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.

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

SHOWING OUT WITH THE LATEST ‘CLEATS UP CLUB’ DROP

This week we hit up the eastside of the LBC to let you know exactly what else is up with the 213. Already this year, the guys over at lifestyle brand and boutique, Port, might have caught your attention with their stellar collab with the LA Galaxy. Now looking towards the fall season, Port sticks with the soccer lifestyle theme by way of their offshoot brand, Cleats Up Club.

Cleats Up Club describes itself as a tribute “to those who live in Sunday leagues and show up to the pub battered and bruised.” The ethos of the brand is in its very name, which to me takes on more than one meaning that perhaps perfectly demonstrates the multifaceted nature of this up-and-coming Long Beach brand. On one level, I take the term as a reference to those players who simply just can’t hang the cleats up. Its more literal meaning, however, is obviously its reference to the reckless challenge in soccer characteristic of those very players who take it a bit too far and let their passion and emotion for the game get the best of them.

Paradoxically, the brand proves to be more fine-tuned than all this overdose of emotion it takes inspiration from. In fact, were it not for its very name which pops up throughout the collection, it would be difficult to isolate Cleats Up Club as a sport-inspired brand. This, however, is the true beauty of Cleats Up Club as the decision to be less literal with its soccer heritage and spirit is what allows the brand to stand apart from all others out there.

For this time around, Cleats Up Club puts forth an expansive collection that showcases its signature minimalistic aesthetic. Limited to white and black pieces with a skull graphic motif, the offering is reminiscent of biker club attire which makes more than perfect sense for a brand directly inspired by classic American style. Ironically despite the recurring skull imagery, the whole collection has this unassuming bravado which works in perfect balance to highlight the quality, craftsmanship, and utmost attention to detail Cleats Up Club prides itself on.

As the styling and imagery of its lookbook demonstrate, the Cleats Up collection is a more mature and sophisticated soccer lifestyle offering. As such, the brand gives us no reason to hang our cleats up as through it we have something that transcends the Sunday leagues as well as our love for the game.

The collection is truly something we can take with us everywhere we go so make sure to pick up your favorite pieces here.

Photographers: @carlosquinterosjr and @derekwood
Brand Development: @portlbc (Jim Leatherman) – @ant.info (Anthony Fernandez) – @mandopalacios_ (Mando Palacios)

 

WATCH 5 CREATIVES UNITE UNDER THEIR LOVE FOR SOCCER

Soccer, football, the beautiful game – whatever you want to call it – yet again unites those with a passion towards the sport outside of the game itself. Creators of the Game is an ongoing mini-series presented by Red Bull that sees soccer bringing together five different artists, each with their own unique background and style. Featured in the above episode is LA-based artist Joshua Vides, top U.S. soccer freestyler Indi Cowie, Miami hip-hop artist Twelve’len, street photographer Jenny Abrams, and street artist ABSTRK, all of which share in-depth their own personal stories and experience surrounding the game. Hit play to watch the seven and a half minute-long video, then be sure to keep tabs on the channel for more episodes to come.

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.


UPPER90 HOSTS RED BULL STREET STYLE

This past weekend, Upper90 hosted the USA Finals of the Red Bull Street Style tournament. The stakes were high. Whoever was skilled enough to win would go on to represent the USA at the World Finals in Poland. Contestants came to the Queens location of Upper90 in Astoria from all over the country, from California to just a few blocks away. Talk about competition.

Aside from the competition, we had a chance to check out the entirety of the location, equipped with an indoor pitch, two rooftop pitches, the store itself, and a cafe. Before the tournament began, there was a viewing party set up for the Russia vs. Croatia World Cup quarterfinal, while contestants were warming up for what might be the biggest competition of their lives.

There were fan experiences set up as well, including a custom T-shirt station and a Messi virtual experience station by adidas. One of the co-owners, Zach, welcomed us and showed us around while we chatted about his experiences as a former commodities trader and what led him to create Upper90. “The city had nothing like it before this,” he said, as we watched the 5-a-side games on the rooftop pitches. Creds to Zach and his colleagues for taking a risk in one of the world’s most unforgiving cities. The risk paid off as they now have multiple locations and enjoy success while providing for local communities.

The Red Bull Street Style tournament hosted by UPPER90 was a culmination of their mission: encouraging expression, while bringing together communities. We wish Upper90 continued success in the future, of which we have no doubt as long as they keep up what they’re doing. Be sure to visit any of their locations if you’re ever in New York City.

You can visit the Queens location of Upper90 in Astoria at 34-23 38th St, Long Island City, NY 11101.

The Moment CR7 Knew Juve Was Next

England and Croatia both just had the world stop for over 90 minutes as they duked it out for a place in the World Cup 2018 Finals. Before that, Belgium and France, the third and seventh-ranked teams in the world, squared off in an equally intense semi-final to quite possibly the most exciting World Cup to date. Yet, headlining the world tabloids still was not that Samuel Umtiti header or the World Cup at all, but rather, again on Cristiano Ronaldo. The star Portuguese forward who just won his third consecutive Champions League final with Real Madrid, has personally opted to be traded to an unlikely spot… the Italian champions Juventus.

What may come as a surprise to many, is, in fact, a divorce that has been years in the making. Ronaldo’s decision to leave the club he dreamt of as a child quite simply comes down to his treatment by the man who brought that dream to life: Real Madrid President Florentino Perez. To start, Perez has a reputation for ruthlessly instating his Galacticos policy of bringing world-class talent in every summer transfer period. Amongst the elite footballers, we’ve seen the likes of Luís Figo, Zinedine Zidane and Ronaldo Lima to Luka Modrić, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo; all of which brought the spotlight and silverware back to the Santiago Bernabéu. However, in doing so, Perez notably has gained a reputation of avoiding defensive-minded talent, budding into in-game managerial decisions and focusing the club’s interests more on its marketing rather than the longevity of its playing success.

In comes Ronaldo, a player who in his nine-year tenure at the club has won fifteen trophies — which include two Copa Del Rey’s, two La Liga titles along with four Champions League titles and four Ballon D’or’s to cement his place at the top of the totem pole. Despite these unbelievable achievements, Ronaldo has felt unappreciated by Los Blancos, apparent in his contract quarrels with Perez and the lack of support he received from the club following his five-match suspension back in the 2017-2018 season.

Perhaps Perez is a genius in allowing Ronaldo, who turns 34 in February, to walk and in doing so receive a healthy return ($100 million and free up $55 million in wages). However, logic leads us to believe otherwise, for the question mark still surround Madrid who many believe isn’t managed properly, and is entirely attack-minded and won much of its Champions League and La Liga success on the heels of Ronaldo’s 450 goals and 138 assists.

So why Juve? Why not Paris-Saint Germain or rather his other home, Old Trafford? I believe the Portuguese international made that decision back in April, upon getting up from one of the greatest bicycle kicks to date against the very club he’s decided to join. Instead of boos and jeers from a group of supporters who’ve seen Real Madrid end their Champions League dreams twice in the past three season, Ronaldo was shocked to witness a round of applause by the Bianconeri faithful. It’s in that moment that he felt the appreciation he’s longed for in the Spanish capital and is what has led him to add black stripes to the iconic white kit he has donned over the years.

Time will be the ultimate decider on whether Perez is indeed a genius by instead reeling in a Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, or Neymar. Or rather, perhaps it’s Ronaldo that takes a page out of Tom Brady’s book and fights back father time by proving he is the G.O.A.T., and in doing so bring Juventus its first Champions League title since 1996.

EXPLORING THE MOST CAPTIVATING CREST ORIGIN STORIES

Three lions, four birds, and a cross of the knights templar walk into a World Cup… The origins of global soccer crests is a tangled mess of lions, tigers, eagles and rosaries — as complex and intertwined as the beautiful game itself. Now that we’ve passed the knockout stages, here are a few of the best origin stories behind the sigils of our World Cup favorites.


JAPAN (The three-legged crow)
Japanese design culture has always a boasted a beauty rooted in being painstakingly well-considered. The nation’s soccer kits for their beloved “Samurai Blue” are no different. The JFA crest prominently depicts the Yatagarasu – the three-legged crow – who in Asian myth serves as a kind of avatar for divine intervention or a messenger from the gods. Under the crow’s front-most talon is, of course, the rising sun, emblematic of modern Japan. To this day, the winners of the “Emperor’s cup,” Japan’s oldest domestic trophy, are awarded a Yatagarasu emblem on their kit as a reward, further conflating Japanese monarchy with the divine.


MEXICO (El Tri)
El Tri’s current crest has been in rotation since ‘94 and shares the same eagle as the Mexican flag. But instead of the eagle perched on a cactus, it is instead rocking atop The Aztec calendar. That nod to the ancient Aztecs weaves a rich tapestry of Mexico’s indigenous iconography into the Passion and Orgullo (pride) of their soccer history.


FRANCE (Rooster)
Sometimes a simple pun, perhaps even a homonym, can stir up a symbol to last over 100 years. For many scholars, the fact that the Latin root for the region of Gaul (Gallus) was identical to the Latin word for the rooster (Gallus) served as a genuine LOL moment for the people of the Middle Ages. Oh, how these people would laugh at the pleasant coincidence while associating the Gauls with the attributes of a rooster: stubbornness and brazenness. Joke’s on them, the French would run with it and since 1909 Fédération Française de Football would march out onto the field of play with the proud rooster emblazoned over their heart. From Zizou and Thuram to Pogba and Griezmann, Les Bleus unleash the rooster’s crow of French culture and sport in 90-minute intervals.


BRAZIL (Seleção)
The iconic yellow and green adorned with its five World Cup victory stars are as iconic a brand as any in sporting culture. Yet, because of how vibrant and decadent the crest is, the cross anchoring it all often hides in plain sight. A second look will begin to avail the similarities of the crest shape and cross to that of Portugal, as the cross in the middle is a nod to the Portuguese Templar Knights in the Order of Christ’s Cross who uncovered a large portion of South America for Europe. The crest as a whole serves as a reminder that while the language of the nation may be rooted in Europe, the flair and joy is something uniquely made up of Brazil.


ENGLAND (Three Lions)
Ahhh, the originators of heraldry. Masters of lore and Knighthood, the English FA and the three lions have receipts going back as far as anyone when it comes to the genesis of the crest in culture. While the Three Lions are a living homage to the different iterations of King Richard the 1st’s coat of arms, the 10 Tudor roses scattered symmetrically across the shield represent the 10 regional branches of the FA. On a stage crowded by large felines, the English may just have the most iconic rendition.


RUSSIA (Double-headed Eagle)
From our lovely tournament host comes some of the most brazenly gangster symbols in World Cup history. Taken straight from the Russian coat of arms. the two (well, three when counting the two heads of the eagles) are the double-headed eagle of Ivan III and a sigil of St. George trampling a dragon. With both Byzantine and Hittite origins (that one’s for you AP Euro nerds) the hosts showcase an equally rich tradition of heraldry as that of Western footballing nations. Their bold crest serves as a reminder that no two eagles are alike.

KTTP’S NIKE SHOOT: OFF WHITE IN CHICAGO | KIM JONES IN LA

Before we all inevitably move on from the still-relevant, design-orientated Nike soccer collabs with Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones, we wanted to present our own effort at showcasing the two well-crafted collections. We come to you with a two-part fashion editorial where we took both collections onto the streets of two different U.S. cities. For Virgil’s Off White pieces, we decided to hit the hometown of the designer himself, Chicago, for a shoot featuring yours truly (they twisted my arm until I agreed to model for this…) as I gallivant about Wicker Park/Bucktown in an attempt to score myself a much-deserved donut, all captured by Turfmapp founder and photographer Trisikh Sanguanbun.

Our Kim Jones shoot, taken by long-standing HYPEBEAST photographer Aaron Miller, takes place in our own city of Los Angeles, where we bring on ex-pro soccer athlete and personal trainer Shawna Gordon, who joins me on the roofs of DownTown LA chasing after that city-synonymous sunset. Both editorials utilize the soccer-focused pieces under a more casual style sensibility, showing how one can wear – or even pair – the pieces off the pitch. Check out both shoots below.


OFF WHITE X NKE IN CHICAGO | THE DONUT HUNT IN WICKER PARK


KIM JONES X NIKE IN LOS ANGELES | WE COULD NEVER REACH THE MOON ANYWAY