RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) In the market for a minidress in emerald green spandex? Hankering for a halter top that appears to have been made from the national team's canary yellow jerseys? Pining for patriotic platform heels emblazoned with the Brazilian flag?
With the World Cup kicking off Thursday, almost every domestic clothing purveyor, from the humblest manufacturer to Brazil's chicest and most expensive labels, is selling clothing in the host country's colors. Finding apparel in other hues is a challenge at the moment. Even the pet shops are stocked with doggie sweaters, capes and jerseys in Brazil's green, yellow and blue.
A delicate crochet version of Brazil's team jersey sells for $110 at whimsical high-end label Farm - at least for those customers who can get their hands on the coveted item.
It's not just domestic brands attempting to cash in on the coming month of worldwide football mania. France's Lacoste has fielded a graphic patchwork polo shirt with blocks of blue, green and yellow that sells online for $167.
German sportswear brand Puma teamed up with edgy, London-based label Alexander McQueen to make an extra-exclusive version of the ''Puma King'' cleats, worn by soccer greats from Pele to Maradona. Only 100 pairs of the boots have been made, 70 in buttery chestnut-hued leather and 30 in gold lame, and none of them are expected to hit stores. Instead, they'll be handed out to special friends of the labels.
Versace fielded its own Brazil-themed T-shirt, a very Versace-esque explosion of arabesques, hothouse flowers and footballs, on sale at select boutiques worldwide for around $700, while Valentino recently presented a special edition sneaker emblazoned on the back with the Brazilian flag.
''It's a very clever strategy for these international brands,'' said Abraao Ferreira, a Brazilian-born luxury markets consultant. ''Brazil's a really important luxury market now, and these World Cup items are a way of saying, `We know who you are and we appreciate you.'''