Style Council Spotlight: Mr Héctor Bellerín
Emirates Stadium home to Arsenal Premier League Football Club, London. Photograph by Alamy. Inset: Photograph by Mr David M Benett/Getty Images
All being well, we should be able to enjoy life a little more this month. Better weather and happier dispositions are set to marry with a newfound sense of freedom: the ability to eat out in restaurants, go to the theatre, hug friends, and move towards a sense of normality. Oh, and not forgetting the small matter of a major football tournament. If the Euros doesn’t encourage an atmosphere of togetherness and good will (if you happen to live in Europe, that is), then nothing will.
With that in mind, we thought we would direct our June Style Council spotlight towards Mr Héctor Bellerín – the fashion-conscious Barcelona-born (and lightning-quick) Arsenal FC right back, who is currently on a post-season break. Famous for the speed at which he settled into London life (and the local accent) soon after joining the club in 2011, we asked him, now things are opening up, what he’s looking forward to doing in the city he now calls home.
We also checked in to see what clothes he’s stepping out in this summer, how he’s keeping fit – and what his (or, should we say, his girlfriend’s) grooming routine looks like. Read his answers below, or click the link to see more of his life and style recommendations as part of our Style Council.
Now we’re heading into summer, what outfit are you currently wearing most?
And your essential item for the heat?
Birkenstocks. I’ve been wearing vegan Birkenstocks every day at home for the past year and now on holiday. I’m so happy with them, they’re so comfortable and classic.
What’s your current favourite brand?
I like menswear brands – such as Ahluwalia – that are mixing sustainable fashion with relevant topics and very strong messages.
Do your teammates steal any of your clothing?
The Birkenstocks! A couple of my teammates have bought a pair; I feel like before I brought them to the training ground they would have screamed if they’d seen anyone wearing them. I feel like I’ve been influencing them in that way, which is pretty funny.
Vietnamese-style green roll with heritage vegetables and peanut sauce at Holy Carrot. Photograph by Mr Joakim Blockstrom, courtesy of Holy Carrot
Now we can eat out, which London restaurants are you looking forward to going to?
I have heard a lot about the Holy Carrot, which has opened in Knightsbridge. The hype is certainly there and I’m excited to see these new vegan places opening in London. I’ve also grown very comfortable eating food at home with my girlfriend and chilling. I used to be someone who was out all the time and I feel different about that now.
What five things would you recommend for a visitor to London right now?
It might sound pretty standard, but go watch a musical. It’s one of the first things I did. Another thing I love doing around London when it’s sunny is going to have a picnic in the park. My place is usually Hampstead Heath, but I also go to Hyde Park. The atmosphere and vibe is really good when the sun’s out. Also, have a walk along the canal. People say go to Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street, but I love walking on the canal in east London and west. Go to a market, too. The Flower Market or Borough Market. Brick Lane on Sundays is good. Being a vegan, I’d also suggest a meal at The Gate or Comptoir V.
Describe a typical day for you these days.
My day consists of going to training in the morning – I usually spend about five hours there. Then, I’ll come home, rest, have a siesta. Then I work for three to four hours. Depending on what I’m working on that might be research or Zoom meetings; I have two or three of them every day. I’m not sure whether that’s because of the pandemic or because my life has been a bit more interesting lately. Then I have some dinner, read, chill with family and friends, or watch something online. By 11.00pm, I’ll be in bed.
What’s your latest grooming routine?
I never used to do anything for my skin, but my girlfriend has been pushing me to take care of it, especially with a night-time routine. I’ve been using Human Race by Pharrell – the cleanser and cream. She makes sure I wash my face before I go to bed with some CeraVe cleanser, which is a really simple one. I’ve been really moisturising and getting my skin to shine and not age.
And how do you keep on top of fitness?
I do yoga once a day for an hour and a half. It’s not just asana positions. It’s the madras, everything that involves yoga, meditation and relaxation. I’ve been taking that seriously for the past five months. I’m not the type of person who wants to be on the weights at the gym all day. I do what I need to do to be at my level on the pitch but I like to think outside the box.
What are you bingeing on Netflix?
To be honest with you, I haven’t been watching Netflix, I’ve been watching a lot of Pedro Almodóvar movies. I love Spanish cinema, it takes me back to my roots.
What is your biggest career ambition?
To keep having fun. I’ve been loving what I do on and off the pitch. I want to keep enjoying, inspiring and having fun.