From the bone-crushing hits to the last minute hail Marys, America has a full-on boner for...soccer! Wait, they call football soccer in Europe, right? Bringin you some World Cup sweetness in spite of cultural indifference, Nike X St. Alfred, opening today at noon.
A teaming of the corporate behemoth and the Wicker Park streetwear institution, this soccer-mad pop-up's brightened by vertically-suspended florescent lights and outfitted with a black/white/red geometric mural painted across a set of old bleachers that will sadly remain as empty as those at a Chicago Sky game. Aside from expected futbol finery (player jerseys, etc), there's a series of sweet collabs showcasing various designers' subtle twists on their native countries WC duds (tees, kicks, track jackets...), from Brazilian artist Nunca slapping Sao Paulo's street graffiti onto the squad's logo and numbers, to British illustrator James Jarvis spicing up his team's gear with some olde English font and a grinning, cartoonish lion, who won't shut up about the center circle of life. For more local flavor, Chi artist Cody Hudson (who also did the mural) has worked a series of screen-printable-on-site ltd-ed tees, including Fan World (boxy collage of assorted flags and outstretched hands) and Chi Tower: a mashup of the Hancock, Chi stars, soccer balls, and Bulls' horns, which you can mess with and not get, since they're sidelined with plantar fasciitis.
They'll be rotating in artists to design new tees (and a new mural) each month until the Cup ends in July, and possibly even longer depending on demand, which should be sky high as soon as Landon Donovan scores the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl. USA!