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Is it time to see Stüssy on the football pitch?

From the collaboration with Paris Saint-Germain to the jersey customs

Is it time to see Stüssy on the football pitch? From the collaboration with Paris Saint-Germain to the jersey customs

We are increasingly accustomed to seeing the name Stüssy everywhere, and recently the presence of its logo on customized football jerseys has intensifiedUnlike competitors with whom it shares a large audience, Stüssy is not a brand so obsessed with football, nor with the items related to it that, for example, two competitors like Supreme and Palace Skateboards reinterpret week after week. Apart from a small but important collaboration with Paris Saint-Germain, Stüssy doesn’t seem to care much about football - a choice we cannot judge as wrong, considering the golden age it is currently experiencing.

A collaboration with Paris Saint-Germain came quietly - for the inauguration of the Paris flagship store in 2022. It was curious how the club, Nike, and Stüssy decided to prepare the release by designing the Home jersey of the previous season (2020/21) and not the ongoing 2021/22 season. But it’s always good to remember that Stüssy is an unconventional brand, which has made irreverence and deviation from market rules part of its success. The design of the PSG x Stüssy jersey was certainly not the result of a think tank: the original game jersey was taken and added Stüssy branding on the side area and the most classic and iconic graphics of the brand founded by Shawn Stussy back in 1984: the "World Tour".

The idea and execution of the "World Tour" t-shirt are very simple, no doubt about it. On the front or back of the shirt stand out the names of the most glamorous cities in the world: Paris, Tokyo, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and London, which at the time and still today are considered the main fashion hubs. It was a strategy as simple as it was brilliant by Shawn Stüssy to include a list of cities on the t-shirt design to give internationality to a brand born only five years earlier. Apart from the small collaboration with Paris Saint-Germain, there are no other collaborations between the two parties. Every football jersey with the Stüssy logo seen on the web, especially on Instagram pages like T-Shirt Archives, is a simple custom. Custom that translates the desire to one day see a Stüssy-branded jersey on the playing field - considering that the collaboration with Paris Saint-Germain was intended exclusively for a limited edition sale, also generating a rapid sold out.

The motivations fueling this desire are twofold: the first concerns the brand's current moment of glory, as it is now accustomed to achieving one sold-out release after another, practically every week. Attention around Stüssy is growing exponentially, and consequently, the expectations of new customers are rising. The second reason relates to Stüssy's indifference towards football, which leads its customers to fantasize about the brand entering the football world. It is clear that a few years ago, a brand's disinterest in football would not have made any news, but nowadays, we are witnessing a complete turnaround.

The numerous jerseys (custom, fake, bootleg, call them what we will) at the same time testify to the excellent health of the Californian brand that still, in 40 years of history, has managed to subvert and influence the hierarchy of streetwear brands and their influence, which has often flowed into seemingly distant sectors. Realistically speaking, it is very complex for the desire to one day see the Stüssy logo on a professional football club’s jersey to come true. Nevertheless, there are still more feasible paths for this to happen. Take for example Barcelona, which with the launch of the partnership with Spotify has cleverly played with the streaming platform’s logo, occasionally replacing it with that of artists like Drake, Karol G, Rolling Stones, and Rosalía - a unique initiative that happens between clubs and commercial sponsors. We could expect that, given the exponential growth of MLS in terms of appeal and competitiveness, a U.S. club might sooner or later choose Stüssy as a temporary commercial sponsor - why not the L.A. Galaxy?

On July 1, Shawn Stussy shared a photo of himself accompanied by a caption hinting that he has some future projects on the way. The caption read: «A young horse is fast, but the old horse knows what’s going on... the young horse might win the race, but the old horse lasts longer.» He added that it’s «an important year» for him and revealed that he’s «busy with a couple of projects around». So, we can only hope that one of these two projects Shawn Stussy is talking about also involves a first partnership in the world of football.