SCOUTING REPORT: THE STORY OF ADIDAS: OG SAMBA LUZHNIKI

Pusha T’s latest diss track aimed at Drake, “The Story of Adidon,” seems to be the only talk in social media right now, and I’m loving everything about it. But how are we not also talking as much as we should about the newly released adidas OG Samba Luzhniki Stadium edition? When these were first released to the public last week, the hype was definitely there, but not as much as it should’ve. Well, I wanted to go back to this release and shed more of the spotlight that it deserves. So without further ado, I present to you “The Story of Adidas” featuring the OG Samba Luzhniki.

Overall Design: Instant classic. I love a lot of things about this release. It immediately gives you that nostalgic old classic adidas vibe, of course with its design of the 3-stripes, but also with its colorway of an ivory white and scarlet red. The colorway is certainly inspired by the Luzhniki stadium, the main football arena from Moscow for the World Cup. The exact same colors used in this piece are used for the seats in the stadium. I am also a fan of the stitched-on typeface saying “Luzhniki” on the side of the shoe on one side, and the other side in Cyrillic letters to stamp this as a special edition release for this year’s World Cup.

Score: 4/5

Functionality: If you didn’t wear Sambas to play indoor soccer when you were growing up, did you even really play? I used to wear them for everything – not just soccer. I was probably the only kid in the gym to always wear them to play basketball even. Can you wear these Sambas to play soccer, however? Of course you can, but would you really want to? Compared to what’s out on the market nowadays, personally, I wouldn’t pick these Sambas with the expectation that they would be the best in performance. They’re probably not the most comfortable shoes out there, but it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make to stunt a bit.

Score: 4/5

Uniqueness: Understanding the love the Russian people have for adidas gear is important to appreciate this special release. The adidas tracksuits were popularized during the 1980 summer Olympics held in Moscow during the Soviet Union times. Back in 1980 adidas sponsored the Soviet Union team as their official team apparel sponsors even though the trademark adidas 3-stripes were not shown due to political reasons. In a nutshell, once the Olympics were over, many athletes failed to find real jobs and ended up doing different types of “jobs” on the streets. The classic adidas tracksuit was then often associated with troubled youth, or even those that are high above in the underground ladder. The head-to-toe adidas look was so popular with that crowd that there were several black markets dealing the apparel, as well a separate term for groups like the hooligans that are often seen wearing the tracksuits called the “Gopniks.” With the popularity of adidas in Russia and the connection of the World Cup also being held in Russia, everything about this release comes together naturally.

Score: 4/5

Details: adidas could have simply left this piece to ride the classic Samba look and change a bit of the colors here and there and call it a special release. But they’ve also captured many small details all around the shoe that makes this a one-of-a-kind in the Samba family. First, the aforementioned typeface of Luzhniki (and in Cyrillic) on each side of the shoe is a good touch. The red stars, often associated in flags, emblems, and the history of Russia/USSR, are also placed on the back heels. The inside of the shoe also has a red star with word markings of “3-stripes” and several different Cyrillic fonts making this overall release an instant classic and undeniably a special edition.

Score: 4/5

You can now purchase the adidas Samba Luzhniki from adidas.

Photo credits: asphaltgold

WITNESSING THE UNVEILING OF ADIDAS’ ENERGY MODE X18+

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to witness the official unveiling of adidas Soccer’s latest boot for the beautiful game: the adidas Soccer Energy Mode X18+. As it was an invite-only Media Day, we’ve had this tasty bit of news sitting on ice until today, its official public release. As such, we’re excited to run through the details of the new boot, as well as our experience during the unveiling event that took place at adidas’ German-based HQ. Aside from being able to see the new boot in al its glory, we were also treated to a full dissection of how and why the boot was made. Essentially, speed was the main focus, with adidas Football’s fastest players in mind. The shoe also brings on new innovation that helps accomplish its goals when in use.

There to explain its construction and design was VP of Design at adidas Football Sam Handy and his team, who ran through all the details with us, as well as showcase the behind-the-scene stages the design underwent to result in what you see before you today. But while hearing all about the new boot is great and all, we honestly just wanted to put the damn thing on to actually experience first-hand adidas’ latest soccer offering. Lucky for us, they had a wear test planned, so out we headed to the fields at adidas HQ to put some stretch marks into the Energy Mode X18+. Our feedback from the experience: these things are light as f*ck, incredibly secure, and have insane touch. But while we now know all about the boots, it’s only right that we highlight it for you, because you’re going to want a pair.

The design of the adidas Soccer Energy Mode X18+ comes to us in three iterations, including an in-stadium version, as well as a cage and a street version. As mentioned, the boots come with an emphasis on maximizing the player’s speed, aided by its lightweight and minimal construction. Inspiration wise, adidas looked to its past models to see how they could improve on previous efforts in a bid to create something current and innovative.

Now for the details: the adidas Soccer Energy Mode X18+ comes with a stretch laceless upper that reduces obstruction between the ball and touch while maintaining security in fit around the mid-foot – a crucial aspect to acceleration. The collar of the boot features a new stretch claw collar construction that simply adds to the stability and support. The outsole boasts a new lightweight speedframe with drillium engineered tooling and minimalistic construction meant to offer extreme traction.

The most impressive innovation behind the brand new boot, however, lies in its unique skeletal weave that results in an ultra-thin woven grid of optically charged speed yarns as the entire upper. What this ultimately means is that the player will experience a super-light boot that’s very responsive to the touch. On top of that, you had adidas’ ultra-soft speedmesh layering that puts ball control into the mix without sacrificing foot mobility.

As mentioned, the new silhouette takes a seat within adidas Soccer’s Energy Mode pack alongside other favorites likes the Predator, Nemeziz and Copa. The boot just came out today, so it’s available for purchase at selected retailers, as well as on adidas Soccer’s online webstore. Have a look at the boot foryourself, as well as our photo recap by photographer Luca Jaenichen of the official Media Day throughout.

PHILLY’S UNION GIVES TWO MARINES FREE INK DURING A MATCH

A little over a year ago the Philadelphia Union announced a unique initiative which saw them enlist Aston PA’s Bonedaddy’s Tattoo as the club’s official tattoo shop. It was an unprecedented, fresh and all around a cool move by the Union.

Fast forward to last weekend where the club added to their brilliant initiative by thanking some of their local military members with some fresh and free ink. Two active duty military members were nominated by fans then selected by the Union to receive the tattoos. The Marines selected received their complimentary tattoos in a stadium suite while they watched the Union smash Real Salt Lake 4-1. As you can see from the pictures below, the experience enlisted Bonedaddy’s Tattoo to completely transform the space into a proper tattoo parlor which really added a genuine aesthetic to a beautiful experience.

YOU NEED TO EAT AT PUMA & BVB’S FOOD TRUCK

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


OP-ED: CONCEPT KITS ARE THE FUTURE

Concept kits are wonderful things; an aspect of soccer culture where an artist can express their dreams of designing some of the biggest clubs’ kits. But what if these weren’t just dreams? What if brands realized the sheer talent some of these people have for designing kits?

adidas and Nike, obviously, run the kit game with iconic shirts from past years and some delightful new releases. However, in recent years, we have seen the increasingly annoying use of templates. A lazy approach to designing kits. Simply copy and paste the shirt, changing the colors to suit teams (see Nike’s 2016 releases). What if, for once, brands looked to a concept artist or two to create – or even just aid the creation – of kits? A certain increase in originality will be noticed, but also kits that have unique aesthetics and a feel about them that links them to fans and clubs alike.

Through the Twittersphere we have all been exposed to a beautiful concept kit here and there. The good ones always cause a stir amongst the community, with many fans frantically sharing and expressing their views which are mainly positive.

A designer by the name of Emilio Sansolini is a perfect representative for this design community. Such talent is within this collection of artists that brands are missing a huge opportunity not reaching out to them. A few examples below of the stupendous work that Sansolini creates. Various kits that, as fans, we’d all love to see the players wear, especially following Nike’s disastrous collar idea this year. All of them feature a unique design, providing a slick aesthetic and overall… being beautiful.

But he isn’t the only one. I stumbled across Lukas Danyi when browsing the concept equivalent to heaven on Pinterest. A designer providing incredible art surrounding some of the biggest clubs on the globe. A guy who states in his Twitter bio “I hope to get a job as a football kit designer.” Well, Lukas, you deserve it. You understand kits and what makes them beautiful things.

Despite the recognition these guys – and many more fantastic artists – are gathering being mainly from fans on social media, steps have been made in the right direction. AS Roma, the Champions League semi-final club, have recognized various artists, including the two aforementioned. Via their Twitter, they’ve shone a huge light onto some magnificent kit designs. A big step in the right direction for getting designers higher in the food chain regarding kit design. If more clubs/brands/people in a position like reach out to those that deserve it due to their sheer creative brilliance, then we could see more interesting kits. And this is something we need. Especially with this emergence of the ‘template.’ Viva la revolution!

Many more designers are out there. To name a few: Jack Hazzard, Angelo Trofa, and Carlo Libri.

These people are the future. A wave of designers have crashed upon the culture’s shores and aren’t going away anytime soon. I ask, no, I urge all designers to carry on creating and keep dreaming about your kits being worn by superstars. It’ll happen…it has to. You are the culture, you are the future and I salute you.

TENS CLUB DROPS “SCHOOL OF TOTAL FOOTBALL” JERSEY

For this month’s project TENS CLUB is releasing a “School of Total Football” jersey sure to invoke some nostalgia in soccer players everywhere. The top was inspired by those days of soccer summer camps, taking on the theme of wild promo graphics straight off camp flyers.

Sticking to a trademark color scheme for TENS CLUB, white decals stand out from a black base. The “uhlsport,” a German brand logo, runs diagonally on the right shoulder blade, with “TENS CLUB School of Total Football” running vertically down the left chest. In the center of the jersey is a white circle with TC1001 written inside. The location of each design element is loosely inspired by vintage AJAX jerseys with the nontraditional sideways placement.

The back has a lot going i terms of design, including a listing of what you will “learn from the pros” if you attend their imaginary camp. Cost, hours, and the catch phrase “Can you afford NOT to attend?” bring the true feeling of a flyer all young footballers once laid eyes on. Though the color scheme of the jersey is not wildly creative, the concept is. This release is a more light-hearted theme for the TENS CLUB, and as always, products drop on the tenth at 10sfc.com. Can you really afford NOT to pick one up?

Photos shot by Andrew Sokolow modeled by Tenille Joy in Brooklyn at Please Space.

WE TALK TO OLA KAMARA ABOUT ADIDAS X PARLEY & MORE

Although Earth Day has now passed – why isn’t every day Earth Day, we wonder… – we’re doing our little bit to keep the “movement” ongoing by highlighting the efforts adidas and Parley for the Oceans, a creative initiative focused on ending marine plastic pollution, have been doing this month. If you’ve been following either platforms or our Instagram stories, you’re already in the know about their ongoing collaboration’s latest campaign that brings Major League Soccer back into the mix, which ties perfectly with its “MLS WORKS Greener Goals” initiative.

officially dubbed “Earth Day Kits,” the three-way collab steps it up a notch from last year’s effort that picked only four clubs to create jerseys for. This year we saw the inclusion of MLS’ full roster of 23 clubs, each receiving a unique jersey constructed out of “upcycled plastic waste intercepted on beaches and in coastal communities.” As for our own efforts, we brought in the help of Norweigan-born pro soccer player Ola Kamara, who recently joined LA Galaxy, to model his new club’s adidas x Parley kits.

In addition to the photo editorial, we sat the man down to ask him about his new move to LA Galaxy as well as Los Angeles, the city he now calls home, what he thinks about the adidas x Parley x MLS kits, the brands’ environmental efforts as a whole, his personal opinions on saving the planet – seeing as Norway is pretty hands-on with ocean clean up, and more. Check out our interview with Ola below:


From our own research, Norway, which of course sits be the Norweigan Sea, does a lot in terms of cleaning up the ocean, so we can only imagine that it’s something you were conscious of growing up. Are you still aware of its current environmental efforts?

Coming from Norway, I think we’re doing a lot; there are not that many cars anymore. They’re actually pushing to get electric cars in and stuff like that, so hopefully it’s still getting cleaner. For me, thinking about the environment, even with clothing now, it’s a new step and it’s good innovation. As a [soccer] player, I think you always have to be creative and take that creativity to these types of efforts. adidas has been doing this for a while with their products, and it turns out that people are in fact interested in these kinds of the products and the thought and messages around them.

What about specifically what adidas, Parley and the MLS are doing with the eco-friendly kit campaign?

Well, my new teammates and I really like all the stuff adidas and Parley have been doing. We actually talk a lot about the environment and I think this initiative is all about that – getting the conversation going and being a positive effect on the community. I think that’s the thing that makes you proud of being a professional athlete, to be in a position where you can help promote action like that. It’s incredible that [adidas, Parley, and the MLS] are putting that effort out there for this particular cause. We’re all of the age now where we can think of the future, we can think of what our kids are going to be living in.

Aside from being eco-friendly, adidas and Parley have always been very conscious of the actual design of their products. It’s great that they’re using recycled waste to make the jersey’s but from what we’ve already seen of the kits, the design is on point – and always has been with the ongoing collab. Are you about the aesthetics of it all yourself?

To be honest I think the designs are fantastic, and really everything to do with the branding behind the whole recycling project. I was at adidas’ 747 event here in LA, and the build-out for Parley and how we got to see the whole construction process for the shoes was incredible! So yeah, of course the stuff looks good and it’s supposed to. When I go in to buy stuff from adidas, I’m looking at stuff that looks cool. The fact that the Parley stuff has that initiative that’s positive for the environment is just a bonus! The fact that they can make it look that good is fantastic.

What are you main comments on the Jerseys themselves?

Oh man, I’m excited about the Jerseys! They feel good. The one I have on now feels like I’m able to score some goals in it, so that’s always good!

Speaking of goals and soccer, can you bring us back to that first moment when you heard the news that LA Galaxy wanted you? Can you walk us through what was going on in your head?

Honestly, it was actually a long process. I think the moment it was clear that it was happening, it was amazing, but it was almost like I wanted the process to be over and I can actually get started being out here with LA Galaxy. When I actually got here in LA, that was when it was more like a game changer for me. like, I’m actually here and I’m going to play for LA Galaxy!

So how’s everything been since arriving here in LA?

It’s been busy the first couple of months, especially with needing to go back to Europe for the green card, and then only one week later back to playing with the national team, and then trying to find a place here in LA… It’s a lot of stuff that’s happening, but now I’m kind of settling in and my body is starting to feel a little bit better, so hopefully now it’s all about playing good, performing well and then also hopefully scoring goals! Outside of soccer though, it’s been amazing.

What about you and getting familiarized with the LA Galaxy team. How’s the rapport going? Are you fitting in with everyone?

I really like the guys! It’s been a lot of fun. Right now the team is in second place, and I don’t even think we’ve reached our full potential yet.

To get to know you personally a little better, what kind of things are interested in outside of soccer?

I’m big into hip hop right now. I think hip hop culture has a way of influencing you in terms of style and swag and everything. But I’m also a father, so you have to think about how you act and how you come across while enjoying all these things. And that actually ties back into the whole Parley thing, you know? I’m at a point where I’m thinking about what the next generation are going think. That being said, my son is only 2 years old, so all this stuff like hip hop and of course the soccer style and the sporty side of me is still all there – I’ve always been an active kind of guy. I love sports.

Well now that you’re living here in LA, which has a long history of hip hop, is there anything or anyone that you’re looking forward to seeing?

Hopefully I can see Kendrick Lamar! Maybe at their Champions Tour… So I’m looking forward to that, and then you actually have Nico and Vinz out here. The “Am I wrong” guys. So I guess you have some kind of Norwegian hip hop out here in LA!

Lastly, I wanted to ask if there’s anything going on in your life that you wanted to talk about perhaps a message to share with our readers. Anything at all.

Think about the environment, work hard, and enjoy life.

Photos by Brandon Ferlin

FLOWERS & FOOTBALL – A MATCH MADE IN ARTISTIC HEAVEN

To commemorate adidas Football’s release of the international away kits in March, Kicks to the Pitch mixed foreign with familiar.

As the Los Angeles flower market is a staple to locals, fashionable kits are a statement in soccer. To honor the tradition of each, the jerseys were paired with flowers to highlight the unique colors and designs featured from each country. Arguably the best designs in the entire drop are featured below, including Argentina, Colombia, Japan, Germany, Mexico, Russia and Spain. The colors are vibrant and bold, fresh and unexpected from adidas, with eye-catching designs that complement the traditional three stripes from the brand. The subtle details and patterns on each jersey blossomed into something beautiful with each as unique and tasteful as the last. The integrity of the kits remains the same – the country’s crest on one side and adidas’ distinguished logo on the other. The jerseys will make their appearance at the World Cup this year, which kicks off June 14th in Russia.

Check out the photos by Emily Acosta below:

“MUJERES” BY ARTIST RICARDO ANDRÉS VERDESOTO RUGEL

Over the weekend in Jackson Heights, Queens, local artist Ricardo Andres Verdesoto Rugel collaborated with Queenscapes, a community-based organization responsible for creating photography programs within the city for a two day pop up. On display was Rugel’s exhibit entitled “Mujeres,” a series of photographs that looks to showcase women wearing soccer kits as a means to dispel the notion that soccer is strictly a sport for men.

“Fútbol is known worldwide to be predominantly considered a “man’s sport,” but in my eyes, there hasn’t been enough attention brought to the women who are fans of the game – especially underrepresented minority women. Mujeres emphasizes on showcasing soccer jerseys as day-to-day lifestyle essentials, from the die-hard fans to the casual fans to wear. I want to influence change and rewrite the way we think about who the fans of the game are. It has become a movement, embracing female empowerment in diversity.” – Andres Ricardo Verdestoo Rugel

The photos from the exhibit were displayed at the Arepa Lady restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queens, where 50% of all photo proceeds were donated to Voces Latinos, a locally based non-profit organization that provides preventative and intervention services for everything from domestic violence to HIV/Aids. For more on the “Mujeres” photo series, make sure to check out ravr.nyc

THIS WEEKS INSTAGRAM BEST 11

We keep it moving with with another deep trek into the ever blossoming footy IG world. With the Champions League back in action, there was much to be inspired by i.e.: 8 bit football’s cheeky number with Chellini and Buffon which mimics an emotional moment during their tie with Spurs. Nike kept us intrigued with a new all-encompassing Mercurial followed by a meet up between Odell Beckham Jr and Cristiano Ronaldo, while Puma flexed a vibrant new Puma One colorway. Here, is this week’s Instagram best 11.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buffon & Chiellini 🇮🇹⚫️⚪️

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