This past weekend, Upper90 hosted the USA Finals of the Red Bull Street Style tournament. The stakes were high. Whoever was skilled enough to win would go on to represent the USA at the World Finals in Poland. Contestants came to the Queens location of Upper90 in Astoria from all over the country, from California to just a few blocks away. Talk about competition.

Aside from the competition, we had a chance to check out the entirety of the location, equipped with an indoor pitch, two rooftop pitches, the store itself, and a cafe. Before the tournament began, there was a viewing party set up for the Russia vs. Croatia World Cup quarterfinal, while contestants were warming up for what might be the biggest competition of their lives.

There were fan experiences set up as well, including a custom T-shirt station and a Messi virtual experience station by adidas. One of the co-owners, Zach, welcomed us and showed us around while we chatted about his experiences as a former commodities trader and what led him to create Upper90. “The city had nothing like it before this,” he said, as we watched the 5-a-side games on the rooftop pitches. Creds to Zach and his colleagues for taking a risk in one of the world’s most unforgiving cities. The risk paid off as they now have multiple locations and enjoy success while providing for local communities.

The Red Bull Street Style tournament hosted by UPPER90 was a culmination of their mission: encouraging expression, while bringing together communities. We wish Upper90 continued success in the future, of which we have no doubt as long as they keep up what they’re doing. Be sure to visit any of their locations if you’re ever in New York City.

You can visit the Queens location of Upper90 in Astoria at 34-23 38th St, Long Island City, NY 11101.


The World Cup is coming up in a little over a month, and I cannot help but get excited for the world’s biggest sporting event. I attended the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and plan to attend this year’s edition in Russia. While in Brazil, I experienced people of all different backgrounds and nationalities from across the globe come together to celebrate soccer. Thanks to our friends over at Pro Direct Soccer we get a first hand look at the Nike FC, Nike’s sub-brand of soccer, recently released jerseys collection which illustrates the global power and unity of the beautiful game. Let’s take a deeper look at the latest collection.

Overall Design: The five variations of the jersey collection is separated by different national flags, as well as the actual template of the designs. The templates are differentiated through the use of black space, and the flags to display a star, a diagonal, horizontal, and vertical stripe, and an arrow-like shape pointing towards the left. All designs have the bold signature “Nike FC” in gold, as well as the main badge-logo created specifically for this drop. Overall my first impression of the pieces was impressive; they definitely caught my attention. Seeing them in person also helped me capture some of the details that I did not see in images. The whole jersey, front and back, has an embedded checkered detail to the fabric with the overlapped NFC logo from the badge. I like how the colors are vibrant from the different flags, but all of them have a solid, strong base of black for a nice contrast. I like the different take of the various templates as each jersey spews out different emotions. My least favorite version is the one with the star template as it looks a bit disproportionate and draws unwanted attention to your belly…

Score: 4/5 (fan of all four minus the star template)

Functionality: The first thing I noticed when I picked up all of the jerseys were that they were relatively heavy. When a shirt or a jersey has some weight it definitely gives you the impression that it is of high quality. I must say I was impressed with the quality of the fabric and how all the pieces were put together. Would I wear these on the pitch though? Probably not, as I mentioned they are pretty heavy and will definitely weigh you down on the pitch.

Score: 3/5

Uniqueness: Have I recently seen anything like this come out of a major sportswear company like Nike? I certainly have not (and please let me know if I’ve missed any), and to come out with it in five different variations was a good move in my opinion. Not only do these jerseys look good, but they also stir emotions and creates a sense of national pride for those people whose countries have been represented. They’re also unique in how they were constructed. The part of the shirt where the flags are being illustrated is double layered. The fabric of the flags on the top and the black base fabric on the bottom, hence the reason behind the weight of the jersey.

Score: 5/5

Details: This collection is all about details on details on details. In general, I’m a fan of Nike F.C. for its simplicity, but these jerseys use the simplicity of its logo across the chest and present contrasts in design with a loud noise of detail all over the shirt. As mentioned above, the jersey is engraved with the checked pattern of the overlapped NFC logo. The neck tag inside the shirt reads “Nike F.C. The World’s Football Club,” and includes the silhouette of the five different variations of the collection in gold. A neat move. The badge logo contains some of the nation’s flags that are participating in the World Cup surrounding the NFC logo, and some that are not participating this summer like the USA. The flags being used in the designs don’t really have a connection to the World Cup as I also see the Chinese flag in one of the shirts when they have not qualified for the tournament since 2002. I guess it’s a nice touch to include other nations, but being a Korean American myself, it hurts me to not see our flag in the any of the versions.

Score: 4/5

You can now purchase the Nike F.C. jerseys from Pro:Direct Soccer.


Nike and Slam Jam Socialism have collaborated on a jersey highlighting the crossover from soccer to street culture. To celebrate their “40 years of Nike Football” campaign, the Swoosh is releasing a special edition jersey just in time for Milan Design week.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Nike’s partner for the project, Slam Jam is an Italian men’s streetwear brand founded back in 1989 by Luca Benini. The company focuses on releasing socially progressive fashion and lifestyle goods with limited edition items and highly desired collaborations. For Nike’s “Brothers of the World” campaign, the Italian imprint focused on the passion so often found in soccer and the love one feels for their chosen team.

The jersey offers an aesthetic look, featuring a white base with black horizontal lines of varying gradation tapering at the neckline. Two solid black panels run up the sides, before the solid white reappears on the back. The traditional swoosh remains aside a sleekly designed chest logo. Detail wise, the words “FAST” is written in bold black letters, inside of a red horizontal box, with the word “south” cast in unique lettering, which serves as the center logo.

The back has been left rather simple with “SLAM JAM” in place of the nameplate, and a large number “14” in bold block lettering. In my opinion, though the front is pleasing, the back seems rather dull, and the “14” mark looks cramped – a large red stain on an otherwise clean creation.

That being said, if you are looking to pick one up they will drop on April 19th, made available online at slamjamsocialism.com and at Slam Jam’s store in Milano.