WSS x KTTP PRESENTS | SHIRTS AND SKINS: DANNY WILLIAMS

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For this episode of Shirts and Skins, presented by World Soccer Shop, we feature Danny Williams. The German American midfielder has featured for the US Men’s National team, played in the Bundesliga and the Premier league and is currently playing for Pafos in the Cypriot First Division, the top division in Cyprus. His journey is documented and commemorated in his tattoos. We get to know Danny through his ink, from what it was like growing up German American to his mom battling cancer to playing across Europe and the UK to overcomming injuries and setbacks to making a comback and achieving his dream of playing in the Premier League.

Check out the full interview and photoset below and Be sure to follow Danny on instagram @chilliams23

THE PUMA NON-COROPRATE ​BOX |EMIRITES STADIUM

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The corporate box is typically reserved for an exclusive set of people and more often than not, retains a stuffy feel that never accurately captures the essence of the club or its fans. Arsenal, PUMA, and ad agency GBH London set out to flip what we have come to expect from a corporate suite and inject a fresh and modern outlook on what the corporate box experience is all about.

Set inside The Emirates, the Puma Non-Corporate Box takes elements from the club’s history and key details that have a deep connection to the club to bring more of a terrace feel to the space.

According to Mark Bonner from GBH London, “PUMA were given two executive boxes at The Emirates and Arsenal were open to disrupting the hospitality experience at the stadium.  The whole Non-Corporate Box where fan culture and the terrace experience from both Highbury and The Emirates would be celebrated up there.”

A tremendous amount of thought went into making the PUMA Non-Corporate Box a once in a lifetime fan encounter. “We wanted to make sure that Arsenal fans got to experience the box as well. We had a contest called ‘The A-List’ that gave Arsenal fans the opportunity to win tickets to the Non-Corporate Box.”

The box is plush with details and historical context that celebrates the history and legacy of the North London club. There are steel and concrete seating that pay tribute to the old terraces. Famous chants adorn the walls. A lighting layout that takes inspiration from Herbert Chapman’s famous “WM” formation. There’s even a nod to the Highbury squirrel who made its debut against Villarreal in 2016. Probably my favorite element is a foosball table that features two Arsenal teams—a classic Arsenal XI decked out in yellow kits vs the current Arsenal XI that are sporting the classic red kits.

In talking to Mark about the idea and execution of this box, we spoke about the need for modern day football to have modern day ideas. To flip what has been done before and give it a contemporary refresh that better engages with fans, players, and the sport itself.

This season marks the end of the Arsenal/PUMA deal and with it the end of the PUMA Non-Corporate Box. As with anything good that must come to an end, there is a legacy that lives on with this. With the PUMA Non-Corporate Box, Arsenal, PUMA, and GBH London brought in a new perspective, heightened the experience of any fan that has been able to experience the box, and ultimately brought a fresh and genuine outlook to the sport itself. Hopefully, part of the legacy of the box and what was created inspires future ideas about how to reimagine and refresh our experiences with the game.

VINTAGE | A BEHIND THE SCENES LOOK AT CLASSIC FOOTBALL SHIRTS

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We had the enviable opportunity to peruse the colors and crests on the racks of the Classic Football Shirts warehouse. Nestled in the shadows of Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, the aisles upon aisles of shirts and gear worn on the hallowed football pitches all over the world spark vivid memories tied to these historic pieces.

Each strip from the classic patterns down to the blood stains bring to mind moments cherished by footy fanatics far and wide. Moments that evoke a simpler time before every football fan had virtually every match from every corner of the globe streaming in their hands.

For Gary Bierton, preserving the moments and history before cell phones filled the stands, has been the mission for the passion project that first began in 2006 with the inception of Classic Football Shirts, founded by his older brother, Doug and friend Matthew Dale.

“It takes you back instantly, you know,” recounts Bierton as he sits in a warehouse with over twenty thousand kits ranging from the most loved to the most loathed, from well-known to the most unknown clubs around the world. “I’m looking at that France ’98 shirt. I can remember where I was when I watched the World Cup final in ’98. It puts you back in the room instantly.”

With Classic Football Shirts, Gary has been instrumental in buying, documenting, and providing the biggest collection of football shirts online in the world for fans and teams alike.

Looking for the 1999 kit worn by the treble-winning Manchester United squad? Take your pick: David Beckham. Paul Scholes. Roy Keane. It’s all there on their website.

The digital gatekeeper of football relics began in student housing his brother Doug and his partner, Matt,  finished university studies in Manchester. More so a clubhouse with a few rails carrying product for passers-by, with the first pop-up shop happening in 2018.

Not long after starting Doug and Matt got things started, Gary found himself working holidays cataloging shirts as he followed his own path at the Manchester Business School.

“I don’t think any of us expected to be here in 2019,” laughs Bierton as he recalls moments from the store’s infancy.

As the de-facto leader of marketing and brand growth, he has leveraged the collection into pop-up stores across the UK and exhibitions showcasing kits from brands such as Nike, adidas, Umbro and Kappa.

Classic Football Shirts created their first exhibits under the brand ‘Fabric of Football’. The cataloging the shirts online had already started years before and the catalog just kept growing.

Around the same time the team at Classic Football Shirts was expanding their online presence they got ready to dive into retail pop-ups.

Bierton’s mother raised concerns about the uncertainty of a career choice as a glorified second-hand merchant. Friends too wondered about the sustainability of the idea and where this side project would take them next.

Bierton continued to see the growth even those around him questioned the career choice. The doubters turned into believers when they saw the hundreds of people clamoring to get a chance to purchase a shirt at a London pop-up.

“A lot of my friends live in London and they come to see what you’re doing. Then they’re like, ‘Why are people queuing down the street to look at this stuff,’”

His friends might have been slow to catch his vision but it did not take long for them to realize the influence Classic Football Shirts has on the culture.

The impact of companies like Bierton’s has been far-reaching. Today tastemakers and fashion-centric individuals outside of the game and culture are choosing to rock classic football kits with growing frequency. Players have cross-pollinated their influence into different avenues. Seeing Drake or Kylie Jenner showoff their favorite football shirts on the ‘Gram is commonplace.

Brands like adidas and Nike have geared their campaigns and collections to fuse fashion with sports as a way to be more inclusive of the audience they are marketing to.

From the avid fan to the casual enthusiast of the game entrenched in everything fashion, leveraging the influence of designer juggernauts such as Virgil Abloh and Gosha Rubchinksiy has blurred the lines of ready-to-wear runway designs for the pitch.

That wasn’t always the case. Bierton recalls the moment that his type of inventory transcended the hardcore football fans.  “Not until maybe 2013, 2014 did it become a fashionable thing,” he says. “The moment we realized it had gone a little beyond from what we thought, was a post with Kendall Jenner wearing a Juve ’98 Kappa jacket.”

Celebrity influence has turned shirts that might otherwise be forgettable into hype-fueled items. The aforementioned Italian club Juventus donned rose pink Adidas kits for the 2015-2016 campaign. As soon as Drake and Snoop Dogg were captured wearing the shirts across social media, fans pillaged retailers to ride the trend.

But for Bierton, the affinity and passion for shirts will never fade. Beyond the trends and influence driven by the who’s who of music and design, he knows there’s someone looking for that vintage kit from his beloved Manchester United or the local Macclesfield Town football club shirt.

Regardless of the buyer, he’s thankful to play a part in connecting with fans and new aficionados.“It’s bigger than football. And we’ve come from the perspective as football fans, but then it becomes more than that. You can keep it quite rigid or open up to anybody.”

OLYMPIQUE DE MARSEILLE OFFICIALLY TAPS PUMA FOR ITS KITS

France’s long-standing football club Olympique de Marseille, a brand that has 119 years and 32 major trophies under its belt, has recently partnered up with global sportswear giant PUMA and its Football division to provide the club’s worldwide kits. This is course comes as a massive deal for both partners, with one gaining the expertise in sponsorship an design of a well-respected sports brand, and the other the prestige and association with one of Europe’s most iconic clubs. To celebrate its newfound relationship, PUMA Football and Olympique de Marseille have come out with three new 2018/19 kits for the team – home, away, and third – that pull inspiration from the sea, more specifically the power and ferocity that it wields.

Bridging the gap between soccer, art, and food, sportswear giant PUMA teams up with German football club Borussia Dortmund – or BVB for short – and Foodbeast to create a unique food truck that serves reimagined German street food with a Los Angeles twist. Dubbed the BVB Food Truck, the collaboration will be running the streets of LA for a limited time only that’s well worth seeking out.

Why, you ask? Because you’ll be able to order insanely scrumptious sounding dishes like currywurst burritos, curry chicken grilled cheese sandwiches, schnitzel sandwich, and curry cheese fries to name a few. You’d be insane not to try everything at least five times. The truck itself comes courtesy of local LA food truck, The Berlin Truck, which has been completely redesigned on its facade by OG street artist DEFER.

Showcasing the BVB Food Truck at its wurst behavior is yours truly in conjunction with our good friends Foodbeast, a food and drinks website that you should also be following. We’ve put together a quick video that highlights the elements behind PUMA and BVB’s effort, giving you a visual taste of what you’ll be getting when you visit the truck at one of its many stops around the City of Angels. The BVB Food Truck will only be spinning its wheels for one week, so make sure you check out its location schedule below to ensure you hit each and every stop.


May 18
Time: 12am – 12pm
Place: Common Space LA
Address: 3411 W. El segundo Blvd., Hawthorne CA 90250

May 19
Time: 11-1:00p
Place: S.S. Lane Victory
Address: 1945 Merchant Marine Ship, Berth 49, 3600 Miner Street, San Pedro

TIme: 4:30-10:00P
Place: 10 Mile Brewery Address:1136 E Willow st, Signal Hill, 90755

May 21
Time: 11-1:30
Place: Ocean & 31st
Address: 2929 31st St., Santa Monica, CA 90405

2:30 – 4pm
Place: Niky’s Sports
Address: 11807 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

May 22
Time: 11-2pm
Place: Tri Centre Food Trucks
Address: 650 E Hospitality Ln, San Bernardino

Time: 5 – 10pm
Place: GAME
Address: 3939 Figueroa St, Los Angeles CA 90037 (Parking Lot Across the Figueroa st Entrance Banc of California Stadium)

May 23
Time: 11-2pm
Place: Heritage Corporate Center
Address: 10350 Heritage Park Dr, Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670

Time: 4-10p
Place: Common Space LA
Address: 3411 W. El segundo Blvd., Hawthorne CA 90250