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How the U.K.’s Billionaire Prime Minister Is Bucking Convention With His ‘Relatable’ Style

It’s a rarity to witness trainers inside an institution like Downing Street, which upholds very strict standards.

How the U.K.’s Billionaire Prime Minister Is Bucking Convention With His ‘Relatable’ Style

Rishi Sunak wearing Adidas Sambas.

LONDON — Britain’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wears Prada, Palm Angels and Adidas Sambas.

The leader of the Conservative Party has caused an online ruckus for his sartorial choices.

In an interview with Beth Turbutt-Rogers, otherwise known as Budgeting Mum on Instagram, the prime minister wore Adidas Sambas with a white shirt and dark trousers.

Sunak’s choice of footwear received quite the backlash. 

“I issue a fulsome apology to the Samba community. But, in my defense, I would say I have been wearing Adidas trainers including Sambas — and others, in fact — for many, many years,” he told LBC Radio in an interview.

How the U.K.’s Billionaire Prime Minister Is Bucking Convention With His ‘Relatable’ Style

Rishi Sunak, Britain’s prime minister, loves dressing up in British tailoring.

“The first pair my brother got for me many, many years ago. My first pair of fun Adidas trainers as a Christmas present. I haven’t looked back since. So I’ve been a longtime devotee,” he added.

Sunak revealed that he bought the trainers himself and that he’s been a fan of the German sports brand for a very long time.

Since becoming prime minister in 2022, he’s confidently shown that he loves dressing up in British tailoring, Common Projects and Timberland.

It’s a rarity to witness trainers, otherwise considered informal footwear, inside an institution like Downing Street that upholds itself to very strict and stale standards.

The new prime minister made headlines in 2022 after the Daily Mail reported that Sunak, Britain’s former Chancellor of the Exchequer, was wearing a two-piece suit by Henry Herbert that cost 3,500 pounds with Prada shoes costing 490 pounds.

Sunak told LBC Radio that he’s “intrigued and amused by the amount of focus on what I’m wearing.”

Sunak, an Oxford graduate and Fulbright scholar with an MBA from Stanford and a former banker with Goldman Sachs, has frequently been criticized for his education and wealth.

The British government hasn’t had a sleek dresser in charge since Theresa May, who resigned in 2019 with Boris Johnson taking over. And Johnson’s image didn’t fit the clean-cut prime minister mold — for him, it seemed the more rumpled the suit, the better.

How the U.K.’s Billionaire Prime Minister Is Bucking Convention With His ‘Relatable’ Style

Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

Liz Truss followed in those footsteps with her stiff silhouettes, block colors and short, neat, blond hairstyles. She continues to favor British high street labels and outfits that are worlds away from the minimally sleek and corporate uniforms of her colleagues. Her go-to brand is Karen Millen, which is now owned by British fast-fashion retailer Boohoo Group.

Fashion has always played a hand in Downing Street.

Winston Churchill started visiting Savile Row from the age of 19, endorsing the likes of Henry Poole & Co. and Turnbull & Asser in wartime and peacetime; John Major and Gordon Brown turned to Gieves & Hawkes.

Tony Blair, the man of “New Labour,” gambled on a new sartorial choice when in office by often wearing Paul Smith. Brown’s successor, David Cameron, also favored a hip British brand, often wearing suits by Richard James.