THE BEST LIFESTYLE X SOCCER FASHION COLLABS

We as soccer fans will take anything that draws positive and unique attention to the game, especially attention from those who may connect with fashion but need another outlet to love soccer. Collaborations between brands can open doors for new and exciting products in the fashion world, and collaborations in soccer fashion have taken the game to new heights, and perhaps, more importantly, has expanded fanbases.

Here is a list of some highlights of projects that stood out in recent years. Though I was going to rank them, that became far too difficult. So instead we can just appreciate each for its unique contribution.

LEVI’S X LIVERPOOL FC:

Levi’s recently teamed up with Liverpool FC to add subtle twists on old Levi classics. At the heart of the collection is the 511 slim fit jeans with a twist. The iconic back patch got an upgrade to Liverpool red and this is probably the most noticeable change of all the pieces. My personal favorite is the Sherpa trucker jacket with a small “You’ll Never Walk Alone” hang tag at the base of the neck collar. The entire collection screams classic minimalist – something Levi Strauss Company has built a successful brand around.


SOPHNET. x NIKE:

SOPHNET, the Japanese Streetwear brand, partnered with Nike to create FC Real Bristol. Real Bristol is one of the first imaginary soccer clubs with its own clothing line. The line, since its first drop in 1999, has grown to be quite extensive with over 1,000 items for sale on their website. FC Real Bristol was one of the first of its kind and headlined the imaginary club with “fans” being buyers of the product. Being so new and innovative, it was easy to appreciate.


SUPREME x UMBRO:

Would any collaboration conversation be complete without headmaster Supreme? Before you groan, let’s check out the Umbro and Supreme mashup from 2005. You know… prior to the small logo on a Hanes white T-shirt days. An NYC skateboard label and one of the most prominent soccer brands of all time – two powerhouses to say the least. In 2005, soccer wasn’t exactly on America’s radar but Supreme confirmed (yet again) that they can work with anyone.


YOHJI YAMAMOTO X ADIDAS FOR REAL MADRID:

Probably the most badass idea of all, Yohji Yamamoto, a fashion icon of Japanese streetwear who spearheaded adidas’ Y3 line, designed jerseys for Real Madrid. Prior to this release, there were multiple fashion designers working for soccer clubs but their products stopped at the locker room with sweat suits and club shirts; Yohji’s made it on to the pitch. The kit features a slate grey half bird-half dragon over a black silhouette. Likely the easiest kit to transition from pitch to streetwear.


VIRGIL ABLOH’S OOFF WHITE x NIKE

Rounding out the list with arguably the most prominent fashion collaboration is Virgil Abloh’s “Off White” with Nike. Simply put, taking on a major brand like Nike and recreating over 10 classic silhouettes is a beast in itself. Bring that into the soccer realm and you’ve got streetwear-meets soccer-meets the mainstream audience. Pretty bold move if you ask me. Virgil ran with it and the “Off White” theme has exploded. From foams to Airmaxes and Jordans, to the Mercurial Vapor 360, the signature quotation marks have taken over their own piece of Nike’s dynasty. A collaboration list wouldn’t be complete without it.

HERE FOR THE COMMENTS: UMBRO FOR JAMAICA

I think we can all agree that a great look for Jamaica had been a long time coming. Yes, the Jamaican bobsled team from Cool Runnings had a memorable look, but at least in the world of soccer, I believe most people would point back to the 1998 Kappa World Cup jersey as the last time the Caribbean island nation gave us a kit to talk about. This, however, is now a thing of the past as Umbro’s brand new home and away options for Jamaica left me dumbfounded when I first laid eyes on them. While I could talk about everything that’s great about these kits, as usual, I thought I should switch it up a bit and extend the dialogue we’re going to have about Jamaica’s new look by sharing some of the comments I have gathered throughout various Instagram pages.

It is obvious Umbro’s effort has received overwhelming approval. No comment can be more reflective of this support than the one below:

spencer_loop: “Usain bolt about to play”

I can’t disagree with this comment. The kits make me want to play for Jamaica and I am not even Jamaican. Additionally, I love these kits so much that I see myself outrunning the fastest man on Earth in order to get them.

Both kits are exceptional, but some people have already chosen their favorite.

guerrilla_fc: “that away kit is 🔥”

Guerrilla FC expressed a very common opinion on social media. By far, Jamaica’s away kit steals the show with its unique graphic print across the lower portion of the jersey. The home kit, however, is still a solid option as it too has some distinct features. What I love most about the home look is the taping on the sleeves which combines the Umbro diamonds with a prominent feature of the Jamaican flag. This is a perfect blend of both brand and country and you get something that is easily identifiable as both Umbro and Jamaica – something that’s pretty rare to see nowadays.

Some people though are more modest with their approval.

yungrichard:_ “kits lowkey heat 🔥🔥🔥”

@yungrichard_ writes the biggest understatement about these kits. There is nothing lowkey about them. If anything his comment should have read that these kits are highkey heat.

From this, you move on to the people who already have these kits among the best of the year.

brxxxck: “Way hotter than the Nigeria 🇳🇬 kits at the WC.”

Okay so this comment is certainly up for debate, but I do not think @brxxxck is wrong when saying this. If there is one thing that Jamaica’s kits have going for them that the Nigeria kit does not, it is that Umbro has devised truly original looks that are not inspired by previous designs.

Did I say people really love these kits?

alistairslack: “They are so peng”

Okay so this comment is one I was initially confused by but I assumed it just had to be good. One quick Google search later and I found out I was right.

Still, not everyone will be a fan.

liam_mclachlan113: Possibly one of the ugliest kits I’ve ever seen

Yes, this comment left me the most confused of all. It’s not a very popular opinion whatsoever either. I don’t agree with it, but I am sure @liam_mclachlan113 will see the error of his way eventually.

On that note, I welcome everyone that may either hate or appreciate these kits to share their own comments with us below!

ANOTHER NIKE CLASSIC WITH THE PREMIER II SALA

Unlike any other major sport, Soccer and by extension futsal, share a symbiotic relationship with street fashion. Shirt, shorts, shoes…simple really. It only makes sense then; that what we often see on the pitch and court is what we continue to rock off it. To focus on the latter, Nike has hit yet again with another indoor classic, the Premier II Sala collection.

Continuing a tradition of timelessly clean boots, Nike keeps it classy yet functionally forward with this latest release. Starting with color: the shoe comes in a clean “Desert Sand” and “Midnight Navy”, to which would virtually complement any fit. As for comfort, the shoes upper is rugged and sturdy, built for the countless courts it will be played on worldwide, and features lightweight mesh alongside supple suede accents. To bring it together, Nike has instilled its Lunarlon technology, a soft and durable foam core base that’s both lightweight and resilient.

The Nike Premier II Sala Collection arrives at an interesting time, as fashion is hearkening back to the many styles seen throughout the ‘90s and early 2000s. Baggy pants, eccentric shades, flashy color palettes, and oversized tops are but a few of the trends currently dominating the street landscape to where we’ve seen other sportswear giants, such as adidas, dropping its own set of historical and modern kicks with the recent release of the Predator Accelerator TR Ultraboost and forward thinking Sobakov.

Like its German counterpart, Nike also pays its homage to its past by blending the right amount of history with just the right amount of modern technology, where the shoes just feel right and will feel right for a very long time.

Images from soccerbible.com

ONCE KILLING THE KIT GAME, KAPPA IS NOW AN ICON

Kappa is, without doubt, a brand that is coming back into the mainstream in terms of fashion, but for those that are more familiar with its lifestyle offerings, the long-standing brand was once producing absolute fire soccer kits back in the day.

They’re still producing kits today for teams like Napoli and Torino, but reflecting on the history of the brand, some of their kits were beautiful and are now icons. Teams like Juventus, Barcelona and Manchester City have all donned the Kappa logo on their shirts, with these kits filling up numerous spaces on my wishlist and it goes down to pure aesthetics.

Maybe it’s my very deep inner Hypebeast coming out, or maybe it’s my nostalgic side (most likely the latter), but the Kappa shirts from the ’90s are incredible. The Kappa logo running down the sleeves, the collars and the pure class designs on them just make me fall in love with every shirt. Look at Barcelona’s kits from ’92 to’98 – they’re stupendous. And seeing a player like the Ronaldo wearing these sorts of kits just makes me fall in love with them even more.

Now, the kits that the brand is currently offering us are truly a fall from grace. Albeit, they’ve done some adequate kits over the recent years that have impressed various kit nerds but for me, they’ve plummeted from what they were once producing. That isn’t a dig at the brand, it’s just a personal preference on kits and it highlights just how good their ’90s kits were.

Soccer kit’s have a 20-year turnaround – normally. A kit will become ‘fashionable’ due to trends wanting classic/vintage items circa 20 years on. Kappa is a brand that is becoming popular again and I see more and more people wearing it, including myself. Alongside this, the sub-culture of soccer is becoming increasingly mainstream and shirts can now be seen as a fashion item rather than the team you support. ’90s Kappa shirts suit this perfectly. Their shirts can be sought after by collectors but also by the fashion conscious. We’ve even seen superstar Kendall Jenner wearing a vintage Juventus Kappa jacket before, and this is substantial evidence that vintage Kappa football items are for much more than just your average soccer fan – a Fact… Apparently.

Kappa: A delightful brand that was once killing the kit game and one that has now seen its shirts become more popular with kits due to the nostalgic and vintage trends. Kappa is an icon. Respect them.

A PERSONAL TRIBUTE TO THE DESIGN OF THE MAGISTA

I never wore the Magista as a cleat, but I did regularly wear the Footscape sneaker version. I probably can’t give you a good look into what it is like to wear the Magista from a performance point of view, but from an aesthetic and whatever Nike told us about technology view? I gotcha.

The Magista came about in 2014 and they revolutionized the game. Launched by Iniesta, the first-gen Magista featured the sock-like collar alongside a FlyKnit upper that we see on so many boots today. It wasn’t just the technology that I loved about the Magista; it was mainly the look of it. A beautiful design with so many colorways being released over the years since its inception.

A whole 26 colorways of the first-gen Magista were released and there wasn’t many I disliked. The whole look was intriguing, with the upper and base colors supporting an underlying color in a net-like design. This offered a delightful look, with the chance to combine some wonderful additional colors. We’ve seen turquoise combined with orange, which surprisingly worked and became one of my favorite releases of the silhouette. The Magista seemed to be a representation of the expression of creativity, both on and off the pitch. This is why all the magicians of the game wore it, from Andres Iniesta to Kevin De Bruyne, to Mario Götze (who scored the 2014 World Cup-winning goal in a pair of these).

Where it became cooler, was the Magista Obra II. An interesting development from Nike in terms of tech and aesthetic. The first release of the second-gen was a delightful but weird release. The colorway was a direct replication from a heat map which highlighted where a player would make contact with the ball the most. Not only did the colorway feature this design, the boot’s shape, and texture were also designed with what the player’s foot would be like if its sole purpose was to be playing soccer. As a boot aficionado, a release like this had me hooked on the Magista Obra II, and to be honest, I loved many of the Obra II colorways.

Now, all that being said, with the recent release of the Phantom by Nike, the Magista dies. A sad time indeed, as the now legendary-in-my-books Magista was built for intelligence and creativity – by intelligence and creativity. It was – and still is – an intriguing boot, especially the second-gen. it’s a wonderful addition to soccer’s footwear market, and despite never wearing it during a game, I loved it. Happy retirement.

WOULD YOU WEAR YOUR FAV ALBUM AS A SOCCER JERSEY?

Well, if you’re a fan of both music and soccer then we can safely assume your answer would be yes, right? The concept of taking your favorite album’s artwork and turning that into a soccer jersey begs the question of why it’s never been done before. Well, thanks to graphic designer Nick Texeira, we now have a good reason to push this design notion into reality, as his reimagining of some of today’s most popular music album artwork into kits proves just how amazing this idea can be.

Texeira’s concept artwork seen here focuses mainly on popular hip-hop albums, which he has turned into the designs for an array of global team kits, as well as throwing in his own choice of sponsored branding. This includes such mashups as A$AP Rocky’s Testing with Chelsea FC; Post Malone’s Stoney with FC Barcelona, Migos’ Culture II with Atlanta United FC; Drake’s Scorpion with Toronto FC; and Young Thug’s Slime Language with LAFC and more, not to mention other types of concept kits on Texeira’s Instagram account. Have a look at the designs Nick Texeira has put together, as well as his official website, then leave us a comment on what album x soccer jersey you would want to wear.

ADIDAS X FRANKIE: WOMEN’S STREETWEAR MEETS SOCCER

In a bid to further the marriage between streetwear sensibilities and soccer aesthetics, Vancouver-based Frankie Collective, a female-focused platform that “take inspiration from ’90s staples and rework vintage garments to push the boundaries of contemporary style,” have teamed up with adidas Canada for a fire collection of customized soccer pieces. As mentioned, the unique pieces see an exploration of soccer and streetwear culture by way of some of our favorite adidas-sponsored clubs – namely Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester United, and Beyurn Munich – and were made as part of adidas Canada’s recent #TangoLeague held in Toronto. Have a look at Frankie Collective‘s official editorial shot by felice.c0m, featuring Ebhoni Ogarro, Emily Ferguson, and Mercedes Edison aka UNimerce.

ADIDAS PREDATOR TR: AN EARLY BUT LASTING STRIKE?

The pun is intended when I say you cannot keep a Predator like this caged. If you follow all the familiar sites on leaked releases, you might have known about the return of the Predator in all its OG glory for quite a few weeks now, but I doubt you would have expected to be able to get your hands on a pair even before any sort of official press release. This is exactly what took place over the weekend as both Canadian retailers Livestock and Off the Hook struck early with this drop. It is no surprise that most sizes are now sold out, but of course, that is beside the point, as today I am here not to state so much of the obvious, but rather to explain how I see this Predator playing out in the larger scheme of things.

The electricity yellow Predator which released just last month provides as a good model of comparison for this latest release. I bought a pair for myself and as such, I can attest to the comfort, authenticity, and nostalgia that the shoe has going for it. However, even with all that, it is plain to see that this shoe just doesn’t have the same pull this latest Predator, which is back in the colors it is best known for, has. For this reason, I have to be honest with myself and all of you in admitting to experiencing the slightest amount of buyer’s remorse.

However, despite liking one pair more than the other, I can still be critical of the shoe as a whole. When looking at both the release pics or when finally putting on a pair of Predator TR’s myself, there is one thing that stuck out immediately. Design-wise these shoes are not winning any more hearts. To be clearer, these shoes are simply for the die-hards who connect with all the nostalgia that the cleat elicits.

With this sense of sanctity that I identify with the Predator, it is important to address whether adidas should be saturating the market with more of these Predator releases. Considering only a few weeks have elapsed since the last release, that is the indication I get and I obviously have my reservations about this. In churning out more Predator releases, it is possible adidas may just be giving the people what they want, but at the same time, they could also just be capitalizing on something that they believe has a short lifespan.

I regard myself truly lucky and blessed for having lived through what I lived. The predator is a hallmark of the soccer culture I have lived through, but I am not sure if quite the same example exists for the kids growing up and loving the game today. There is thus an unprecedented magnitude to this Predator release as I am now able to see past what it represents to me alone and instead look at what it can and should represent to every soccer fan old and young.

To every person reading this, I simply leave you with this: look past the consumerism and ask yourself how you will use this product to pass on a particular part of your soccer culture so that this culture simply doesn’t die, but instead endures through the soccer fans that come after you.

Images via Hypebeast.

BBC GOES OUT OF THIS WORLD FOR ITS WC-INSPIRED CAPSULE

Although this year’s World Cup is far behind us, that doesn’t mean we need to forget and move on from the one-in-every-four year event. In fact, all the better to remember its impact to help spur on more culture surrounding the sport. Especially out here in the States, given that we, along with our neighbors Mexico and Canada, will be hosting the global tournament in 2026 following Qatar for 2022 (the first Arab state to host the World Cup). To help keep our soccer spirits up, up and away, we have Billionaire Boys Club: the fashion brand/retailer and brainchild of both Pharrell Williams and BAPE founder NIGO.

For its Summer 2018 NYC-exclusive capsule collection, the premium streetwear label has delivered a vibrant and whimsical array of athletic pieces inspired by the recently passed World Cup. The drop includes a range of silhouettes, from player jerseys to goalie long-sleeves, warm-up suits, short and more. The main attraction for the collection as a whole, however, is it’s diverse and fun designs that features tie-dye, camo, and classic soccer stripes patterning, as well as BBC’s classic space-centric motifs. Details include “7 Mercer” and “212” notes that nods to the brand’s NYC flagship.

To showcase the pieces in use, courtesy of the kind people at Billionaire Boys Club, we decided to explore our own urban landscape for the setting of our original fashion editorial, which you can see throughout. The pieces are currently available at BBC’s NYC flagship store, so be sure to stop by if you’re in the area:

BBC Flagship Store
7 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012

FOOTBALL IS FEMALE | THE WOMEN OF WORLD CUP 2018

If you’re familiar with what we do at Kicks to the Pitch, you’ll know of our feature series titled Chicks in Kits, a channel where we highlight female enthusiasts of the beautiful game, from ex-pro soccer players to creatives to fitness trainers, all of which share the same passion for the sport. As of today, we’ve decided to get with the times and rename the series to Football is Female in a bid to open our platform up to a more gender-balanced approach. Kicking off the revised series is a look at some of the stand out female fans that have trekked the globe to support our favorite global sporting event: the World Cup.

Taken while we were out there in Russia covering the games for our own purposes, we’ve managed to grab the emotion, intensity, highs, lows, and everything in-between from some of the many faces captured within the crowds. Stay tuned for more from our #footballisfemale series to come.