If you fancy yourself a sports fanatic, or happen to be a vuvuzela aficionado, you know that the World Cup is already well underway. Of course, as with any FIFA tournament, there are plenty of talking points this year: Senegal’s incredibly animated coach, Maradona doing extremely Maradona things, and previous champions Germany getting knocked out of the group stage.
Regardless of these antics, if you follow the beautiful game, you understand that the World Cup is much more than what happens on the pitch. It’s a global phenomenon, a reason to party, and an excuse to show your national pride by rocking either the colourful kits of your homeland or your adopted favourite.
Nigeria must’ve got the memo, because the team really made a splash this summer by unveiling stunning and incredibly detailed gear — the outfit has quickly transformed into a coveted streetwear piece thanks to some help from celebrity influencers like grime superstar Skepta and Arsenal striker, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The success of the Super Falcons swag proves yet again that World Cup looks are not just for the pub or the stadium… they can be a slick fashion statement too.
Rising Canadian brand HOWLER knows this very well and they're celebrating the World Cup and it’s cast of characters with a capsule of soccer-inspired merchandise. The collection features sweatshirts, hats, totes and even beach towels perfect for waterside flex. Toronto-based creative, Aabid Youssef, who is unsurprisingly a massive soccer fan, designed the entirety of the collection. We chatted with him a bit to learn more about HOWLER, his latest line, and what inspired him to create a football-themed collection.
How did you start HOWLER and whereabouts are you located?
HOWLER is the result of a lifelong passion for football culture, design, and fashion. HOWLER is based in Toronto but we ship all over the world.
Can we get Howler at retail locations anywhere or is it online only right now?
For now, HOWLER is online only, but some exciting Toronto pop-ups are in the works.
Talk to me about your inspiration behind this World Cup-themed line.
Since I was a kid, World Cup month has always been my favourite date on the football calendar and I've always loved the abundance of colours and flags that decorate cities throughout the summer. With the Group Stage t-shirt, I wanted to combine the beauty of all the competing flags in a very functional and minimal design. All the flags on the Tee have been stripped down to their most basic form and every row of four flags represents each corresponding group in the world cup. I like to think of it as an analogue way of viewing the groups rather than looking at a screen.
Are you rooting for anyone in particular this World Cup?
I’m half Egyptian so naturally I was rooting for them for the first time in my life, but unfortunately, they didn’t make it past the group stage. I follow the Premier League quite closely and I'm enjoying the new crop of young English players so I'm rooting for England to go on and win it.
What's in store for the brand in the near future? Anything being cooked up that you can talk about?
I’m currently working on a new t-shirt collection for the major European leagues and Champions league. Each tee will feature a simplified map of each country on the back and the ball that's used in each league on the front. New designs and hopefully some interesting pop-ups to come as well.