Soccer Is Invading Streetwear. Here Are the 8 Brands to Know.
From vintage to collabs to newcomers, kit yourself up accordingly
We in the Good Old US of A have long proclaimed that soccer is just a few years away from hitting critical mass. It’s still not there yet, with the US Men’s National team routinely taking beatdowns in international competitions by more established soccer powerhouses, not to mention missing the 2018 World Cup completely. Luckily the Women have been able to carry the torch and lead us out of mediocrity, as is often the case in all walks of life, really.
But while the men continue to falter, interest in the sport certainly has not. MLS fandom is fully ingrained in the identity of a handful of American cities, and NBC spent $1 billion in 2015 for the rights to air Premier League games here.
And then there’s the world of soccer kits and soccer-adjacent apparel: long donned by diehards and a certain subset of Europhilic hipsters, it’s increasingly occupying a segment of urban folks and streetwear aficionados around the country. And with the inclusion of at least a few pieces of streetwear in your wardrobe being damn near compulsory these days, it’s no surprise that the value of the market keeps increasing.
So with a growing population of soccer heads and streetwear fiends, it’s only logical that a number of companies have cropped up to cater to the overlapping venn diagram those two cultures share. There are truly countless options: some are vintage resale marketplaces, some are pure streetwear brands with varying attachments to the beautiful game, and still others are collabs between established brands like Adidas and Palace. And so with the return of domestic European soccer this weekend, we decided to round up some of our favorite brands creating soccer influenced threads.
Kappa, of Italy, has long been a mainstay for in-the-know lovers of footy as well as youth players, since they are a brand that actually makes real soccer gear and are the official kit supplier of many a professional club. In recent years they have become a streetwear darling, though, their back-to-back insignia becoming an oft-seen logo on influencer Instagrams. Get yourself a tracksuit if you really want to go all in on Kappa, or just a simple sweatshirt if that’s more your speed.
Talisman was started by a former MLS player with the purpose of creating high quality caps to allow people to support their clubs in a unique way. They make caps with a creative twist on them, such as this one with Andrea Pirlo drinking wine or of the iconic Brandi Chastain sports bra moment.
Soccer shirts are one of the most accessible jerseys for everyday wear, as they are the closest to everyday clothing of all the major sports. Beautiful 90s makes premium replicas of classic and beloved retro kits. If you’re looking for authentic retro jerseys however, you’ll also want to take a peak at Cult Kits on eBay.
Balr was founded by a former Dutch pro player and a few entrepreneurs, meant to embody the aspirational and luxury elements of being a professional footballer. Much of their clothing is similar to the high-end streetwear brands worn by professional athletes, but at a (slightly) more accessible price. It’s also the sister company to 433, the largest soccer account on Instagram, with more than 22 million followers.
MIDFLD New York
As the name indicates, MIDFLD is based in New York and operates as a streetwear brand, meaning they have specific capsule collections of gear they release in limited runs. The most recent one was dedicated to the ‘98 France World Cup team and Zinedine Zidane (our favorite is right here). If you want to check out another New York brand that operates almost as a full-on soccer club but still has some great gear, check out Bowery FC.
Human By Nature
With Tokyo being the de facto streetwear capital of the world, consistently ahead of the trends in the Western world, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention a Japanese Brand. Human By Nature mines from nostalgic Japanese kits to create contemporary designs with throwback flair. They make soccer shirts and sport tees — some aren’t even related to soccer, but all unthinkably cool.
This is a relatively new brand that also operates on the streetwear drop model, with their gear quickly selling out each time they release it. They put interesting twists on jerseys and pay homage to legendary players. Everything is sold out at the moment — sign up to their mailing list to get info on the next drop.
Bonus: Legacy Boots Co.
This brand is a bit of the opposite from the other names on this list: a brand that uses fashion to inspire actual soccer boots. Based in Brooklyn and manufactured in Chile, Legacy Boots makes small-batch, incredibly handsome and simple leather boots. If you don’t want to be just another player donning Nike and Adidas, these are a great option and, having seen them up close, we can assure you they are even more impressive in person.