The beautiful game of soccer truly speaks a universal language. Our collective love for the world’s sport breaks all boundaries and connects international borders. City Boys FC, a small soccer-inspired streetwear brand from Tokyo has recently collaborated with Red Star FC, a club that is also small in size, but large and rich in history, to release the “Red Star FC Coach Jacket” as part of a full collection which includes T-Shirts, socks, and a jacket. Ex-Manchester United and Red Star FC player describes the latter Parisian club perfectly: “Red Star is an underground, romantic, popular football club where there is absolutely no social status. People love it because it still has that old-school football vibe. The club was not built for just victory and winning. It is a very powerful symbol of freedom and creativity. Not a lot of clubs have that natural credibility.” Bellion currently serves as the Creative Director for Red Star and has been taking significant strides on putting Red Star FC on the map in a way where bigger clubs like neighboring PSG probably will struggle to emulate. Being the oldest soccer club in Parisian territory, Red Star FC has built a natural credibility with its supporters and its culture where other big clubs like PSG will feel challenged by the influx of big corporation influence and touristic environment. That does not mean PSG’s culture and credibility is any less or worse, but it’s just different. I think the decision for Red Star FC to have a full collection with a small Tokyo based clothing brand shows their reach and their ambition to continue in growing their value in working with authentic people that are in the “scene,” versus a going with a big name brand for sake of status.
Overall Design: This jacket had one design concept in mind and that was to keep it simple and clean. The whole jacket is black with exceptions in red for the embroidered Red Star logo on the front and the “RED STAR FC” font on the back. The collars add a nice classy touch to the overall design, and the jacket resembles a classic bomber jacket without the “puff.” For some, this may be too minimalist of a design, but Red Star FC is a club that values the story and its identity over results on the pitch and I think this jacket does a good job in bringing the spotlight to the main character of the story.
Functionality: What good is a good looking jacket if it’s not going to keep you warm? I was just in Toronto this past weekend and decided to wear this for the trip. Coming from Los Angeles, I forgot how cold winter weathers were. I was a bit worried at first but I have to give it to the City Boys team, they managed to kill it in both criteria of design and functionality.
Wearability: This type of jacket is probably one of my favorites to wear right now. Nothing too bulky and heavy with a good semi-shine material to give you a darker/urban vibe, and not just because of its black colorway. I wouldn’t really recommend this jacket on a slightly chillier night in spring as it has faux fur in the inner linings, which may lead you to unwittingly sweat as soon as the day heats up.
Details: For this piece I’d like to give a shout out to the details and how this jacket was put together in terms of stitching and choice of materials/fabric, and not in its design. The design is sleek and minimal and thus did not require too much attention, but you would appreciate the details in the overall fit and how comfortable it is when you actually wear it. As mentioned, the inside of the jacket is made with faux fur which adds another level of richness to the overall experience.
Technology and Innovation: I think the faux fur inside of the jacket really caught my attention and had a good first impression on me when I first wore the piece. It was not something that I was expecting from my first look at the exterior, and the fact that it wasn’t just a cheap shell of a jacket was innovative in its own way. Nothing too advanced in the design aspect, but overall I am impressed with this latest release by City Boys FC and Red Star FC.