While we are dreading lockouts in both American football and basketball, most of Europe is celebrating the return of its favorite sport: soccer (hereafter called “football”). While I have been getting immaculately sunburned, manning a grill and imbibing as many cold beverages as possible this summer, training grounds across the European continent are bustling with activity.
Fortunately for us, this also means design teams at all the great sportswear companies have to bring new designs to the pitch. Here are a few of the new jerseys in Barclay’s Premier League, the top league in England (and the most entertaining in the world, sorry La Liga!)
As you can see above, Chelsea’s new away kit lacks verve and ingenuity – just like their midfield. Sorry Londoners, but this look is as dated as Frank Lampard’s time as one of the league’s best midfielders. On that note, nice pose Frank! Roman Abramovich, why spend close to $20 million to get a new manager but allow such an awkward shirt to be designed? The grid pattern resembles the back of the net – something the players will certainly hit. This design, on the other hand, misses.
Now we’re talking. This is a sharp looking kit. Liverpool’s iconic all red home kit is already the best in the league (not that I’m biased or anything). This grey, black, white and dark red trim looks stunning and really is a step in the right direction for a club that has changed owners and might soon change stadiums. You’ll Never Walk Alone with this jersey on your back.
Tottenham’s 3 kits:
Puma really hit the nail on the head with these three simple yet elegant jerseys. They are in the last year of their contract with Tottenham Hotspur and brought a modern, fresh look to Tottenham’s traditional white and blues. Out of all the London clubs, this design feels the cleanest… and the most likely to get dirty. Sadly, UnderArmour has picked up the next five years of kit design, surely leading to a decline in this kits beauty.
With so many stars leaving the North London club, it only makes sense that their away jersey be bright and flamboyant to attract some attention. This away kit resembles recent Polo Ralph Lauren short sleeve shirts with a bold diagonal stripe. A keeper and a real fashion statement for Gunners fans everywhere.
Who needs to work for someone when you can try to to change the world? Ed Fladung and John Esguerra both had the same thought last year. Quitting their jobs and moving to new locales, they both decided to take life by the horns. Ed migrated to Nayarit, Mexico and John to Hawaii, finding solace and inspiration on the Pacific Ocean. Out of this love of the ocean, fashion, and foreign locales, Quality Peoples was born.
This brand strikes me as a 21st century company from the ground up, with modern touches of an eco/cultural friendly business model. Sticking to a pastiche of surf graphics and street art, the clothing is both barrio-cool and surf oriented. It is equally at home on the beach or on the corner of Cesar Chavez and Alameda. Proceeds from each sale go to P.E.A.C.E., an organization that bring sustainability and community pride to rural, coastal Mexico. The organization’s multi-faceted approach to sustaining local indigenous culture and the environment is needed in these regions of Mexico, some of which are some of the most beautiful areas on the planet. Quality Peoples lives up to their name, and you can find their apparel at Ron Herman or Bows & Arrows. ¡¡¡Órale!!!
I really respect and enjoy the work of Jon Contino for a few reasons. The first is that he’s able to draw an anchor, put it on a t-shirt and actually make it look good. I’m definitely in the camp of people who think anchors are overused, but when Jon draws them he gives them some spirit that makes it work. Second, he does most of his work by hand, which definitely comes across really clearly. It all feels charmingly off, like something your grandfather might have tattooed on his body from “the war.” Both of these points might sound like half-compliments, but I guess what I’m really saying is that he defies these normal conventions and captures the inherent beauty of things.
My third point is the fact that he runs a really nice personal blog. He puts up little personal pieces, news about his clothing brand CXXVI, and best of all, he answers people’s questions and gives advice. People ask him how he gets the look and feeling of his drawings, business questions, tips about textures, all kinds of stuff. And the fact that he takes the time to answer these questions make him a pretty rad guy, in my book.
I’m a little late on this but recently the Californian based clothing brand Stussy joined forces with both Marvel Comics and a group of artists to create a series of special edition t-shirts. This is the second series in their Stussy x Marvel range and this one is particularly great because of the talent that they’ve been able to attract. Above you can see some good examples of the kind of thing to expect from the series, with each superhero being re-imagined in the artist’s signature style. Above, you caught David Shrigley’s Incredible Hulk, Ren and Stimpy creator John K’s take on Crystal and Johnny Storm, and Todd James’s She-Hulk. They’re pretty crazy but I think they’re really great.
The talent doesn’t end just there either, check out their site and you’ll see people like the LA tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon, the American animator Bill Plympton and British illustrator Will Sweeney have all contributed designs for the project. I think my personal favorite might be James Jarvis’ take on The Thing which just has so much character. If you’re interested in finding out more about the project I’ve included a little video below the cut which was made by the guys at HBTV. It’s fairly typical marketing schtick but it’s worth the watch to see plenty of the artists speaking about the influences that Marvel has brought upon them and you’ll also catch Mr. Cartoon do a sweet little rendition of the Spiderman theme!
Table tennis is one of the hardest sports to me. You have a tiny ball and a tiny paddle and you have to hit it across a tiny net: it’s super hard! It’s a pastime for both royalty and bar patrons and, much to my chagrin, will not go out of style because it is iconic and because people will never stop buying ping pong tables to put in their basements.
In any event, Nowness has brought us a new take on table tennis in collaboration with filmmaker/photographer Matthew Donaldson and Korean tennis champ/model/actress/multi-hyphenate Sooyeon Lee. The two, along with stylist Kate Shillingford, have created a fun, quick video that imagines table tennis as an outlet for expressing style. We see Lee in Jil Sander and Versace and Mark Fast, jumping around, playing tennis with what appears to be herself. Fringe and tassels fly through the air, seemingly not distracting her from an intense game.
It’s a cool video that makes you want to dress up in your most ridiculous clothes and play a game of table tennis..even if you are awful and really don’t like the game, like myself.
I had stumbled upon these shoes years ago and was entranced: elegant and modern, weird and architectural, the United Nude Fold is exactly the futuristic heel that I had envisioned 2K11 to have. The shoes are very versatile and simplistic, designed ingeniously: the shoe is composed of “the fluent movement of a single strip,” which “folds around the foot front-to-back-to-front like a scarf.” The sophisticated round toe and steep incline of the heel lend themselves to being dressed up and dressed down–but, always will make a statement. Coming in fifteen out of control colors and patterns, the heels can be matched with a short skit or cropped pants or a slim boot cut trousers for your day at the office, night on the town, or opening at an art gallery.
While I was in Dallas last year for a Nike event at the Cowboy’s Stadium I had the chance to customize my very own Nike Destroyer Jacket. A few months later and I finally got it, customized just slightly with the phrase “The Fox Stands Alone” on the back.
I’ve been wearing it around all day long and I have to say I love it. It’s extremely well made with a neon yellow, zip chest pocket (a color which I haven’t seen on other models before), two side pockets for your hands and an interior pocket on the left breast for stowing your phone. I’ve been really impressed with everything that Nike Sportswear does, and getting a beautiful jacket like this makes me appreciate what Nike Sportswear does, especially from a design perspective. A huge thanks for my friends over at Nike for hooking me up.
I’ve posted many a time about Harmony Korine, the eccentric filmmaker and artist who helped shaped a young Bobby. So I was happily surprised when I got the Urban Outfitters Spring 2011 catalog in the mail, and the whole thing was shot by Mr. Korine. It’s a pretty crazy looking affair. Lots of analog photos that have been fucked up in some way or another. It seems to me like less of a fashion catalog and more of a collection of art, which I think is admirable for UO to be doing. I’ve included a bunch of my favorites down below, definitely take a peek.
I think it’s also worth mentioning that Urban Outfitters has started to move away from their anti-design and has moved back into being quirky, a much better look for them, in my opinion. These observations based on their home page, which is looking a lot better.