With the official kick-off of the 21st World Cup in Russia happening just a week ago, brands from all over the globe have begun to release their own football-inspired collections. The quadrennial tournament is commonly referred to as the “most widely viewed sporting event in the world,” and this might help explain why so many brands are intent on getting a piece of the action. Although the expected players such as Nike and Adidas are releasing collaborative collections and exclusive capsules, there are a number of designers who are not directly related to athletic-wear in the slightest who are keen on participating as well! So, to commemorate the beginning of the World Cup I felt it necessary to devise my own way of participating in all the action as well: therefore, I will highlight some of the most talked about football-inspired collaborations and collections from this year for you to wear while cheering on your favorite teams.
Gosha Rubchinskiy x adidas Football World Cup Kit
The Russian designer has decided to commemorate the World Cup being held in his birthplace for the first by teaming up with Adidas to release another capsule collection. This represents the last project in the designer’s longstanding collaboration with Adidas Football. The collection pays respect to Russian athletics with eleven jerseys, each representing one of the cities hosting World Cup games. Additionally, Gosha has designed eleven football-inspired graphic sweatshirts, a slick pair of game-ready Adidas Predator cleats, and a classic black and white ball. I cannot think of better note for Gosha and Adidas to conclude their relationship than with these football-inspired collaborations. Some of the offerings are so strong that they have me cheering “Gosha! Gosha! Gosha!” while watching Russia try to fight their way out of Group A.
Warren Lotas Brazil Neymar T-Shirt and Shorts
Fresh off the rebound from his red-hot NBA playoff-inspired line of t-shirts, hoodies, and shorts, Warren Lotas is back at it again with some World Cup paraphernalia. Set in the artist’s signature macabre style, Lotas has opted to immortalize some of the most eye-catching players at this year’s tournament: Neymar Jr. and Cristiano Ronaldo. Personally, I’m more of a Neymar fan so I tend to lean towards the world famous Canary yellow of the Brazilian national team. Paired with mesh athletics shorts in blue, this is a soccer kit that could seriously turn some heads. Hopefully if I wear this it will mean that Brazil won’t suffer as embarrassing a defeat this year as they did last World Cup to Germany…
OFF-WHITE x Nike: Football, Mon Amour
Apparently having been quite the young football man himself while growing up, Virgil Abloh has decided to team up with Nike once again to release a special World Cup capsule titled “Football, Mon Amour.” The collection is pretty large, coming with hoodies, trackies, and several jerseys to name just a selection of the items. Primarily in black, white, and orange, the line features fun checkerboard patterns and plenty of OFF-WHITE’s more notable “tropes.” Interestingly enough, it appears that Virgil has decided to employ the Dutch lion as the crest on his jerseys, the orange is also another clear reference to the Netherlands nationals, but does Virgil not realize they didn’t qualify for the tournament…? Perhaps in classic OFF-WHITE fashion the goal was to elevate the garments beyond simply soccer, to transcend both fashion and sport – blah blah blah – all I know for certain is that as far as football-inspired collaborations are concerned, this one is not half bad.
So, there you have it: the 2018 World Cup may come and go, but these football-inspired collaborations will remain forever. Football and fashion have been intrinsically tied for better or worse since the time of George Best, and I believe that it is because of this relationship that some of the most memorable collaborations come into fruition. And don’t get me wrong, I do love when fashion houses catch World Cup fever and decide to design some truly interesting garments, but sometimes it is hard to beat the authentic thing. And that is why, despite all of the amazing stuff I just described, I am going to have to award this quadrennial Fashion World Cup Championship to the Super Eagles of Nigeria: their jerseys are just too freaking cool.