OG GRAFFITI LEGEND SABER TALKS ART AND SOCCER

Art and soccer go hand-in-hand – that’s obvious. We see the marriage displayed on our favorite soccer jerseys, we see it on posters, campaigns, and art projects from a novice fan to a recognized artist… there’s art even found in how the beautiful game is even played – many argue that soccer itself is a form of artistic dance. Does it lie in the beauty of art though? Or in the beauty of the game? Perhaps both! Either way, it’s a marriage we always enjoy, no matter the genre, so when we heard OG graffiti legend Saber was involved in adidas Football’s recent Energy Mode X18 event here in Los Angeles, we jumped at the chance to speak with the man to get his thoughts on the relationship between art and soccer, as well as how and why he’s particularly involved, where he would like to see the shared cultures going in the future, and much more.


So, to start, what’s your relationship with soccer?
The first thing I can say is that I played soccer when I was about five… I don’t know shit. I know nothing. World Cup? WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT? I don’t know what it is. Football… Futbol? Okay… I’ve always appreciated the sport, but then I get sucked into this gig and I’m like okay cool, let’s go! So then I start researching – I didn’t really know much about ‘street league,’ I don’t know about a Tango League – I didn’t know anything about this… But I start seeing videos, I start seeing what these kids are doing and the energy, the technical aspects of how talented these kids are, and I thought it was really cool, man. There’s a lot of energy behind it and I thought that was really moving. When I saw the momentum and saw the energy, I thought that was really cool. It seems like something that’s very positive. I like that it’s aggressive. I also like that it can get aggressive, that it’s pretty hardcore. It can get pretty intense. With street soccer and graffiti, we’re all kind part of being born out of concrete to a certain degree, and I think the competitive spirit might be similar. I don’t do graffiti much anymore – I’m too old and have kids and shit like that, but back in the day we were always are unstoppable.

That’s how people are describing soccer players now: as being “unstoppable.”
Yeah, I was unstoppable back then!. Nothing could stop me, nothing!

So back then, did you see any sort of marriage between the street art/graffiti world and soccer? Do you see it happening now?
Well honestly, for me those worlds didn’t even combine. They didn’t even exist together. So I think adidas, with their efforts and the Tango league and street soccer aspect, it’s nice to see adidas sponsoring these things and making these things happen. It’s only going to grow, and these kids are very competitive! So yeah, clearly they’re going to grow the sport and grow it into something bigger and maybe America will embrace “football” as opposed to [American] “football.” I don’t even watch it. I like violence, so I like watching jujitsu and people killing each other. Other than that, I don’t follow sports and I don’t have time… I’m too caught up with other stuff. But still, I think the energy is very similar and I think what translates that energy is when you have the fashion, you have the momentum of it. You have that action, and I think there are similarities between soccer and art with that.

You can look at other countries where it’s easier to see both cultures of street soccer and graffiti side-by-side – both born from the streets. I mean, you go to a place like Brazil and you’ll have a pickup game on the streets amidst a whole bunch of graffiti, some kids partaking in both. Is that something you’d like to see more of in America?
Absolutely. I would love to see that. That seems to be a more healthy environment. We were born out of the gang mentality. So we didn’t really want to open up to anybody, you know? We kept to ourselves. I think this could be a good bridge – a cultural bridge – between the two worlds and more: music, skateboarding, streetwear… anything really!

RED STARS DEFENDER CASEY SHORT TALKS OFF-WHITE

Last weekend, Nike send us out to Chicago to experience the official event celebrating their soccer-inspired collaboration collection with one of today’s most coveted creatives Virgil Abloh and his brand Off-White, dubbed ‘Mon Amour.’ During the event, which as mentioned took place at the very city Abloh first called home, we were fortunate enough to sit down and chat with professional soccer player and defender of the Chicago Red Stars Casey Short, who came through to join in on the festivities of the day. If you’re just catching up on what went down at the ‘Mon Amour’ event in Chicago, head over to our official recap feature here. As for Casey, check out our exclusive interview below where we asked her to share her thoughts on the Off-White x Nike collection, who she’s rooting for in the 2018 World Cup, how she got involved in Nike in the first place and more.


So, first all we’re here in Chicago to experience the announcement of Off-White x Nike ‘Mon Amour.’ So to start, I wanted to get your thoughts and comments on the collection.
I think it’s so cool! I didn’t know a lot about it before, but I love the alternative take on the old-school soccer inspiration. It’s like a throwback but it’s still different and super cool. It’s not cookie-cutter like we see elsewhere sometimes – it’s very unique.

Talking about you now, how did you first get into soccer?
Honestly, it started as more of a social thing! All of my friends were doing it so I started it and then fell in love with the game.

Seeing as it’s World Cup season, are you gonna be watching the games?
Yeah, I will be, but obviously it’s a little bit sad that our men aren’t in it… I to for. So it’s tough – I don’t know who to root for.

If you had to choose, which country would you root for? AND who do you think will actually win?
OK, so for I think is going to win… Germany. And our team, we actuallydrew out of a hat for who to root for, and my team was Costa Rica so that’s who I’m actually rooting for!

Moving on now to you and Nike, tell us a little bit about your experience working with the brand as a professional athlete.
Oh, well, Nike has been phenomenal to me. I’ve always been a huge fan of their gear and their apparel – and of course their shoes. So to finally become an official ambassador, It means a lot to me. I mean, I’m literally obsessed with Nike, haha.

Is becoming a Nike ambassador somethingthat you ever thought would happen?
t was always the dream! But obviously there were a few step backs with injuries which m, ‘is this actually going to happen?.. was this meant for me?.. But that’s also when I realized just how badly I wanted it and how much this the game meant to me.

Images by Turfmapp/Trisikh Sanguanbun

THE SHOE SURGEON TALKS ADIDAS SOCCER COLLAB

Always one to take existing sneaker silhouettes to new heights through artistic customization, Dominic Chambrone AKA The Shoe Surgeon adds to his coveted roster of sneakers with his latest Electricity Copa Rose 2.0 for adidas Football. The shoe also plays a part in a collection of soccer-meets-basketball sneakers that the skilled artist made exclusively for The Association, an ongoing soccer league held by yours truly that brings together teams assembled by brands and companies within our culture, including Beats by Dre, Complex, Dash Radio, FourTwoFour on Fairfax, Jason Markk, Niky’s Sport, Red Bull, and SpaceX.

The Electricity Copa Rose 2.0 is a clear stand out (well… they kind of all are), and is comprised of an adidas Copa soccer cleat in “Electricity” as the upper fixed on to the sole taken from the adidas Derek Rose 4 basketball shoe. What’s even better is that this work of art – along with the other pairs from the aforementioned collection – are all wearable, and will be made available this Saturday May 12 exclusively on The Shoe Surgeon’s online website. Check out The Shoe Surgeon x adidas Football Electricity Copa Rose 2.0 throughout, then read our interview with the man on the whole soccer-meets-basketball collection below. Head here to see the other pairs.


In your own words, how would you describe your approach to the collection of custom sneakers you made for The Association?
My approach to the collection was really to mash up soccer and basketball, and really do it in a way where you can actually play in them as well.

What was the most challenging pair to make?
I would say that the most challenging shoe out of this collection was the adidas COPA silhouette on the Crazy BYW sole.

And if you had to pick your personal favorite pair?
My personal favorite from this collection would definitely have to be the Samba on the Dame 4 sole. I just think it’s such a classic upper on top of a futuristic basketball sole.

After finishing the whole collection, was there a pair that you expected the audience to view as the craziest?
Probably the aforementioned Crazy BYW sole on the COPA. That one’s pretty loud.