun’s ethos is clear – style should be self-determined, and self-expression is something to play with on our own terms, for ourselves. Embracing these values unapologetically in the public sphere sends a message, one that will inspire audiences to embrace their own individuality too, from fashion to grooming choice and style.

 

“Just because I’m a footballer, I don’t feel that I have to conform to stereotypes and look a certain way. In fact, I love using fashion and grooming as a way to express my individuality and do things differently,” adds the athlete. “If you think about the inspiration for some of the looks [in the Notion shoot], these music legends always pushed the boundaries of boldness. My life is very disciplined in many ways so I welcome the chance to let loose.”

 

Noting jazz giant and Rat Pack member Sammy Davis Jr. as a major influence, Calvert-Lewin also takes cues from Motown. “When I wear my suits, I like to experiment the same way,” he tells Notion. “A lot of songs these days are sampled from music made back in [the Motown] days. My nan and grandad always used to play Motown at their houses. Diana Ross, The Supremes… Motown music more so than jazz is what I grew up listening to, so it just kind of stayed with me.”

 

  • Wool Suit Erdem
  • Ribbed Vest Stylist's Own
  • DCL's Father Wears Knit Vest by ARTHUR ARBESSER
  • Jacket & Shorts Paul Smith
  • Turtleneck Dunhill
  • Loafers GH Bass
  • DCL's Father Wears Shirt by Lemaire via Matchesfashion
  • DCL's Father Wears Trousers by Edward Sexton

 

 

It’s not only discernible how jazz’s finest byproducts like Ray Charles, James Brown and Louis Armstrong have influenced the player’s style, but also admirable how much Calvert-Lewin spins his own look using light indications of each of these legends by drawing on elements of 60s and 70s funk also. “I like to stand out,” Calvert-Lewin unashamedly admits, and the fact that everyone in the funk era dressed in a different way, authenticity and originality are what Calvert-Lewin hopes to recreate the most from this period of music. The funk era’s current Renaissance means that masculine flamboyance has never been richer and ripe for playing around with, from the clothes to the shoes, right through to the different grooming and hair styles the men of the time continually experimented with.

 

I get the sense that there’s an element of romantic nostalgia in Calvert-Lewin’s stylistic choices – his adoration for bygone eras which are famous for both shaping and breaking the boundaries of men’s fashion. The facial hair styles of these eras were a key element to achieving the overall looks he sported on his day on-set with dad. Calvert-Lewin explains that his facial hair is the finishing touch of his grooming choices when adopting a certain look. “There’s numerous styles that you can have with your beard. If you match it with your outfit, it might depend on how you style it with your beard. I always have a bit of a beard. I always like to make sure I just sharpen up the tops of my cheeks and my neck so I look sharp,” which the footballer uses a Braun All-in-one Trimmer 7 to achieve, as well as the Braun Series 7 Electric Shaver to clean shave. “I guess it’s about getting that ‘look good, feel good’ feeling,” he adds regarding his favourite grooming tools.

 

  • Suit Casablanca
  • Shirt Valentino
  • Loafers Duke + Dexter
  • Coat Erdem
  • Wool Suit Erdem
  • Check Jacket & Trousers Paul Smith
  • Loafers GH Bass
  • Turtleneck Dunhill
  • Wool Suit Erdem
  • Vest Stylist's Own

 

After suffering serious injuries on the pitch, DCL recently opened up about his mental health, another somewhat taboo subject which plagues the sport. “Music can be almost a healer to get through difficult periods,” Calvert-Lewin shares. “It’s difficult because first and foremost, I’m a footballer and that’s my bread and butter. Getting injured is the worst thing that can happen and you’re not able to perform. So then you just have to kind of sit there and accept what people have to say. And I think it’s forced me this season to do a lot of soul searching and find who I am.

 

Self-care: a phrase that’s been regurgitated over the last couple years, especially during the pandemic. But oftentimes it rarely reaches into a masculine realm, with the focus of self-care predominantly on women and labelled as a feminine act. “Self-care can uplift you from a tough day,” claims Calvert-Lewin, speaking from his own experience. “Mentally you go through different trials and tribulations. It gets to the time you get in the shower; the shampoo and conditioning your hair, the shave, feeling fresh – those little things, I think, can really tip the balance.” A grooming look is also important for the player’s game: “looking good makes me feel good and gives me confidence, it’s part of the whole pre-match prep.” But for a young boy who grew up predominantly with his mum, shaving was, at first, a bit of a mystery. “The first thing I ever did was put hair removal cream on my mustache. After a couple of times, it was bad. Really bad. My lip was not ideal,” Calvert-Lewin tells me through a wide smile shortly after our bout of laughter. The clue’s in the name, “it’s for your self, not anyone else,” Calvert-Lewin expands. “You should always want to look good and feel good within yourself first and foremost.”

 

  • Wool Suit Erdem
  • Vest Stylist's Own
  • Photography Thomas Wood

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