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In collaboration with Audemars Piguet

Barcelona's Golden Boy

Photographer: Will Cornelius Watches: Audemars Piguet Location: Audemars Piguet House, Barcelona Tailor: Forbes Tailoring Clothing: Mercier Videographer: Oliver Hayes

A world-exclusive Sports World collaboration with Audemars Piguet, featuring Forbes Tailoring and Mercier, and the captivating next-gen footballer, Pedri. 

An iconic brand, an intoxifying talent. 

Our latest collaboration takes us to the iconic city of Barcelona, a municipality with streets bathed in golden light and captivating history. The bustling Las Ramblas traffic creates a symphony of noise, complemented by a gentle breeze flowing through the plane trees that line the streets. It’s a soundtrack that has became synonymous with this city; a place where fashion and lifestyle seamlessly intertwine, art and culture reign and the future stars of sport sew their seeds. Unsurprisingly, it is home to one of football’s most prodigious young talents.

Pedri — already a superstar in his own right, winner of The Golden Boy and Kopa Trophy in 2021 — is no stranger to the bright lights of luxury. Yet even he was taken aback by the grandeur of AP House, Audemars Piguet’s flagship boutique located in the prestigious Passeig de Gràcia. This district is home to many of the world’s most renowned luxury brands and designers, but AP House is in a world of its own.

The House stands as a symbol of unparalleled global luxury, where contemporary design meets traditional watchmaking — the principle upon which the brand has made its name. Since its inception in 1875, Audemars Piguet has redefined the standards of high-end horology, connecting quality watchmaking to culture and art – a fusion evident throughout AP House.

Avant-garde furniture, contemporary strip lighting and alluring modern art sculptures combine as the epitome of modern interior design, accompanied by subtle odes to the brand’s past, including marble surfaces and an illuminated backdrop to their sizeably stylish drinks cabinet. Perhaps unintentionally, the combination of new and old creates a nuance of inspiration, drawing obvious parallels to the origins of Barcelona Football Club.

Established in 1899 by a group of footballers from Switzerland, Catalonia, Germany, and England, the brand of Barcelona represents a perfect combination of the past and future, with its academy nurturing the careers of young talents inspired by the legendary players who have graced the club in the past.

There could, therefore, be no better setting to capture a player who defines Barcelona’s next generation — a young man with the world at his feet, the Kopa Trophy in his cabinet, and an immeasurable aura that is palpable to all those around him.

Barcelona is one of the most fashionable cities in the world. Between the vintage, eclectic boutiques along Las Ramblas and the illustrious runway shows showcasing global designers, there’s a common love of style that sweeps Catalonia – and it’s not just in the streets; their beloved club follows suit. Barcelona FC have announced Italian fashion house HERNO as their official ‘formalwear’ partner until 2025, producing the mens and women’s team’s pre-match attire for any European games and finals. Fittingly, Pedri has his own love of clothing. 

“Fashion has always caught my attention,” admits Pedri. “I find pieces that I like from different brands or trends and adapt them to my style.”

“I go for an urban, comfortable, and casual style. If I ever launch a fashion brand those things will be at the heart of what we create.”

Credit where it’s due, Pedri has flourished in fashion despite being in the early stages of his career. He recently released a collection with the European clothing brand SPRINGFIELD and has been at the forefront of Adidas’ marketing campaigns in recent years, including their PRADA capsule, a combination of the refined style of the Italian fashion giant with Adidas’ sporting heritage.

Standing at 5ft 8, he is one of the smallest players in La Liga. However, his build has made him one of the most recognisable athletes in world sport and an attractive proposition for luxury fashion and lifestyle brands at the forefront of casual wear.

The convergence of streetwear and high fashion has led to innovative collaborations between iconic urban brands and prestigious fashion houses. Louis Vuitton’s collaboration with Supreme in 2017 demonstrated the blurring of boundaries between streetwear and luxury. Nowadays, brands such as Off-White and Amiri prioritise comfort, personality, and inclusivity, which is a refreshing evolution. Individuality is now celebrated over conventional beauty standards, allowing everyone the opportunity to shine.

One name, endless possibilities. Pedri appeals to the far-reaching nature of fashion with a look that simultaneously transitions between multiple facets of the industry. His style may be simplistic, casual and refined, but he is no stranger to high tailoring at awards ceremonies or for the cover of SWM. For the most part, his fashion choices are subtle, considered and forward-thinking — much like his personality on the pitch — but there can be no doubt in his ability to step into the arena of high fashion.

It is an amalgamation that underpins this collaboration. Alongside Mercier, Pedri donned tailored suits by Forbes, a brand which has become synonymous with luxury menswear thanks to detailed design and unparalleled tailoring. As one of the leading tailoring brands within sports and entertainment, high-profile individuals worldwide choose Forbes. For Pedri, instead of wearing a full three-piece suit, they paired a simple white t-shirt with suave jackets to complement his laid-back style and the Mediterranean setting.

“The outfits, the watches and the locations were spectacular,” says Pedri. “I felt so happy during the shoot, which I think you can see in the photos.”

As he gazes at the sublime timepieces displayed in crystal cabinets around the room, we notice Pedri’s admiration for the intricacies of design and the power of Audemars Piguet’s brand, despite admittedly not being a lover of watches.

When you put an Audemars Piguet on your wrist, you feel you can do anything,

he continues. “My favourite models were the Royal Oak Extra-Thin and Selfwinding in Rose Gold — I liked that one was classic, and the other more modern.”

As we delve deep into Pedri’s life and character, it becomes clear his foundations are aligned with Audemars Piguet. The Vallée de Joux, the birthplace of Audemars Piguet and one of the centres of high-end Swiss watchmaking is an awe-inspiring region nestled in the Jura Mountains, north of Geneva. The region’s natural resources—specifically the forests, water, ice and rocks from which iron ore could be extracted—provided the means for the watch industry to evolve and thrive. A story of regeneration and preservation, the AP brand is built on the power of nature. 

Similarly, Pedri grew up in the mountainous municipality of Tegueste in the Canary Islands, surrounded by natural beauty. Spending hours near the sea playing football with his brother and friends, he has experienced the joys of the planet and its beauty before entering a life of football, fashion and bright lights. But a profound sense of where he has come from remains, and humility and humbleness continue to lead the 21-year-old’s choices.

His recent collaboration with Platano De Canarias, an institutional brand fighting malnutrition through the promotion of bananas, is a testament to that. The banana is the most important crop in the Canary Islands and for decades, the industry has been the protagonist of the economic growth of the archipelago – accounting for 60% of Europe’s banana production.  He is also an ambassador for Kick Out Plastic, a non-profit international campaign fighting for a world free of plastic pollution and climate change.

“Climate change is something that affects us all and should concern us all, especially young people,” Pedri explains. “Sustainability and recycling are part of my daily life because my parents instilled it in me since I was a child. Being from a natural paradise like the Canary Islands, which also lives mainly from tourism, I am very aware of the importance of taking care of nature for all of us.” 

As a 21-year-old with over 13 million followers on Instagram, you might not expect such issues to be on Pedri’s radar. Yet he is acutely aware that he not only has the world at his feet but in his hands — a gift he has no intention of wasting.

Intelligent, humble, and grounded, Pedri represents the younger generation with flying colours. He is a role model to all those who find themselves lucky enough to share his position and an indication that the high-profile figures at the forefront of modern football might just have deeper purposes.

On the pitch, Pedri has been hailed like no other — ‘One of the world’s best’ in the opinion of Barcelona’s manager Xavi Hernández, and ‘The signing of the decade’ according to Marca, Spain’s leading sports news outlet.

Lionel Messi’s final campaign in the famous red and blue hoops of Barça didn’t quite live up to expectations but offered an exciting window into what could be. Pedri was fresh on the scene; quiet, innocent, slight in figure and polite in persona; terrorising defences with a low centre of gravity, immense skill, close control and vision. His personality and playing style drew obvious comparisons to the iconic Argentine with whom he had struck up quite the partnership on the field. By all accounts, Barça’s next messiah was born.

But the story of a wunderkind is rarely so simple. Following his move to Barcelona and The Kopa Trophy win, he played a staggering 73 games and over 4,000 minutes in less than a year and subsequently suffered a string of injuries that would leave him out of the side for months at a time. While he has since returned to the team and reasserted his peerless playmaking form, the issue of over-played, over-pressured, fatigued young players falling victim to a demanding fixture schedule remains a pressing problem with the modern game.

“Professional football is very, very demanding, not only physically but mentally too,” Pedri admits. “I try to face things professionally and prepare myself to always be in optimal condition. That’s why it’s even more annoying when an injury forces you to stop and start all over again.

“In difficult moments, my brother Fer — the person I love the most in this life — is the one who protects me and is always by my side. I like to spend my days off at home with him and my family, watching TV series, playing board games and enjoying their company.

“That is my escape.”

At first glance, Pedri appears to be an ordinary young man, but one who is poised on the brink of greatness. As the bricks for the new Camp Nou are laid one by one, Pedri is quietly constructing his own empire, drawing support from family, friends, and his sheer love for football.

“I am who I am because of my parents,” says Pedri. “They raised me with very clear values: you must be humble and respect everyone. I live my life by a quote from the legend Johan Cruyff, ‘Salid y disfrutad’ which means to ‘go out and enjoy’, and I think that sums up my approach to life.”