In collaboration with Vacheron Constantin
Past Meets Present.
At just 23 years of age, Portsmouth-born Mason Mount is a global superstar.
His talents on and off the pitch have catapulted him to superstardom, akin to the rise of David Beckham in the early 2000s.
Having joined Chelsea’s academy at the age of six, Mason has been an instrumental figure at the club in recent seasons, leading them to Champions League glory and establishing himself as a fan favourite at Stamford Bridge. His performances have earned him 31 caps for England, five of which came in the nation’s infamous run to the final of UEFA Euro 2020.
It’s clear to see that life on the pitch comes naturally to Mason but it’s apparent that life off the pitch is equally as comfortable. In a matter of years, we’ve watched Mason transition from Chelsea’s golden boy to a cultural trendsetter, as he continues to build a powerful platform for personal expression and social influence. And while it might seem the perfect space to focus on his love for football and fashion, Mason is using his profile to raise money and awareness for charitable organisations close to his heart, launching Mountchandise in partnership with children’s charity Together for Short Lives. It’s easy to forget that Mason only broke into Chelsea’s first team three years ago and despite his reputation as one of the Premier League’s standout performers, his best years are yet to come.
To explore the inspiration behind a unique collaboration and take a look at what’s been an incredible journey so far, we sat down with Mason to reflect on his past, present and future.
“I’ve been involved in plenty of shoots and sometimes you want to do something a bit different,” he says. “From early on we expressed how interested we were in working with SWM and I was keen to make it something that meant a lot to me. The most important thing was to incorporate my hometown, so to be able to shoot where I used to go on walks with my mum and dad when I was younger was so special.
“There were other elements that I wanted to include like the old cobbled streets, Portchester Castle, the seafront, and I think the shot with the British flag in the backdrop was the image that brought it all together. Portsmouth had to be one of the main influences, so to have the shoot there and have my family with me was something that I was hugely passionate about. I’m proud to have been involved; it was a brilliant experience.”
We all find our vocation in life for different reasons. Footballers often follow in the footsteps of parents or family members and Mason is no different; sport is in his blood. His father Tony played and managed at a non-league level for years and his grandfather, Bill, boxed at county level across Hampshire. According to Mason, much of his success can be put down to the support and guidance of his family during those formative years in the academy, and even now as a leading light in the first team.
“My family have probably had the biggest influence on my career,” he says. “They’ve been influential from such a young age, taking me to train in Cobham every single day which isn’t an easy journey. Then when I moved up to London, they’d still come to training and games to support me. Even today, they still watch every single game and travel all over the world to watch me play. Every member of my family has played a huge part in my career, so I always try to say thank you in any way I can. Hopefully, this was a little thank you towards them as well.”
From our conversations, it’s clear to see how family orientated Mason is. In fact, many of his closest family members are involved behind the scenes, managing the day-to-day operations of his life and brand. It’s perhaps the primary reason he remains grounded, despite being one of the most recognisable footballers in the world. For Mason, it was important to capture the importance of these relationships by including family memorabilia within the shoot. This included items belonging to his beloved grandfather, Bill, a figure who Mason credits for the values and fighting spirit that he’s become known for.
“Quintessentially British, but with a modern twist.”
“I had a few things with me including my Grandad’s boxing boots and gloves,” says Mason. “He boxed when he was younger at county level and could’ve pushed on and made a career out of it. Throughout my life, he’s been huge for me. When I was coming through the academy he travelled up all the time to watch me train, but as he’s got a bit older he hasn’t managed to get to training and the games as much. He was someone that was always there behind the scenes and he made me feel at ease. He still watches me on TV as much as he can, but it’s brilliant to have that memorabilia along with me because I’ll never forget the moments when he was on the journey with me.”
The collaboration between SWM and Mason was a unique opportunity to showcase his character, personality, and the things in life that mean the most to him. From the outset, Mason expressed a desire to incorporate an American muscle car within the shoot and in particular the most famous of them all, the 1967 Ford Mustang. Made famous in the Fast & Furious franchise and as the iconic ‘Eleanor’ in Gone in 60 Seconds, it is undoubtedly one of the most emblematic muscle cars in history. Its modern-day popularity can be put down to a timeless design that to this day, still captures the imagination of all those that come across it. In keeping with the theme of ‘past meets present’, there was no better brand partner to join forces with than Charge Cars, a revolutionary company disrupting the EV and classic car markets.
Founded in London in 2016, the company are on a mission to redefine classic cars, preserving their iconic designs with electric technology for an emission-free future and unparalleled luxury experience. Their first project titled XP01, is modelled on the classic 1967 Ford Mustang and nearing completion. Only 499 cars will be made, each of them uniquely tailored to the individual customer. For Mason, the collaboration was the perfect nod to his childhood and a part of the project that he admits meant a lot to him.
“I’ve always loved the Fast & Furious film series – I used to watch them all the time. They feel like they’re going on forever now but I’ve watched every single one,” he laughs. “One of the main cars in the film was a muscle car and I used to love it. I used to have little figures of the car that I would play with as a child so I wanted that to be a part of the shoot. So to have Charge Cars involved and bring the modern electric element to a classic muscle car was brilliant to see. As soon as they said they were happy to work with us I was over the moon. The car they have created is beautiful. Having seen it up close and personal on the shoot, the Mustang looks even better in person so it was special to have them involved as well.”
Mason is no stranger to fashion collaborations and SWM offered the platform and perfect opportunity to get creative, whilst remaining true to himself. He is proud of his heritage and upbringing and it was important to encapsulate what it meant to be quintessentially British, but with a modern twist. The looks had to be suave, effortless and a true reflection of Mason’s character, hence the inclusion of clean, understated tailoring and heritage brands such as Burberry. It was important, therefore, that the accessories complimented the overall look. The perfect watch or item of jewellery can tie an outfit together, by adding versatility and the finer details that compliment simple outfits.
Vacheron Constantin, a long-standing partner of SWM and one of the world’s most famous watchmakers, proved to be the final piece of the jigsaw. With its roots firmly embedded in London and the United Kingdom, the brand is synonymous with designs that are rich in history and steeped in elegance. It’s a brand that has been gathering pace within the football industry of late and for Mason, it proved to be a dream collaboration that in his eyes brought the whole project together.
“A lot of the focus was on the styling and looks throughout the shoot,” he says. “Obviously we wanted to have the car but we wanted the clothes I was wearing to be quite smart. We incorporated some other, more casual looks as well, but the watch needed to bring the whole look together and we decided it had to be Vacheron Constantin.”
“We decided it had to be Vacheron Constantin.”
“On the day, they supplied some beautiful watches and to wear them and be able to see them up close and personal was special. I think it’s one of the oldest watchmakers in the world and the quality of the watches is second to none; they’re so smart and it suited the whole look perfectly. We wanted to move away from the flashy look and do something completely different, so working with the right brands was where a lot of the focus was placed.”
For the modern-day footballer, building a profile and personal brand outside of the game can be just as important as performing on the pitch. Social media has created a unique opportunity for athletes to reach fans and followers at the push of a button. Their influence cannot be understated, which is why much of Mason’s focus is on improving the lives of those less fortunate. In 2021, he became a patron for Together for Short Lives. The charity supports children and families, and those that support and care for them, working toward a better quality of life and end of life for children with life-limiting and life threatening conditions. Earlier this year, Mason launched his own clothing range, Mountchandise, with all proceeds going towards the charity. With support from global brands like Knight Frank, Nike and Wagamama, Mason and the team set up a unique pop-up shop selling Nike merchandise with a Mason Mount twist for one weekend only.
“We’re footballers first and foremost, but in our lives, there’s so much that goes on away from football,” explains Mason. “To be lucky enough to have the platform that I do and to be able to put it into use through charity work, is something that I’m massively passionate about. I’m lucky to be able to influence a lot of people and helping others is a big focus of mine. On my 21st birthday, I became a patron for Together for Short Lives. I feel very lucky to be involved in the charity, so I’m trying to use my platform to raise awareness, and funds and ultimately help these young children because anything I can do to help is what I want to do.”
Charity work isn’t the only thing Mason gets up to away from the busy schedule that comes with being a professional footballer. Like many of his colleagues, he has become infatuated with golf. Having lived much of their lives playing competitive sports, footballers see golf as an escape from the intensity of the modern-day game. Put simply, it’s the perfect way to relax but retain their competitive edge.
“I’m really into golf at the moment, I can’t stop playing,” laughs Mason. “I used to play when I was younger with my dad – he used to take me to the driving range to hit a few balls. While I was in the academy and out on loan I didn’t play at all, but now that I’ve come back and I feel a bit more secure at Chelsea I was able to spend some time playing golf and I’ve definitely got the bug. At Chelsea, I play with Christian Pulisic quite a lot and we have some good games. Decs is massively into it and I know Madders is big into his golf as well, so it’s popular with a lot of my mates. It clears your head and it’s massive for relaxing and obviously it’s rare to get injured. You’re on a buggy driving around, not walking loads, so it’s nice for a sports player. Last summer I went away to the Algarve in Portugal with my family and we were basically staying on the golf course, the back garden literally backed onto the fairway. We played four times in a week so it’s a good sport to be able to switch off and get out in the fresh air, not go on our phones, get away from everything and just play.”
Golf and affluence seem to go hand in hand, which is why most of the world’s best courses are located in private resorts in some of the world’s best luxury destinations; Quinta do Lago and Finca Cortesin, for example. It is perhaps no surprise then, that golf is often a deciding factor for footballers when choosing their next holiday destination. Despite this, Mason spent much of his summer in Los Angeles, with Chelsea teammate Trevoh Chalobah and best friend Declan Rice. As an elite athlete, he is no stranger to international travel and Mason admits it’s one of his favourite aspects of the lifestyle of a professional footballer.
“I love being able to travel the world,” he says. “I loved Portugal this summer for the golf, but my mum and dad recently went to Barbados and they said it was so nice to go there and chill, so I think that might next on my bucket list. We were just speaking about it earlier, but going away on a pre-season tour to America was an incredible experience. This is my fourth year in the first team and in that time we’ve been to Asia and America. It’s such a special moment seeing the fans in America and it opened my eyes to how many fans there actually are all over the world. I didn’t realise how much of a following we did have out there and the fans that showed up were unbelievable. Every game and every training session we had the fans were out supporting us. That’s what I love about being a footballer: being able to travel and see different places, even here in England whenever we have away games.”
“It’s a part of the game that I love and something that I thrive off.”
“After the last few years, travelling to America this year was brilliant and I think I’ll definitely be making the most of that over the next few years. I’ve been to Miami and went to LA this summer, and it just feels like a totally different world out there. Going to a basketball game was an amazing experience and to see a baseball game at the LA Dodgers stadium was special – it just feels like a different world and they have so many big sports out there.”
American football, basketball, and baseball are the undisputed champions of American sports, but Major League Soccer has been growing more prominent in the US over the last 15 years. Recent expansions in clubs and infrastructure and the increasing popularity among younger generations have seen football eclipse hockey as the nation’s fourth-choice sport. It can be attributed, in part, to the impact of David Beckham in 2007 when he swapped Real Madrid for LA Galaxy. It was a move that shocked the world and set in place a new trend for European footballers reaching the end of their careers. In 2015, Steven Gerrard followed in his footsteps when he too signed for LA Galaxy and in the same year, Mason’s hero, Frank Lampard, signed for the blossoming MLS franchise, New York City FC. The reasons are clear: to continue playing at a competitive level and the attractive lifestyle the US offers. Who wouldn’t enjoy the glamour and bright lights of New York, or the palm trees and beaches of Los Angeles? Mason is only at the beginning of what will likely be a decorated career, but it’s almost a certainty that in several years, the MLS’ top franchises will be clamming for his signature. And while it’s something that would tempt Mason in the future, for now, his focus remains solely on Chelsea Football Club.
“The latter stages of my career are a long way away,” says Mason. “This is my fourth year at Chelsea and to be fair, it has flown by so it’s probably not as far as you might think but I do love America. The places that we got to visit during pre-season like Vegas, Charlotte, and Orlando, they’re all totally different from one another but they were all amazing. So I could definitely see myself living out there one day and maybe playing right at the end of my career. You see a lot of players doing that and a lot of players that are retired now that did do that and I’ve not heard a bad word about it. It’s obviously very good for the lifestyle part of football, but to be able to still play at an older age is a brilliant opportunity as well for any player.”
With a little over a month to go until the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, Chelsea won’t be the only focus for Mason in the coming weeks. After the disappointment of last year’s European Championships, England and Mason have a point to prove. They’ll face the USA, Iran, and Wales in Group B, with their sights set on the knockouts. However, the focus isn’t on who they will face in November, but more on the magnitude of the occasion. Mason is just like all of us, having watched his country at international tournaments as a child, and admits the experience is one he is relishing.
“To have a World Cup coming up this year in Qatar and to hopefully be involved in it is a crazy feeling because I remember watching World Cups as a kid,” he says. I remember watching tournaments as a fan growing up and now I might have the opportunity to play in one, so you pinch yourself knowing that it’s not too far away. But this is the start of the season and we’ve got a lot of hard Premier League games before that time comes. After that, the focus will be on the World Cup and what we can achieve as a country and as a team.
“To have been so close to winning something very recently at the Euros makes you even more hungry and gives you that fire in your belly to go and achieve something. We know we’ve got the squad to do that, so we’ve got to be confident in what we can do and I definitely feel that over the next few years we will achieve something massive together.”
Whatever the outcome of the World Cup, Mason has reached a stage in his career where his performances for club and country, and his profile off the pitch, have galvanised a whole new generation of football fans. It’s the type of pressure that Mason clearly welcomes at this point in his life, and one of the many reasons he will go on to have a remarkable career. Undeniably, Mason has the aura of a generational talent and an obvious desire to create a legacy that goes beyond just being a professional footballer.
Mason’s future is full of promise. This is his story so far, with so much more to come.
“When the prospect of working with Mason arose, we knew it would be a project unlike anything we’d done before. It was the first time we’ve ever given the client creative direction, so it was massively exciting to hear Mason’s ideas.
From the outset, he had a clear vision of what he wanted to include and an underlying theme that every aspect had to adhere to. With a focus on Portsmouth, heritage and simplicity, we were able to incorporate brand partners Vacheron Constantin and Charge Cars, which was a great privilege.
Vacheron Constantin has grown in popularity within the footballing community and it’s a brand we know is in favour with a number of the Chelsea players, including Mason. He has a look all of his own and the watches complimented perfectly the outfits and brands he had chosen for the shoot.
During the planning stages, Mason also expressed his love for American muscle cars and the desire to include one within the shoot, which is where Charge Cars came in. What they have achieved with their inaugural project, the Electric Mustang, is revolutionary and again completely in line with the overall theme of past meets present.
Over the last three years, we’ve developed a great relationship with Mason and his family, assisting with anything they need via the lifestyle management team here at SWM. It’s been a pleasure to help Mason over the years and watch his career reach new heights. We’d like to extend our thanks to Mason, and looking forward to a continued working relationship with him and his team.”
Liam & Andrew - SWM
“SWM has always been massively helpful. Anywhere that I’ve looked to go they can help and with our schedule, it can sometimes be really short notice.
If we have tournaments we never know when we’re finishing so in the summer we had the Euros and we were lucky enough to get to the final. Unfortunately, we lost but then it’s a last minute holiday to get away and SWM has always kept that in consideration and been very helpful.
Working with SWM on the shoot was brilliant. The way they let me have a say in what I wanted to and incorporated everything that I wanted, whilst being very open about what we could do was brilliant. The way the shoot came out was exactly what I had in mind and exactly as I pictured.
“I definitely think they’re the best in the game at what they do and operate around you and what you feel like doing. If you need to go away somewhere or you’re going somewhere else, they incorporate everything. They’re a brilliant team and I’ll definitely be working with them in the future.”