SLAM JAM & NIKE UNVEIL “BROTHERS OF THE WORLD” JERSEY

Nike and Slam Jam Socialism have collaborated on a jersey highlighting the crossover from soccer to street culture. To celebrate their “40 years of Nike Football” campaign, the Swoosh is releasing a special edition jersey just in time for Milan Design week.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Nike’s partner for the project, Slam Jam is an Italian men’s streetwear brand founded back in 1989 by Luca Benini. The company focuses on releasing socially progressive fashion and lifestyle goods with limited edition items and highly desired collaborations. For Nike’s “Brothers of the World” campaign, the Italian imprint focused on the passion so often found in soccer and the love one feels for their chosen team.

The jersey offers an aesthetic look, featuring a white base with black horizontal lines of varying gradation tapering at the neckline. Two solid black panels run up the sides, before the solid white reappears on the back. The traditional swoosh remains aside a sleekly designed chest logo. Detail wise, the words “FAST” is written in bold black letters, inside of a red horizontal box, with the word “south” cast in unique lettering, which serves as the center logo.

The back has been left rather simple with “SLAM JAM” in place of the nameplate, and a large number “14” in bold block lettering. In my opinion, though the front is pleasing, the back seems rather dull, and the “14” mark looks cramped – a large red stain on an otherwise clean creation.

That being said, if you are looking to pick one up they will drop on April 19th, made available online at slamjamsocialism.com and at Slam Jam’s store in Milano.

IMPERFECTLY PERFECT A WANG X ADIDAS ORIGINALS BBALL SHOE

When it comes to soccer lifestyle shoes, adidas just seems to always be the subject of conversation. From the outstanding Gosha Rubchinskiy Copa Primeknit to the recent release of the Samba Primeknit, the three stripes are definitely on a path to being the unquestionable standard-bearer in this category. Simply one look at the adidas website or any sneaker boutique carrying the brand is sufficient to prove that at least the Samba Primeknit has already been well received within a matter of weeks, meaning the shoe is becoming increasingly harder to find. Though the same cannot be said for the Gosha release – its high price did make its availability a little alienating – the success of the Samba does reveal the essence behind this revitalization we’re seeing from adidas.

It might be easy to assume that the brand should just simply give all its silhouettes a Primeknit makeover for guaranteed success. However, this week’s Alexander Wang x adidas Originals BBall shoe proves that the real winning formula for the three stripes is a bit more complex than the Primeknit formula, though surprisingly not completely novel. Long time followers of KTTP might cite the precedent set by the Shoe Surgeon’s custom set of Copa Mundial’s for Copa Basel. At that time, the Shoe Surgeon had reimagined one of adidas’ most classic soccer silhouettes by transposing its upper on to the sole of a D Rose 7. Alexander Wang’s latest effort is not much different as the designer has followed much of those same tenets to give us another adidas release that should have everyone equally excited.

I am not saying that Alexander Wang has intentionally or unintentionally piggybacked a winning concept and therefore offers nothing original. On the contrary, I commend the designer as his latest soccer-inspired BBall shoe strikes at the core of what people really want from a soccer lifestyle shoe. It is not simply just a Primeknit makeover or a mashup of differing soles and uppers. No, the real answer as to why these past releases and this upcoming offering from Wang will resonate with people is because they offer something new while still being something recognizably adidas.

For a while, I had felt adidas had lost its grasp on this. Either they offered something too classic or something too modern, but never that perfect balance between the two. Alexander Wang finds that balance as the designer has managed to make something so familiar still so intriguing. For this, he has kept the general shape and features of the Copa Mundial but has added his own signature aesthetic. Proving yet again the versatility of this model, Wang has given the shoe a suede makeover along with an upside-down tongue tab, and an upside-down adidas trefoil on the heel tab. He has not done anything completely revolutionary, but rather realized that the pieces were already there and needed only to be literally reworked.

The irony of all this is that we overlook all the imperfections Wang has made so deliberately apparent both in these shoes and the rest of his collection. Instead, he has made something inherently imperfect seem now so undeniably perfect. I am sure many of you will see this the same way so remember to grab yourself a pair of these when they drop on adidas.com on April 21st.

Images via Highsnobiety.

A 2ND CHANCE AT LOVE WITH UMBRO’S PROJECTS COLLECTION

Umbro has been in the game a very long time. While its heyday is something I never experienced to the fullest, life luckily presents me now with what seems almost a second chance at a lost love. The new Umbro Projects collection is just exactly that as the brand brings back some of the iconic styles which will forever maintain it as an enduring presence in the soccer lifestyle world.

For this collection, Umbro has turned nowhere else but to its archives from the ’90s. Unlike most brands who would take inspiration from their design archive and just seek to reinterpret this style, Umbro has instead opted for a more faithful reproduction of design styles that are as fashionable today as when they were first introduced. Their most recognizable piece has to be their soccer shirts and crew neck tees which bring back those bold prints that made the ’90s such an unforgettable period for soccer fans everywhere. The print is unique, to say the least. From afar, it gives off the illusion of some abstract design, though on closer inspection one realizes it is simply a very creative twist on more Umbro branding.

Though the bold prints and graphics get all the attention as they should, it is the enlarged branding that transports me back in time the quickest. This collection has plenty of enlarged branding interspersed between its tees, polos, hoodies, and jackets. Each time I look at the prominent double diamond on all these items, I can’t help but remember my love for all the training gear from this era which would utilize this enlarged branding oftentimes on both the front and back of training sweatshirts, jackets, and pennies. This style is particularly special to me as growing up it was the time I spent in training where I felt more in tune with the game. I did not just want to train like my favorite players but also look like they did, as it was in simply looking like them that the experience felt that much more real to me.

These small things that I take away from this collection are what makes it so exceptional. It is a part of me and no doubt also a part of you that now crosses over from these memories onto the field to the impressions you hope to make on the streets. The entire offering should look right at home with a natural street aesthetic mixed in with a little prep style.

All pieces are for the most part statement pieces meant to be worn on their own. Think of it as an opportunity to put new soccer enthusiasts on some real game with the best part being that you don’t even have to say anything. The new Umbro Projects collection is available now at umbro.co.uk.

  Via Umbro.

SCOUTING REPORT: RED STAR FC COACH JACKET

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.

Score: 5/5


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.

Score: 5/5


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.

Score: 4/5


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.

Score: 4/5


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.

Score: 3/5

You can now shop the Red Star Coach Jacket from Red Star FC’s website or from RBC for US customers

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:

MIDFLD’S NEW MEANING FOR THE COLOR PURPLE

Can you walk by the color purple and not notice it? I dare you to try especially when you have Midfld’s latest “Dal Viola” collection right in front of your own eyes.

No matter how hard I might try, the collection is one I cannot help but be drawn to. Though its soccer inspiration is what initially intrigued me, I find myself now more enamored with this offering because of the impression that it has left on me that’s totally unrelated to soccer.

The collection reminds me to appreciate the beauty in everything. For Midfld founder Daniel D’Angelo, it is from the color purple, which is what “Dal Viola” means, that he too was able to appreciate all the beauty around him. The color, however, has taken on a richer meaning as it signifies all the great Fiorentina teams he grew up watching. He refers to the great Fiorentina players such as Socrates, Batistuta, Rui Costa, and above all Roberto Baggio, as players who left a lasting impact on him both for the fashionable jerseys they wore as well as the creativity, skill, and genius they showcased. This overall style is what Midfld’s latest collection replicates.

The collection puts a twist on a classic Fiorentina logo and includes the team’s signature color in all except one of its garments. It is spearheaded by a unique tribute to Rui Costa in the form of a vintage style jersey that utilizes shadow numbering as well as Gothic print on the back to honor the player’s Portuguese heritage. As the title of the collection suggests though, purple merely serves as a portal as Midfld brings with it a slew of other vibrant colors with their own meaning.

The color selection for this particular collection has both a stylistic and thematic purpose. While staying true to the design heritage of the club by incorporating all the colors that they use, such as purple, white, red, and gold, Midfld also stays true to its own aesthetic by maintaining that casual look with more of an athletic sportswear vibe this time around.

The selection, in the end, is compelling, but again Midfld is more than just about outward appearances. One of the brand’s posts on its Instagram page captures the true core values behind this collection through a quote from Roberto Baggio which reads, “you have to believe in yourself. You don’t believe that something external guides your life – basically, it’s you. You understand your defects. You learn to be happy.” In line again with its mantra, Midfld reminds us to find our space through the players which found their own.

It is when thinking about this message that it becomes easier to choose my favorite piece from this entire collection. I arrive specifically at Midfld’s tribute to Socrates in the form of a gold t-shirt with the number 8 on the left chest and the words “find the space” in Portuguese. As a player who not only dazzled me on the field, Socrates might be better remembered for his involvement in pushing for democracy in his native Brazil. His exploits thus expand the meaning of what Midfld has come to mean. It is not simply about finding your own space, but rather also realizing how your space can become a space for others as well.

Midfld’s “Dal Viola” collection makes it difficult to overlook the beauty of this thought. I hope you too can notice the beauty the brand has put before us through the color purple and pick up your favorite pieces from its online shop.

Images via Midfld.

ANIMAL PRINT STEPS OUT OF THE JUNGLE AND ON TO THE PITCH

For anyone that calls themselves a sneakerhead… in fact, most that are even remotely into sneaker culture will have seen at the very least one footwear iteration that boasts Nike‘s synonymous animal-inspired patterns & prints, be it from an Animal Pack or a Safari drop. The soccer realm, however, has finally received its long awaited follow up, Mercurial CR7 Safari being the first, into the animal kingdom – despite the amount of flash out on the market – thanks to renown fashion designer and director Kim Jones‘ efforts with Nike’s Mercurial Superfly 360. Cast in a blazing “Total Orange,” the boots’ upper brought on an all-over display of Cheetah-print, which in our opinion puts this design miles ahead of the game.

Now, you may be wondering why the ex-men’s artistic director at Louis Vuitton and the now current artistic director at Dior Homme is adopting the pattern of a cheetah onto not just a shoe, but a soccer boot at that. The reason behind the design is refreshingly straightforward. “I grew up in Africa and have always admired the strength of animals. The cheetah is the fastest land animal, so it makes complete sense as an inspiration for me,” the designer tells Nike News. Jones is not the only one who within the past month has decided to put their creative touch on a soccer boot.

We of course have Virgil Abloh – who coincidentally took over Jones’ role at LV if for some strange reason you haven’t heard that news already – and his Off-White take on yet another Nike Mercurial: the Vapor 360s. However, his design has the people divided, with one side approving of the Off-White stamp, and the other questioning the authenticity of his involvement in the game. In Kim Jones’ case, there’s no statement given by the man that makes it sound like he’s a soccer head, but rather a nonchalant (and perhaps more believable) mention that he likes the sport. The focus of his shoe then lies on the purpose of the design and its aforementioned link back to Jones’ upbringing in Kenya and Botswana.

For us at Kicks to the Pitch, the Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 x Kim Jones boot falls exactly into our niche category of lifestyle and soccer, given the brand heritage of animal print, and how the Mercurials also followed the release of Nike’s Air Max 1 collaboration with Japanese sneaker and streetwear imprint Atmos. While animals patterns have been a recurring theme for not just Nike, but within the sneaker realm as a whole – think Vans, Supreme, Stussy, adidas, Jordan Brand, Reebok… the list goes on – Nike is without a doubt the head of the pack when it comes to tapping into the animal kingdom’s artwork. In fact, Nike and Atmos together have played a big role in imbuing the sneaker landscape with unmatched efforts in animal print; a case in point being the 2007 Atmos x Nike Air Max 1, Dunk & Court Force “Beast Pack.”

The recent release of the Atmos x Nike “Animal Pack,” however, which features the fur from the Leopard, Tiger, Zebra, Giraffe, and Horse, takes the whole animal print game to the next level. The combination of all five animals comes from the mind of Atmos’ creative director Hirofumi Kojima, and represents yet another example of when Nike trusts an outside creative to run with their wild ideas. Another example of that being Nike’s “What the” Dunks, and more recently the “What The” Mercurials. With the animal print – and the “What The” design for that matter – having expanded outside of lifestyle and into soccer territory, who knows what else we may be seeing in the near future, especially since the sport of soccer is really starting to make its way into more facets of both the mainstream and niche creative industries. Let’s just hope we get to see more authenticity within what’s to come as opposed to bandwagon jumping.

Nike Mercurial Superfly 360 x Kim Jones images by Richard Gordon

SCOUTING REPORT: DIOS NECKLACE BY NIVELCRACK

So often now you see soccer-inspired brands release jerseys, shirts, pants, and shorts all year long but rarely accessories. The most accessory type of gear you would see would be a pin to possibly put on your hat, coat, or bags. Nivelcrack, a streetwear brand from Seoul, is once again testing its limits when they released the “DIOS NECKLACE” in both gold and silver. The release was an innovation in its own way in that not many brands care to include accessories like a necklace in their collections, and what better player to use as your design inspiration other than the one with the flashy lifestyle: Diego Maradona?

Overall Design: The name and the design of the necklace tells you exactly what moment in football history this is referring to: the infamous “hand of God” goal scored by Diego Maradona against England in the quarter-finals at the 1986 World Cup. A legendary move like this will not happen in today’s World Cup games due to the implementation of the VAR starting this year, but then again soccer is always full of surprises… This necklace takes the silhouette of that exact moment – kind of like the Jordan “Jumpman” logo – taken from a staged photograph of when Diego Maradona jumps up to extend his arm to score the goal. In the post-match conference, Maradona explained that the goal was scored by “…a little with the head of Maradona and a little with the hand of God.” Overall I think this design, which comes in both gold and silver, is ingenious. Taking one of the most iconic moments in soccer and using its image to replicate it into a necklace is simple, but it’s also one of those cases where in hindsight you can easily say “why didn’t I think of that?”

Score: 5/5


Functionality: The necklace is about 57cm in length and the pendant has a width of 2.4cm and height of 3.7cm. It’s not the longest, but I personally prefer medium sized ones like this one. I own one of these myself and they’re a great accessory to throw on everyday for any occasion with confidence due to its sturdy feel from its construction of 925 silver with 24k gold plating.

Score: 5/5

Wearability: Remember when players were allowed to wear necklaces on the pitch? That is now technically not allowed for good reason to protect the players, but I can’t lie that I miss the look of the players running around with their necklaces bouncing off their neck/chest. One image I have of a moment like that is when Hwang Sun-hong of South Korea scored the first goal against Poland back in 2002 at the World Cup. The reason I bring up that point is to remind people reading that these would look good to wear both on and off the pitch. I don’t even think it’s that dangerous to play with accessories on but that’s just me being me.

Score: 5/5


Details: The pendant has enough details in it that fans of the beautiful game would be able to tell what this piece represents as soon as they look at it. The back of the pendant is a flat smooth surface and all the details are shown on the front; Nivelcrack has even included a soccer ball in the design. In my opinion, the one improvement that would’ve made the piece just that much better would’ve been to include the stripes of the Argentina jersey, but again, that’s just me being me.

Score: 4/5

Technology and Innovation:  As mentioned in the introduction, I think the “DIOS NeCKLACE” is innovative in its own way, not because of the design, but because of the refreshing take on an iconic moment in soccer and replicating that into a high-quality accessory, and not into basic apparel.

Score: 4/5

You can purchase the Nivelcrack “DIOS NECKLACE” through Nivelcrack or RBC.

SHUKYU MAG’S ISSUE 5 TALKS TECH WITHIN SOCCER CULTURE

SHUKYU magazine, for those who are unfamiliar, is a print effort out of Tokyo, Japan that introduces the realm of soccer through themes, topics, and categories that branch out into the creative sphere. While soccer – or football to the rest of the world – is without a doubt a leading sport the world over, there’s unfortunately only a handful of printed publications that do an amazing job at encapsulating the many facets of the sport’s culture. SHUKYU is one such example of doing it right, made obvious through its creative design, quality of writing, level of content and its overall aesthetic.

First debuted back in May of 2015, the magazine is now five issues strong, having just released its Issue 5 only a few days ago. Dubbed the “TECHNOLOGY ISSUE,” the book delves into the integration of technology within soccer culture, with themes revolving around how we view games in today’s world, how social media is changing the landscape, and even what the near and far future may look like, which could very well include robot players apparently. “We as football fans watch live matches on our smartphones, access daily information via social networking platforms, and are further approaching times in which we read articles that have been written by AI. Who knows that in 50 years or so robots will be playing at the World Cup, and events beyond our wildest imagination may be taking place,” states the mag’s Editor Takashi Ogami in the Editor’s Notes.

However worry not if you’re one of those “AI technology will be the end of humankind” types, as, despite its exploration into the positives and negatives of technology within soccer culture, the issue settles on the fact that “football is football so long as there are 22 players that run across the pitch aiming for the goal and pursuing the ball, and the enthusiasm and excitement of watching a match in the stadium is the same in any era.” With great articles coupled with stunning visuals under a very pleasing design, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t pick up a copy of SHUKYU Magazine No.5 TECHNOLOGY ISSUE.

Head over to its online store here to order yourself a copy for ¥1,500 JPY (approximately $14 USD), as well as copies of their back issues, and although they’re written in Japanese, each copy comes with an English translation booklet. The store also features special collaborative merch that we can totally get behind, such as hilariously kitsch T-shirts, socks, and accessories, including the awesome “Yellow and Red Card” series with Hender Scheme. For now, check out a few examples of what you’ll find in issue 5 throughout.

NEW BALANCE RELEASES HOMAGE TO ICONIC “MADE 990”

New Balance‘s MADE 990 silhouette has remained a benchmark for quality, craftsmanship and performance for the sportswear company since its debut over three decades ago now. First introduced back in 1982, the runner disrupted the athletic footwear market with its $100 USD price tag that boasted unmatched innovation at its time, despite its understated look. While we know the ’80s to be a very vibrant era, NB instead opted for a nondescript grey for its pigskin leather and mesh upper. The shoe has since received several iterations in colorway and construction, however 36 years from its inception, NB harks back to its original form for its 2018 version.

In true homage form, the MADE 990, now dubbed the New Balance MADE 990v4 “1982” in its latest rendition, makes a come back in its original grey, with added navy accents to create what can now exclusively be called the “1982” colorway. To continue its tribute, the shoe’s upper cremains constructed in premium grey suede and mesh, and to top it off, they’ll retail for its original price tag of $100 USD. However times have of course changed, so without being stuck with two feet in the past, the runner comes with updated technical improvements and modernized details, namely the navy tongue logo, the classic “N” logo in a navy boarder, and the “EST. 1982” nod on the heel counter.

As mentioned, the new release comes in a very limited quantity of only 1,500 pairs, and will be sold at a curated selection of locations the world over – with the North America spots listed below. Have a look at the New Balance MADE 990v4 “1982” in all its OG glory with the images throughout, then be sure to stop by a location near you come April 14 to get yourself an inevitably legendary pair.

– New York City, NY – New Balance, 150 5th Ave
– Atlanta, GA – Foot Locker, Greenbriar Pkwy SW
– Palo Alto, CA – Shoe Palace, 451 University Ave
– Philadelphia, PA – Kicks USA, Roosevelt Mall, 2339 Cottman Ave
– ​San Francisco, CA – New Balance, 856 Market St
– Washington, D.C. – YCMC, 1060 Brentwood Rd NE
– Windsor Mill, MD – YCMC, Security Mall, 6901 Security Blvd