He made a huge impression on Leicester City’s Premier League-winning campaign – and now Christian Fuchs is making a mark on the world of fashion.
Not content with spending his spare time on the golf course or playing X-Box games, the City left back is pushing ahead with his #NoFuchsGiven clothing range.
The Austrian international launched the casualwear range 18 months ago as a spin-off of a fun #NoFuchsGiven online presence he had built up.
The tag became a global success thanks to his lighthearted videos doing dares with fellow players.
They ranged from an egg smashing challenge with Jamie Vardy – which left both smeared with goo – a rock, paper, scissors game with Shinji Okazaki, and a water drinking game with, you guessed it, Danny Drinkwater.
Consequences for the losers ranged from ear flicks to footballs kicked squarely at each other’s backsides.
He was even filmed having a penalty shoot-out with US movie star Will Ferrell.
Turning the viral success of those films into a brand started off with t-shirts and hoodies emblazoned with colourful skull designs and the #NoFuchsGiven motif.
Designed and made in Leicester, the range has since grown to include women’s casual clothes, while more formal items are coming up for autumn/winter.
He said: “It started with the videos.
“One of my films with Jamie Vardy was seen all around the world, and I thought let’s do our own brand – not selling someone else’s product – and the demand has grown.
“The Premier League-winning season obviously helped.
“I’m not the designer, but part of the ideas process.
“I thought about what ‘not giving a Fuch’ meant and what do people associate that with. We thought maybe a pirate doesn’t ‘give a Fuch’ so came up with the smiling skull – it’s all about having fun and not playing by the rule book.
“It started with the orange skull and black t-shirt and has grown from there.”
Fuchs said he wanted to come up with a high quality product, without a high price tag.
Men’s t-shirts retail from around £25 and unisex hoodies are £40.
Caps printed with “All or Nothing”, “I Love Money” and “I Love Diamonds” are £25.
Fresh from training and recovering from a nasty eye injury, he said even though it was a side project, he was enjoying every minute and was excited about where it might take him.
Locally the clothes are stocked in Leicester’s Pilot menswear shop, and he would love to crack the US market, already offering next day delivery to the East Coast of America through LCFC partner DHL.
He is also thinking of tying in with possible brand influencers in the world of extreme sports.
One of his friends is world football “freestyle” champion Andrew Henderson, while Fuchs said #NoFuchsGiven clothes have been sported by team-mates including Okazaki, Wilfred Ndidi, Ahmed Musa and Daniel Amartey.
He said: “There’s no pressure to be successful – I’m doing it to keep my brain busy when I’m not playing football.
“I want to make sure the quality is high and that people know that.
“If it really takes off that would be great.
“I’ve got a photo shoot with De Montfort University students and we had a catwalk over there when we launched the last collection – there’s a lot of creativity at the university.
“We want to have something new out at least every season, which is hard when I’m so busy playing football.
“Having said that, I’m not limited to an eight hour day – I can be on the phone to the guys I work with, discussing ideas, late at night.
“There are loads of people out there who associate with the skull and some people even have tattoos. It’s insane.”
As well as marketing his clothes, Fuchs is currently the face of a ‘Win Global Exposure with DHL and Leicester City’ campaign.
The parcel giant, which has its main UK distribution hub at East Midlands Airport, is looking for an online business to win free advertising on club hoardings for four matches in November and December.
The competition hopes to give businesses building their exports a big boost.
To find out more about DHL’s e-commerce campaign head here.