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Kim Jones, Virgil Abloh and the hidden story behind the football-fashion trend

How and why the high fashion and streetwear giants have begun to play football

Kim Jones, Virgil Abloh and the hidden story behind the football-fashion trend How and why the high fashion and streetwear giants have begun to play football

In case you haven’t noticed its really heating up with super cool football fashion news leading up to the 2018 World Cup. Virgil Abloh’s Off-White football collection, Nigeria’s team breaking pre-sale records by designing one of the coolest football jerseys of all time, and now Kim Jones has announced that he will also drop a football collection for Nike in time for the World Cup, but let's rewind a little bit, not even that far. In February of this year, Jones had only recently left his post at Louis Vuitton and was thinking about his next move, while at the same time on the other side of the planet Virgil Abloh's gets an iPhone message that will come to change his life forever.



Facts which neither knew about the other when they met in London for fashion week later that month, and would eventually blossom into two of the biggest fashion moves of 2018, Abloh going to LV and Kim Jones being appointed the creative director for Dior Homme. They're in London for different reasons, gathered together with some of the biggest names in international football, they are there to discuss both their individual collections of Nike football apparel, that will be releasing four months later, very close to what would later also become the time for each of them to show off their respective first collections for LV and Dior. The worlds of high fashion, streetwear and football, getting randomly yet perhaps cosmically aligned in parallel, as two of the biggest names in contemporary fashion take on the task of designing, on paper seeming polar opposites, yet through the times we now live, have become inexplicably linked, and having Kim Jones and Virgil Abloh dabbling in high, street and even football fashion seems nothing but natural to a fashion world and youth where all the lines of hierarchy are slowly melting away.


High fashion gone street

Streetwear is becoming high fashion, high fashion has gone street, and football apparel is becoming a legit form of fashion expression. It only goes to show how far fashion has permeated into every aspect of society, what used to be an exclusive expression of societies elite, has now broadened something incredibly, where the stars of hip-hop have become the most influential fashion royalty of our time, and we’ll start seeing the same thing happen to traditionally less fashionable sports like that of football.

Of course there have been mavericks like David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo, and recently Paul Pogba, but whats different is a change in direction, it's not so much about football players dressing better, but with football clothing evolving and getting better designs, a huge demographic of fashion interested people are for the first time in their lives putting on football jerseys and they're looking good doing it! Also helped along by the fact that many football and fashion strongholds are in southern Europe, where summer climates simply make sports and training apparel very comfortable and appropriate clothing for the long, hot, sweaty summers, but why should we need to sacrifice looking good, to feel good?


Fashion football 

There's been a hunger building for a while to have more fashionable sportswear all round and we’re seeing more and more top contemporary designers doing training collections with staple sports brands like Nike and adidas. Well-designed, fashionable football. Recently in Milan, at the Brothers of the World event during Design Week, a week-long "design your own jersey" workshop was held with some of the hottest names in fashion right now. Matthew M. Williams of Alyx, Heron Preston, and Maria ke Fisherman descended on the city to hold back to back workshops, all focused on how to design cool football jerseys, and all the workshops were completely rammed out!


The future

In addition at the football games that followed the events some of Milan's hottest stores and brands like Slam Jam, Off-White, and One block Down designed their own jerseys for the occasions and quickly became coveted fashion items in their own right. Also employing the hyped Italian Rapper, Sfera Ebbasta to design his own signature football jersey, seeing the worlds of hip-hop and football also getting closer to each other. By chance after the nss sports match, I ended up in a cab shared with Nike's Italian heads of plus and football, who told of an incredible focus on football and its clothing on the rise at Nike.

In the world of fashion, sport and football apparel is providing a new blank canvas for expression, and expect a whole lot of incredible art to follow through the fingers of popular designers. An excitement felt by many fashion and football fans alike, lines of distinctions which in the future will become less and less visible, and more and more entwined in an expression of simply great looking clothing and design.

Stay tuned to nssmag and nss sports for all your fashion and football related news.