Just hold on, they're going home—but first, Majid Jordan made a quick stop in Manhattan to help unveil Toronto FC's new kit as part of New York Fashion Week on Wednesday night.
The Toronto-based pop-R&B duo, signed to Drake's OVO Sound label, took part in an exclusive Adidas and MLS launch event during which all 26 clubs' 2020 jersey designs were revealed via a star-studded runway show. Dubbed "FORWARD25," the occasion was meant to celebrate MLS' 25th season. Other celeb fans at the show included Houston Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins for the Houston Dynamo, rapper Murs for the LA Galaxy, and streamer Ninja for the New York Red Bulls.
Toronto FC's new "Unity Kit," which will serve as their secondary jersey, boasts a fresh v-neck design and interlocking jacquard stripe pattern symbolizing the team's culturally diverse fan base. The Reds' primary crest is placed at the heart of the jersey, with a silver star above it repping their 2017 MLS Cup championship, while a sleeve patch features GE Appliances Canada—the club's first shirt sleeve partner. The back of the kit showcases the flag of Toronto, but the 28 surrounding cities and regions within the GTA also get a nod via inscriptions on the jock tag. All the teams' new kits have Adidas shoulder stripes.
We caught up with Majid Jordan at the show to ask them about the kit design, Toronto's rich diversity, their personal style, and—because why not?—the University of Toronto's dating scene.
Tell us about these new Toronto FC jerseys. We know they were inspired by the city's cultural diversity.
Jordan Ullman: Yeah, they have the patch here that has all the different communities in Toronto. I think this is a great opportunity for us to represent what Toronto really is, and I think that's people from all over the world connecting in one area and really unifying through arts or sports—the two main things that really are growing in Toronto right now
We know you guys are Toronto FC fans, and soccer fans in general. Tell us about that and your passion for the sport.
Majid Al Maskati: I mean, I love soccer. I play weekly down by Cherry Beach, [where] I just get together with a bunch of guys. I think TFC is definitely on the come up, especially [because] they've been in all the finals recently. And the stadium is just getting bigger, the interest in soccer is getting bigger in Canada. So it's an exciting time to be from the city. It's growing. A lot of people are moving there. It's an honor to represent such a great place that's home for us. We're really, really happy to be a part of this.
"Anybody should be able to connect regardless of where you're from. I think that's what Toronto's about." - Jordan Ullman
How does Toronto come into being part of your creative process?
JU: Yeah, I think it's really hard to describe what we do without, you know, putting Toronto in the forefront. I think that it brought us together. It allowed Maj and I to meet. It's very encouraging for people to come together from everywhere to make music or anything together and to grow outside of the city and also come back and represent the city. So I'm so grateful that I was able to be born and raised in such a great place.
MAM: And I moved to Toronto like 12 years ago from Bahrain in the Middle East. It was the city that first embraced what I did musically, where I met Jordan, and I was able to make connections and grow as an artist and as a person. I feel like that's the place where I really grew up and discovered who I am.
Does the city's diversity impact your sound at all?
MAM: I think there's definitely influences culturally in the music that people are making in Toronto. Even in the city, there's different sounds. You know, we have artists and friends that come all the way from Whitby to all the way to Mississauga, you know? And then north, all the way up to Markham and beyond, and then all the way down to basically Lakeshore. So we have people who are from different worlds of music, but they're all mixing and making stuff together. If you make hip-hop, it doesn't necessarily mean that you can't make dance, or doesn't necessarily mean that you can't make techno or whatever it may be. There's a real openness to that creativity. And everyone's always looking to just expand their comfort zone. And I think, yeah, that's what makes the city so special for us, you know? No one's afraid to say no to something, or [jump at] an opportunity to be a part of something.
Jordan, you're from Aurora. How does it feel to see the outskirts of the city represented on these jerseys?
JU: It feels cool! You know, I think over the last like 10 years, Toronto has become a place where a lot more people from there are doing things internationally—regardless if you're from the actual core of Toronto or if you're from an area around Toronto. Before, I think it was looked at like a 905 and 416 type of thing. But, you know, as time goes on, it's like, anybody should be able to work with anybody. Anybody should be able to connect regardless of where you're from. I think that's what Toronto's about. So it's cool that it's all put together; it's not about really boxing things in anymore. It's about putting it all together.
We're at New York Fashion Week, so let's talk about fashion. As creatives, you guys have your own style. Can you talk to us a little bit about your personal styles?
MAM: I mean, personally, when I first moved to Canada, I would rock soccer jerseys religiously. Like, I love soccer jerseys as just a fit to mix in with fashion. You know, I actually collect them. I have vintage jerseys. I look for specific kinds. I love the old France kit, the old Japan World Cup kit, the Brazil ’90s kits, you know? So I was always in love with that side of soccer and fashion. And I think now you're seeing just this mix with sportswear and how a lot of brands are actually following those kinds of silhouettes and using those fabrics in everyday [looks] and even high fashion. So it's very easy now to wear that stuff. And I see soccer jerseys now in North America more than ever before. So whenever I see one I feel like, 'Yo, I can connect with that person for sure.'
Jordan, how would you describe your style?
JU: I feel like it's changing. I love what I'm wearing right now. I think this is very comfortable. And I think fashion is about representing yourself and also being comfortable with yourself. So I think when you merge those two things, and as you grow up, you start to be more and more aware of who you are. So you try to match that. I've always been interested in fashion, so merging jerseys with fashion is kind of always what we've really done. So it comes really naturally [to us].
Alright, enough with the serious questions. We know you guys met at the University of Toronto. So we're going to ask you to rate some different aspects of U of T out of 10. The first one is the party scene.
MAM: Oooh, depending on the season, between a five and an eight.
JU: [Laughs.] That's perfect.
The study scene.
MAM: Oh, damn. That's a 10. People [there] are intense and tense.
JU: Very intense.
The food scene on campus.
MAM: Ah, needs improvement. I would say four.
The dating scene. Like, the shoot-your-shot scene.
JU: It's good.
MAM: It's alright, yeah! I would say, you know, nine.
Okay, since this is Complex Canada, let's ask you about Canadians. Who's the best Canadian athelete of all time?
JU: Oh my goodness. I don't even know.
MAM: There's too many. They win all the golds at the Winter Olympics. Basketball players are coming up right now, you know, and they're young. It's hard to pick.
Who's the best Canadian musician, excluding yourselves?
JU: Oh, man. So many. I don't know.
MAM: There's generations, too. First of all, our mentor, Drake. As a person, as an artist, as a business owner, as someone who's a cultural ambassador for the city, he's definitely, out of our contemporaries, probably the biggest and greatest musician to come out of Canada.