They then brought Mikati together with 15 Hublot Ambassadors and Friends of the Brand to create 15 unique designs to represent the football of their dreams.
Each is a one-off, a piece of art created to capture the themes of hope and universal respect, plus the individual personalities of the football stars and their shared passion for football. Some are hand-drawn and painted, others crocheted, representing the human element in football.
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“Today, Hublot is the first name in football timekeeping,” said Ricardo Guadalupe, Hublot CEO. “For this year’s tournament, we wanted to do something that expresses our belief in a free, diverse and unified world in a new and memorable way.
“We’re so proud to be working with Mira Mikati and our Hublot Ambassadors and Friends of the Brand to tell this story. We’re also thrilled to be the Official Timekeeper of the FIFA World Cup for a fourth time, going back to the South Africa tournament of 2010.
“We are so excited for this year’s festival of football to begin and wish every participating team the very best of luck. Hublot Loves Football!”
Mikati expanded on her creative process for this unique project.
“Play is at the heart of all my designs,” she said. “When I’m not playing with colour, I’m playing with words.
“Just as football sparks joy on the pitch, I want my work to be a constant supply of happiness.
“Dreams really can come true. Meeting Hublot’s ambassadors and discussing their dreams, passions and how far these drivers can take you was very special.
“By interpreting every player’s dream, with Hublot we want to inspire other to dream just as big.
“Whether it’s playing for your country or designing your own collection, we want to inspire the next generation to believe they can achieve anything.”
Mikati met with each star and explored their passions and personalities to help her craft the final designs. Here they are:
Hublot Loves Football x Pelé
Pelé is a football icon, and so much more. Mikati drew inspiration from the Brazilian’s energy, peace and humanity, conceiving the Pelé design around five characteristics she felt best described him: optimism, discipline, respect, being genuine and being iconoclastic. She chose yellow to capture Pelé’s sunny disposition, adding the famous silhouette of his overhead kick.
Hublot Loves Football x Kylian Mbappé
Mikati described the challenge of designing a ball for France superstar Kylian Mbappé as one of the most exciting of her career. She wanted to capture the concepts of “dreams” and “dedication”, illustrating how he devotes himself to realising his wildest ambitions. The colours reflect this story. Pink, his favourite colour, for his first dream football boots. Orange for Inspired by KM, his children’s foundation. And blue for France and the beauty of the sky.
Hublot Loves Football x Laure Boulleau
Former France international Laure Boulleau explained to Mikati how she uses pleasure to help her overcome life’s challenges – to see and feel the good. Her ball is hand crocheted in rainbow blue tie-dye and embroidered with the word “hope”. The “o” is heart-shaped to express Boulleau’s love of taking on challenges.
Hublot Loves Football x Marcel Desailly
In France’s World Cup winner, Mikati saw wonderful, celebratory energy. She took the colours of the Ghana flag and Desailly’s clubs to create a sunny, fresh ball design. The finishing touch is the date, 12 July, 1998, the day he lifted the World Cup.
Hublot Loves Football x Didier Deschamps
Deschamps is one of only three men to win the World Cup as both player and manager, both for his native France. Mikati wanted to honour his extraordinary career in his design, creating “the victory ball”. It’s decorated in the colours of the French Tricolore flag and with stars, hand-drawn and painted as if by a child to represent victories yet to come.
Hublot Loves Football x Luis Figo
In the creative session with Mikati, former Portugal international Figo drew a clover leaf on a football to bring luck to everyone he loves. Mikati added stars and hearts to remind him of his many glorious victories and memories, and his mantra: “Follow your Dreams. Never Lose Faith.” The dark green, blue and white colours are his son’s favourites.
Hublot Loves Football x Ada Hegerberg
Norway international Hegerberg’s motto is simple: ‘Believe in yourself.’ Mikati found an incredibly dynamic personality and so created a colourful, crocheted ball decorated with that same motto.
Hublot Loves Football x Roberto Martinez
Mikati might have gone with the red, black and yellow of the Belgium team Roberto managed at the tournament, but she felt these were too aggressive for his personality. Instead, the ball uses lighter, warmer colours that capture his kind, generous disposition. At his request, she attached an Apple AirTag to the ball – so, that he would never lose it.
Hublot Loves Football x Alex Morgan
United States international Morgan plays her club football in California and is captain of the San Diego Wave. Mikati captured the state’s warmth with a California sunset in Morgan’s design, adding a palm tree motif and a horizon, a symbol of the limitless opportunities for women in football.
Hublot Loves Football x Jose Mourinho
Mourinho is one of football’s greatest ever managers, and known for his pithy insights. He gave Mikati two: 1) “The World Cup ball must represent all the colours of the world.” So, she created a cheerful, graphic interpretation of the competing nations’ flags. And second, his secret motto: “The most important victory is the next one.” She added these bright, forward-looking words to his design.
Hublot Loves Football x Alexia Putellas
The Spain international loves colour, flowers, the sea and spending time with her family. For her, Mikati designed a happy, summery, colourful ball covered in floral motifs. The design also included a heart, representing Alexia’s sisters, the Barcelona coast and of course, her love of football.
Hublot Loves Football x Hervé Renard
As manager of Saudi Arabia, Frenchman Renard told Mikati he was inspired by the heat, blue sky and palm trees of the desert. She took this and created a scene full of colour and life, adding the word ‘unity’ to capture Renard’s starting point as a coach: ‘The team before the player’.
Hublot Loves Football x Xherdan Shaqiri
Shaqiri is an icon of Swiss football. Mikati designed a ball that celebrated his love of family and the value of respect that was passed down to him by his parents. She used hand-written, colourful typography to connect him to those values and give him energy.
Hublot Loves Football x Gareth Southgate
Speaking with the England manager, Mikati says she developed a profound understanding of the power of human values in football. One of his maxims is: ‘Be Brave, Be Kind and Follow Your Dreams!’. The dominant colour is green, an emotional colour for him, inspired by football pitches.
Hublot Loves Football x David Trezeguet
Goal machine Trezeguet fired France to World Cup glory in 1998. His passion and infectious energy prompted Mikati to design a yellow, orange and red ball, finished with his nickname ‘Trezegoal’.
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