Here at Urban Pitch, we love to celebrate the blending of art, urban culture, and the beautiful game— especially when there’s a healthy dose of street cred in the mix. Sophia Chang embodies these ideals as an illustrator and designer who represents the new generation of creative storytellers who use various media platforms to tell their stories. We caught up with the bicoastal creative to get her thoughts on the differences between New York and L.A., her favorite collaborations with sports brands, and her increasing involvement with the world of soccer, including the MLS.
Urban Pitch: Having grown up in New York but now splitting time in Los Angeles, what are some of the biggest differences you see in regards to the local urban and pop culture scene?
Sophia Chang: I’m a born and raised New Yorker so NY is my comfort zone socially, geographically, and culturally. I keep to myself a lot more in LA and less plugged into the scene here at the moment. In NY we’re a lot more direct, assertive, and aggressive and this attitude may be shocking to people in LA. In NY it’s a lot about credibility rather than presentation. Still trying to mingle and see what type of communities I’d like to be plugged in with.
You’ve had a lot of projects and collaborations with sports brands like Adidas, Nike, and Puma to name a few. Any in particular that stand out that you really enjoyed?
All of the brands you listed are super reputable and I’m honored to have the opportunity to work with them. I’m currently doing a lot of work with Adidas from illustration, social content curation, and influencer work. I personally really enjoy working with them because they celebrate the creators. I see that this is a common thread across the board amongst other creatives that have worked with Adidas as well. You’re not hired as an artist technician to execute a task. Rather you’re hired, respected, and celebrated for your creative style.
You have a project coming out soon with MLS. Without giving it away, can you provide us a little info about what we can expect for the curious soccer fans?
The first project we’ve worked on was shared with the public September this year. We created a scarf and t-shirt as an effort to raise money for Childhood Cancer Awareness.
Street soccer is a popular and growing movement in L.A. What possible project or collaboration could you see yourself being involved in that would be fun for you?
Would love to continue working with the MLS. Fitness in the women’s realm has been a huge trend in the past few years. We’re spending more time celebrating the celebrities and influencers rather than the actual athletes. I’d love to see what we can work on creatively to design product that caters to the athlete. Marry function with style. Let’s cut the smoke and mirrors of our social media age and create something authentic that serves the people who dedicate their lives to training and #undoordinary.
It seems that you enjoy fitness and exercising as a regular part of your lifestyle. Do you also play the game as well?
I actually don’t play soccer. I’m completely new to the sport and culture. It wasn’t until I moved to LA that I started to meet friends who played soccer. I’ve attended games and definitely asked my close friends to guide me through the culture of the game. I spend a lot of my time observing players and fans to better cater to them creatively.
Follow her journey and latest projects on her Instagram account @esymai.
Photography by Ja Tecson.