Every four years, the World Cup pushes football into the mainstream. Newspapers relegate stories about the House of Lords to the second page, allowing page one to focus on a now-infamous biting incident in Brazil. Soda producers and online gambling franchises hustle to get their brand name on anything and everything that viewers will see when they tune in to watch one of 64 matches. And restaurants race to hang flags from their doors, behind a carefully-placed chalkboard that tells passersby which games they'll be broadcasting (and who they're rooting for).
This hype is not lost on the fashion industry, which springs into life with new apparel collections and collaborations that celebrate football. Clothing brands and talented individuals alike use their design skills to showcase the countries playing in the World Cup, each putting their own spin on the participants' various flags and colors.
As lovers of football and design, Eight by Eight felt it was only right to put together a guide to the various World Cup collections from some well-known brands — as well as some new ones we've discovered. There are plenty more to see, but here are our favorites:
California-based lifestyle brand LRG got involved with a World Cup capsule collection featuring jerseys, hats and their own branded football. The standout pieces from the collection are the reimagined jerseys for the US, Spain, and Brazil national teams.
Wong Wong, a football-inspired design studio, was founded by Stephen Wong in 2007 and has been rolling out high-quality projects and collaborations ever since. In celebration of this year's tournament in Brazil, Wong Wong collaborated with Japanese brand Aloye for an exclusive World Cup capsule collection. It takes its inspiration from the world of football and pays homage to the rich footballing history of ten nations from across the globe.
Hawaii-based Paradise Soccer Club (PSC) teamed up with another name from the Aloha State, streetwear brand In4Mation, for this limited edition pack of jerseys. The collaboration puts a contemporary spin on the 2014 USMNT World Cup Jersey, with both PSC and In4Mation crests on the front and added camo print to the middle panel. The collaboration dropped July 1st, and is available here.
As a tribute to the good ol' denim days of the USMNT '94 World Cup jersey, Cambridge, Massachusetts-based streetwear brand (and shop) Concepts released a limited edition stars and stripes jersey. A modern take on a cult-classic kit.
I Love Ugly, a New Zealand based brand, dropped a multi-part "Football Collection" to celebrate the World Cup. The first offering came in the form of a five-panel football-inspired collection of hats representing Croatia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Japan. The hats also feature embroidered quotes from some of football's most famous and controversial figures.
The second half of the "Football Collection," though not entirely World Cup themed, is a collection of teamwear "for both on and off the field exploits." The offerings range from a three-part series of I Love Ugly branded jerseys, inspired by retro football kits from the 70s and 80s, to a set of pre-game inspired track jacket and warm-up pants. This is as solid a collection of football-inspired apparel as you'll find.
There have been quite a few surprise releases that we've come across, but none more pleasing than the "Skate Copa" collection from Adidas skateboarding. Adidas decided to kit out their roster of skaters with jerseys corresponding to the birthplaces of the riders. All boast a retro and street casual look while appealing to both kit nerds and skate fiends. To further add to this release, Adidas also included a line of custom skate decks to match each rider's jersey.
Ctrl+c is a UK-based contemporary label established in early 2014. The label was founded on "maintaining principles of design led by artistic integrity over commercialism," and their first collection, dubbed "pre-season," does just that. While not directly World Cup-themed, it draws inspiration from the brand's "love of 1980s/90s football shirt graphics and gradients." The designs are quite bold, "updated and re-imagined for the 21st century terraces/padded seats."
In celebration of the Nike Tiempo 94 release ("a reimagining of the iconic Tiempo premier boot"), Nike collaborated with Amsterdam-based Patta for a collection of limited edition Home and Away Tiempo shirts. The shirts are inspired by jerseys of the 90s and were given away for free with corresponding pairs of low and mid Nike Tiempo 94's and will NOT be sold separately.
Online lifestyle publication, Highsnobiety, produced one of the most unexpected collaborations we've seen thus far. Highsnob commissioned Ontario-based graphic artist Dead Dilly to reimagine what World Cup jerseys would look like if designed by famous brands and designers. The results were bold, illustrated versions of jerseys as designed by the likes of A.P.C., BAPE, Rick Owens, and Supreme. Like them or not, they're certainly intriguing. The jerseys source from specific designs/patterns of each designer and feature the year each pattern was released.
We'd be remiss not to mention one of the most unique collaborations happening in our own backyard in downtown NYC. The crew at Nowhere FC, a Chinatown-based football collective, have partnered with Avery Dennison, an apparel tech company, for a project called "Fly Nowhere."
The collaboration comes to life in the form of a football concierge pop-up space, located at 110 Forsyth Street, where guests of the invite-only shop can customize jerseys and other gear with custom-made heat transfer patches, as well as various emojis, courtesy of Avery Dennison. The shop is only up through the end of the World Cup, but you'll see Nowhere FC rocking custom jerseys throughout the year at their home pitch, Lions Gate Field, in Chinatown.
In order to bring you the best in World Cup coverage, VICE Sports has teamed up with Eight By Eight, the world's premiere soccer magazine. Issue three is on sale now. Follow Eight By Eight on Twitter and Instagram for more.