Fashion and Football Converge in Off-White x Nike's Latest Collab
Both athletic and artistic pursuits have long served as important avenues of opportunity and self-expression for marginalized or underrepresented individuals. The Paris based mens soccer team Melting Passes, for instance, provides training for young people interested in pursuing football on both a recreational and professional level–despite the legal, financial or social barriers that otherwise inhibit these young men from pursuing their dreams.
A statement on the organization's website explains that the team "was formed in order to overcome the obstacles preventing isolated foreign minors from joining traditional football clubs... These young people come to Paris from all corners of the world to seek protection and a better life, yet due to their legal status they instead encounter lengthy and confusing bureaucratic procedures, poverty, and idleness."
Enter fashion designer Virgil Abloh of the cult-favorite, street style inspired brand Off-White. A fruitful collaboration between Off-White and Nike has produced a unifying, empowering and impactful visual message for the team through a series of customized uniforms. In a recent interview with Vogue, Abloh cites individuality and identity as a central component of his design philosophy for the collaboration: “I wanted to overload [the shirts] with graphics to establish their new identity as a team... each is a little different to celebrate differences—because the idea of a uniform is almost too uniform in this case" (Vogue).
In a political and social landscape riddled with xenophobia, racism and anti-immigration policies, Off-White and Nike's staunch support of Melting Passes stands not only as a powerful union of the arts and sports, but also a testament to the fashion world's burgeoning role as a mouthpiece for debate, positive change and active resistance.
All images via