In the first part of a new player interview series exploring the off-field interests of those in the Chelsea dressing room, we talk to Ben Chilwell about his passion for fashion and keen eye for films…
A quick glance through Chilwell’s social media feeds gives you an indication that the 24-year-old is a man who likes to stand out from the crowd. He has sported an array of colourful outfits and accessories over the years which all reflect an outgoing character who dares to be different.
While his style has evolved since his teenage years at Leicester City, his interest in fashion has only intensified and he has certainly brought a fresh look to Cobham since his summer move from the Foxes.
‘It’s a good way to express your personality,’ he says of his bold wardrobe.
‘For me, it started probably three or four years ago when I started to look online at different fashion websites, not just to buy clothes but to read articles and see what fashion designers were thinking.
‘I found it really interesting and then started to enjoy wearing “out there” outfits that show your personality. Standing out when you wear stuff is something that I enjoy.’
‘I’m not a fan of Timo’s fashion!’
‘When I was at Leicester, my best friend was Madders [James Maddison] and he’s the same – he loves fashion and he loves to dress differently and wear stuff that nobody else would wear.
‘If I showed him a picture of something that I wanted to get but was a bit unsure, he’d always convince me and it was the same with me to him. We’d always be online looking at clothes in our spare time so I think that helps when you’ve got someone else who’s into it that you’re friendly with.
‘At Chelsea, I speak with Mason, Tammy, Reece and Hakim as well because I know he likes his fashion. Timo would probably be the one I wouldn’t go to for fashion advice! Maybe it’s different cultures but he hates the stuff I wear and I’m not a fan of the stuff he wears.’
‘I always try to raise eyebrows!’
‘I love Nike trainers. Air Forces are what I wear day-to-day because they literally go with anything you wear but then also Dunks are becoming pretty common now. They’re a super cool trainer so a lot of the boys are starting to get into wearing them now, myself included.
‘I have a bit of a trainer collection and I like to keep them all looking as fresh and clean as possible. I’ve not had many opportunities to wear anything recently so hopefully when everything opens up again, we can all go out for dinner as a team and I can bring an outfit out that raises some eyebrows – that’s what you always go for!
‘I’ve also got a collection of hats – baseball caps, trucker caps, beanies. Pretty much whenever I go out, unless it’s a smart event where I need to do my hair, I’ll always have a cap on.’
So what about that Scott Parker coat?
‘It wasn’t for me but they got the win so maybe he’ll wear it again. I’m moving soon and he lives down the same road so I don’t want to say too much in case I bump into him!’
Film club with N’Golo!
‘I watched Parasite the other night because N’Golo was telling me he’d seen it and enjoyed it. Me and N’Golo suggest films for each other to watch and then we’ll come in the next day and talk about what we thought of it, a bit like a film club.
‘I always talk to Mason about films, as well as Christian, Billy and Tammy. There’s four or five of us but with N’Golo, that’s what we have in common most and a lot of what we talk to each other about is films to watch.’
‘I like films that blow your mind!’
‘I enjoy all types of films but thrillers are probably my favourite genre, especially Shutter Island and Prisoners. My two favourite films are Interstellar and Inception because they really make you think. They’re clever and you come away from it thinking you’ve learnt something too. Those films that blow your mind a bit are the ones that I really enjoy most.
‘As for the film I’ve watched the most, I reckon that’s Troy. It’s just my go-to film when I’ve got nothing else to watch because it’s a great action film with good battle scenes and a good cast. That and Gladiator are the ones when I can’t think of anything else to watch.’
‘DiCaprio could play me!’
‘My favourite actor is Leonardo DiCaprio so if I could choose anyone to play me in a film, it would be him!
‘In our dressing room, Tammy is the one who reckons he’s got a bit as an actor. On the media days when we have to do all the celebrations and stuff, he’s probably the one who goes for it the most. He probably fancies himself at it as well.’
‘I’ve been watching loads of TV series recently and just finished Westworld, as well as Sons of Anarchy and Entourage. It’s all stuff I’ve seen before but I’ve enjoyed so watched it again. When I get home after training, I usually have a nap and then watch a few episodes.
‘I’ve just watched Game of Thrones all over again and that would have to be my big recommendation. If you ask anyone who’s watched it, they’ll say it’s the favourite thing they’ve ever seen.
‘It’s just amazing and anyone who hasn’t seen it should just watch it. It’s a bit of a slog at eight seasons but it’s the best thing you’ll ever watch.’