Fashion

Lirian Santos on Expressing Creativity Between Fashion and Football

“It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone and making a difference.” — Lirian Santos

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Lirian Santos, a Brazil-born, London-based creative, rose to prominence as a football freestyler and content creator. Her path eventually led her to a role as a presenter for FIFA, establishing her as a prominent figure in online football culture, especially among female influencers. Through her expertise, enthusiasm and love of the sport, Lirian maintains a global connection with football-enthusiasts, serving as a source of inspiration as a sports model and football content creator.

In an editorial shoot photographed by Arron Watson-McNab, Santos opens up about her journey as an athlete, content creator and advocate for women in the sport. Styled by Alicia Rose with a range of brands including Loewe, Jacquemus, Hot Futures, Oscar Ouyang the footballer tells us how she finds creativity between football and fashion.

Read on for the full interview below.
Lirian Santos, Fashion, Football, Soccer, Brazil, London, Model, Interview
What sparked your love for football?

Being Brazilian I believe all of us have an unexplainable love for football since birth. It’s almost embedded in the culture and although I moved to London very young, we still maintained strong Brazilian culture at home. I think the moment I realized I had a passion for the beautiful game was while having a kick about in the park with my dad and cousins. I fell in love with the 1 vs. 1 aspect of the game. It was all about coming up with new moves and skills to outsmart the defender. There was something about it, that made me fall in love.
Lirian Santos, Fashion, Football, Soccer, Brazil, London, Model, Interview
As a woman in a male-dominated field, how do you make sure your voice is heard?

I always strive to excel in everything I do and put my own unique spin on it. I love showcasing my pride as a woman who loves playing football through my videos. By pushing myself to explore traditionally male-dominated areas while maintaining my feminine flair, I hope to break barriers and inspire others. For example, presenting during the FIFA World Cup was something I’ve always wanted to do, but it was also something I was afraid of. However, by pushing myself, I made sure my voice was heard. It’s all about stepping out of your comfort zone and making a difference.
Lirian Santos, Fashion, Football, Soccer, Brazil, London, Model, Interview
As an influential woman in football culture, what does it mean to you to be a role model to other young women who are interested in the sport?

Growing up, I had a love for football but didn’t have many role models to look up to. It can be tough to imagine ourselves in a position that seems non-existent. That’s how I felt about pursuing a career in football. The lack of representation and the financial struggles of the few female players I knew of, made it seem impossible. For a child of immigrants, helping my family was my top priority. I knew I needed a career that was both fulfilling and financially stable. Growing up, that didn’t seem like a possibility within women’s football. That’s why I found other avenues within football, like football content creation, to express my passion. It’s amazing to be able to show girls that there are different paths to success in this male-dominated industry.
Lirian Santos, Fashion, Football, Soccer, Brazil, London, Model, Interview
Many people think fashion and sports have nothing in common. What excites you about the intersection of fashion and football? 

Both fashion and football are like works of art that allow you to express your personality and creativity. Whether it’s through what you wear or what you create on the field. Both industries offer a platform for self-expression and I believe that’s what the two things have in common.
Lirian Santos, Fashion, Football, Soccer, Brazil, London, Model, Interview
How has your athletic background helped your career as a model?

I signed as a sports model so, being able to practice sport was a must. It was perfect as it introduced me into the world of modelling but it was an amazing opportunity to do both as it didn’t distract me from my main goal of being an athlete. Both came hand in hand which was amazing.

What skills do you think young girls and women can gain from immersing themselves in sports?

Resilience is key when it comes to sports. It’s not always easy to excel in something right away, but that’s where perseverance comes in. Talent can only take you so far, but consistent hard work is what truly pays off. By going through the process and staying resilient, girls can gain confidence in themselves and their abilities. It’s amazing how much sport can teach us valuable life lessons and help us grow as individuals.
Lirian Santos, Fashion, Football, Soccer, Brazil, London, Model, Interview
What do you love about fashion?

Fashion is a fantastic form of self-expression. One day, you can dress based on how you feel and the next day, you can experiment with a completely different look. It’s like having a blank canvas every day to showcase your creativity and personality. It’s a beautiful art form that lets us express ourselves without limitations.

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