Creative Soccer Culture

Jules Kounde Wears Custom Japan X Nigo Shirt By The Football Gal

Known for bringing the heat with his pre-match fits, Jules Kound arrived at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys wearing a custom Nigo x adidas Japan third jersey designed by Diana Al Shammari, aka The Football Gal.

Bespoke customiser and designer Diana Al Shammari, known on her social channels as The Football Gal, has built a reputation as one of the best in the game when it comes to embellishing football shirts, elevating looks with an embroidered floral flourish that is her unique calling card. A beautiful example of her work came in the form of the Japan x NIGO shirt, which originally dropped back in October 2022 and which Shammari customised earlier this year. And it seems that we’re not the only admirers of this particular piece of work, after Jules Kounde was spotted wearing the shirt on his arrival at Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys ahead of Barca’s 3-2 win against Celta Vigo this weekend.

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What's interesting about Kounde's choice is that Barcelona are obviously a Nike team, and so some brows may have been furrowed by his choice. But the Frenchman is an adidas athlete, and on top of that he has a fine sense of style that is clearly not limited by brand affiliations.

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Inspired by the traditional culture and craftsmanship of Japan, the original special edition Japan x Nigo shirt featured a minimalistic and classical design approach, with the combination of pale mauve and fresh green reflecting the symbolic colours of cherry blossoms and “Sakuramochi,” the seasonal confectionery, widely loved and enjoyed for years by people in Japan. Shammari then took that inspiration a step further, drawing on wider Japanese culture, spring and new beginnings.

The square patterns on the back of the shirt are inspired by a traditional Japanese embroidery technique called Sashiko. Sashiko originated in the Edo period (1603-1868) and was commonly used to reinforce and repair clothing. The word "sashiko" literally means "little stabs" or "little pierce" in Japanese, which refers to the technique of using small running stitches to create a pattern.

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Check out more of Diana Al Shammari's work here.

Daniel Jones

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