Stadium to the Streets
Fresh Flames Editorial
By: Dominic Younan
There’s something about the beautiful game. Football (or better known as soccer in Australia) is a favourite past time for almost any young ethnic male or female growing up in suburban Melbourne. The beautiful game is called beautiful for a reason, it captivates everyone involved, arousing a passion and evoking emotions that we wouldn’t usually feel outside of football, it is pure emotion and pride felt, whether playing or spectating.
For myself growing up, I was always destined to play and enjoy football. I grew up hearing my father’s tales of him playing football in Iraq, about the wonderful goals that were scored, matches that were won, the brotherhood that was the team and the overall love for the game.
From my mother, I would hear about how the entire family would gather around the TV set and the pride that they would feel whenever the national team would play in big tournaments and come out as victors, and how all of the Arab nations would fear the ‘Lions of Mesopotamia’.
Fast forward to a couple years later, and my father is now a refugee, fleeing Iraq in hope of a better future, and he has brought the universal love for the game into a refugee camp in Turkey. In hope that he can distract the children from the reality of war, my father used to organise football tournaments at the refugee camps, using old rags, clothing and socks to construct a make-shift football.
As a kid growing up in the North-Western suburbs, we would always go out and play soccer, almost daily, religiously. Pretending I was a football superstar, I would play against my brothers and imagine the different scenarios we play in, the outcomes, and the fights that break out afterwards when I lose.
Football is about community, you spend your life talking about it, watching your favourite clubs and supporting your country with such pride. We connect with people that follow the same teams as us, and jokingly mock those that support rival teams. We keep up to date with the latest transfers and dislike those players that betray our team and join a rival club.
But more than ever now, at least in Australia, people are being more aware about Soccer and soccer jerseys, even more so Vintage/Retro ones. In recent times, there has been a growing interest in Soccer, as interest in the game, especially the World Cup, provides a sense of belonging to the world.
It’s always been there for ethnic kids, we’ve always worn and represented our colours with pride. We’ve supported our team and have always wore our jerseys, whether at the shops, at church, whilst playing football, wearing our jerseys till it looks worn, and we’d still continue to wear it. We’ve seen it as a fashionable garment, as well as a practical piece of sportswear.
Football jerseys aren’t just uniforms, but are an extremely personal way to express your own personal style, whilst supporting and representing your favourite team. It has also managed to creep its way into the runways of many different designers such as Gosha Rubchinsky, Martine Rose, Koché, Kenzo and many others having many soccer influences and themes being used in their shows. This may be due to the fact that many designers are now embracing the street culture of football hooliganisms and sportswear in general.
As has also been evident at all the major fashion weeks around the globe over the past few seasons, with stylish people being snapped up wearing their favourite soccer jerseys, in unique ways that represent their own personal style and who they are.