BEAVERTON, OR. —
In what people inside of Nike headquarters are hailing as one of the most bold fashion moves of all time, Nike design engineers revealed their newest jersey for the men’s and women’s national soccer teams.
During a recent, Nike-sponsored press conference held at Nike’s Beaverton compound, the haggard but triumphant design team responsible for coming up with the idea to put stripes on a jersey discussed the revamp with Nike’s in-house press corps.
“We spent months trying to capture the essence of the national teams, and then molding their essences–essensi? I’m never sure–into one comprehensively stunning kit,” said design director Thomas Walker.
In the early days of the project, Nike’s creative braintrust reached out to members of each of the national teams, asking them to free-associate words that describe their respective squads.
According to Walker, responses from the USWNT and USMNT varied from “assertive,” “respected,” and “good,” to “frustrated,” “under-appreciated,” and “trying hard.” (Responses were submitted anonymously, so there’s no way to tell which descriptors came from which team.)
“People said we couldn’t do it–said America wasn’t ready for stripes–but we went with our gut, and I couldn’t be prouder,” continued Walker.
“I’m gonna piggy-back onto what Thomas just said, and remind everyone gathered here that when we started this project, all we had was a blank canvas, and our imaginations. Now look at us!” Shouted Rory O’Reilly to a room full of his Dry-Fitted co-workers.
Other designers described the process as one that required much personal sacrifice.
“I didn’t see my kids for weeks. The youngest boy thinks I’m his uncle,” chimed in team member Scott Albright.
“My marriage fell apart; I was served with divorce papers during a three minute mandatory hydration break,” said team member Jeremy Trine. “But ask me if it was worth it. Seriously. Will someone please ask me? No? Okay. Well, the answer was going to be, ‘We fell out of love years ago. Right around the time of the equally groundbreaking Oregon Ducks redesign. After that project, I could basically write my own ticket.’ I’m sorry. What were we talking about?”
Nike representatives, eager to gauge the public’s response to the newly outfitted soccer stars, asked fans at a recent friendly at PPL Park between the US Women’s National Team and China what they thought.
“The stripes? Yeah, they’re okay, I guess,” answered father of four Don Albright (no relation to Scott). “Can I go back and watch the game with my kids now?”
Outside the stadium, though, Nike canvassers got more of the controversial blow-black all real artists look for.
“Americans don’t wear stripes! Stripes are flip-floppy. Solids show that we commit,” said one wild-eyed gentleman standing at a nearby bustop. “Just look at them running around,” he said, pointing to a program for that day’s game that had blown out onto the sidewalk. “They look like they’re about to take a leisurely ride down the Riviera.”
For more on people trying to come up with as many things as possible to say about stripes, please see this little video.