Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones Discuss Why Soccer Is So Important to Them

The two gave a talk at Nike’s recent England & Nigeria kit launch.

By //Fashion

Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones recently got together at Nike’s launch of the England and Nigeria kits to discuss how the two of them relate to the sport. Abloh spoke about his history in the sport — he played as a youth in Chicago — and Jones, who had created a line for Umbro before the idea of meshing sportswear and high fashion was commonly accepted.

Virgil Abloh on playing football growing up:

“[Playing football] was great. It was in the 90s, so at that time, I was into Hip-Hop and skateboarding. Playing a sport with my friend was one thing. Soccer has that sort of community, travelling with club teams in the weekends. So the camaraderie, when I look at all the photos, it reminds me that soccer is just more than a sport.”

Virgil Abloh on the importance of Kim Jones work for Umbro:

For me the designing was huge. You can trace back the idea of sportswear in fashion. And Kim has brought those things to one foundation, but it started with an experiment of years of developing and using in athletic aesthetic. And those are really important pieces in millennia of fashion.

Virgil Abloh on his Nike jersey:

“I was just retelling if I was a teenager at this time. Especially these kids are 19 years old, carrying a whole club, scoring goals and living the lifestyle of the new age of footballers. Off the pitch, they are excited by a certain marquee of brands, and I hope that my brand is a part of that, but how can I make something on the pitch, or on the training pitch, with the Nike fabrication technology and the latest innovation? How can I put a lifestyle spin on that, so that now we’re seeing an authentic merge of what’s happening on and off. And that’s one of the marquee pieces from this whole set that I put together.”

Kim Jones on his design on the forthcoming collection:

“I was looking at punk, making things and pasting them together to make innovative products. Taking two pieces, and just playing around. It was a long process but I am really happy with the results.”

Kim Jones on how style is important to football:

“I mean the funny thing is I worked with Umbro, and 10 years ago I stopped doing that. And you look at a complete change in fabrication and the process it is made, it’s completely different. My friends, footballers, are always interested in having their own kit. Because they want people to notice who they are just by looking at their kit.”

Kim Jones recently teased his upcoming collaboration with GU, which will be launching at Dover Street Market.

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