Soccer, football, whatever you want to call it, is bigger than a game. It’s a spiritual sport that brings people of all colours, creeds and classes together. That’s why it was called “the ballet of the masses” by Russian pianist Dmitri Shostakovich.
You can count R.F.C., the football-loving creative collective, among those that see soccer as more than just a sport. See, R.F.C. doesn’t scribe to Gods or religions. No, they believe in football and people and there’s nobody that inspires them more than Diego Maradona.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Argentinian legend here’s a little crash course. He was a dominant player, but a controversial one. He scored a goal in the 1986 World Cup with his hand, was eventually forced to retire because of a drug scandal, and owed millions of dollars in back taxes in Italy. So, who better exemplifies the higher power of football than the troubled Argentinian hero? After all, it was Maradona who proclaimed that when his life was in shambles, “the ball was always clean”. No matter how badly he messed up his life, he was at peace on a pitch.
That’s why Ringleaders teamed up with Many Mainichi, the artist and graphic designer behind the Sweet Nothings label, to create a capsule collection that draws inspiration from Maradona’s private rehab stint during the early 2000s in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. The collection’s many pieces all touch on Maradona and football’s higher meaning in one way or another.
The two organic bamboo cotton tracksuits —one blue and one white— are an ode to the casual wear Diego sported during his stint in Cuba. On the tracksuits you’ll find a trio of graphical elements. The first, the number “3” is a nod to the trinity, the three ballerinas from the
Shostakovich-inspired graphic, and the coming together of Ringleaders FC, Many Mainichi and Maradona. The seeing hand is a reference to tarot, spirituality, and Maradona’s infamous “Hand of God” goal in the 1986 World Cup. Lastly, you’ll find an image of three ballerinas embroidered on the back of the tracksuit, drawing on Shostakovich’s famous quote.
Shostakovich’s “ballet of the masses” also makes an appearance on an all-over photo print compression suit that features a still from Maradona’s farewell press conference. The idea being to draw attention away from the fact he was embroiled in a doping scandal and that soccer itself is separate from any off-pitch problems.
A red mock-neck long sleeve is an ode to Maradona’s earlier days and features a photo from his first rookie card, where he’s clad in a red jersey. It’s complimented by a lime green “La Pelota No Se Mancha” —which means “the ball is always clean”— T-shirt, and a white tee bearing the ballerina graphic.
Rounding the collection our are two organic bamboo cotton scarves with both visible pockets, and a hidden zippered pocket at the neck — you know, because Maradona had to sneak stuff into rehab.
The entire “La Pelota No Se Mancha” collection is now available at our Downtown location and on Thursday morning online. Come check out the launch and enjoy some music courtesy of BOOTYSPOON.