Not all of us understand the game of soccer, but we sure can appreciate cool soccer merch. And with the line between football and fashion becoming increasingly blurred over the years (think Beckham’s modelling career, Koche’s Paris Saint-Germain spliced jerseys and Versace’s new football-inspired scarves), you don’t really have to be a fan of the sport to wear the merc.
One such collection is a collaboration between Yoox and football style magazine Sepp ahead of the World Cup kicking off on June 14 in Russia. This year marks the third time the two companies are joining forces for a tie-up. Fourteen cult fashion labels were chosen for the job with the task of designing a unisex kit of T-shirts and sweatshirts that embody their respective nationalities – dubbed the Soccer Couture collection.
Designer Andrey Artyomov says: “This photo was taken near my home town and it means a lot to me: ‘Вперед’ means ‘Go!’. It’s a very motivating word, perfect for a game as competitive as soccer.”
Designer Alexander Terekhov says: “The matches will be played in my country this year. It’s important to tell everyone that we’re right behind this event. That’s why I chose the words ‘fair play’.”
Designer Glenn Martens says: “For the #YOOXSOCCERCOUTURE 2018 project I chose to match the stitching of each garment with the colours of the Belgian flag.”
Designers Juliana ‘Juju’ Affonso Ferreira and Maya Pope say: “The plants and wildlife of Brazil have been used to create a design that reflects the spirit of a vast, multicultural country, united by a passion for soccer.”
Designer Esteban Cortazar says: “I chose butterflies because they have a symbolic and magical meaning for Colombia.”
Designer Park Seung Gun says: “The Korean national team has a fan club called Red Devil, which for the team is like a twelfth player. I chose to pay tribute to it by creating a garment combining its red color, symbolising the love of soccer, with the signature features of Pushbutton styling.”
Designer Christelle Kocher says: “The colours of the flag are like energetic and vivid accents that wildly cross the front and back. The multiple large prints of the KOCHÉ logo reflects the young, athletic feel of each item.”
Designer Boris Bidjan Saberi says: “The military inspiration typical of the brand translates into a reinterpretation of the army T-shirt, in a completely black version. The word ‘Mannschaft’ is printed on the back, a term used in Germany to describe the national soccer team.”
Designer Junichi Abe says: “The main motif is the Rising Sun of the Japanese flag. The idea is one of unity: People are connected, form a group and become one through a passion for soccer.”
Designer Vivienne Westwood says: “The graphics are from our Save Venice campaign, raising awareness of climate change. Like in sport, we must all pull together and help our planet.”
Designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida say: “Coming from a country with a passion for soccer is a great responsibility. I chose to work with the idea of striped soccer shirts, stripes also being a recurrent pattern for the brand. Playing with the proportions and colours of the Portuguese flag has made them more abstract, but still maintaining a strong sporting spirit.”
Designers Milcos (Nio Far) and Papi (Mwami) say: “The decision to use symmetry and position the iconic face of the Senegal lion in the center is a direct reference to traditional African masks. The Myrtle Green color on the other hand, evokes the fertile lands of West Africa and the myrtle wreaths used by the ancient Greeks to adorn the heads of the winners at the Olympic Games.”
Designer Josep Font says: “My personal vision of this sporting event: I’ve drawn the 11 players in the ideal Delpozo team.”
Designers Christa Bosch and Cosima Gadient say: “This graphic, with its two Swiss figures, underlines the brand’s innovative vision of fashion. A continuous combination of meticulous craftsmanship with an antithetical punk rebellion.”
Among them are established names such as Vivienne Westwood for Team England, Y-Project for Team Belgium, and Kolor for Team Japan. The streetwear-inflicted designs, launching this month, exclusively on the site will also donate proceeds from the sale to Stars for Children – the children’s charity set up by Russian footballer Alexander Kerzhakov. Now that’s a good goal.