Football-inspired streetwear brand Nivelcrack secured a partnership with Jeju United of Korea’s K-League for a line of official team merchandise including a pullover jacket, hoodie, long sleeve tee, and scarf.
When it comes to official club gear, chances are the team will look to a sportswear brand such as Nike, Adidas, Puma, Umbro, or Kappa to handle production. However, Jeju United of the K-League in Korea has gone out of the box by selecting streetwear label Nivelcrack to create its latest line of team merchandise set to release on March 1.
Also based in Korea, Nivelcrack is an extremely fashion-forward streetwear label run by a team of passionate football fans that consistently push football culture in the right direction. Through sites like RAYSBEACHCLUB, the brand’s apparel has been made available in the U.S., with plans to increase the amount of worldwide retailers as well.
The line celebrates Jeju’s recent qualification for the 2018 Asia Champions League, and is entitled “United Beyond the Island”. The orange and black colorway present throughout the collection mirror’s Jeju’s colors.
We were able to catch up with Nivelcrack CEO Shinjae Lee to talk about the collaboration and what he sees for the future of the football-inspired label.
Urban Pitch: How did the collaboration with Jeju United come about? Are you guys Jeju supporters?
Shinjae Lee: Jeju United contacted us for merchandising their gear. Actually, we’re based in Seoul so we support FC Seoul, but Jeju United is our first partner in K-League. The club means a lot to us. The funny thing is that the first match up of the league will be between FC Seoul and Jeju United. I’m going to Jeju Island to watch it. I haven’t decided where to sit between home or away haha. However, we’ll be supporting Jeju United in the Asia Champions League for sure. That’s our partner, and unfortunately FC Seoul didn’t qualify for ACL this season.
Where did you look to for inspiration for the “United Beyond the Island” collection?
Of course Jeju United’s symbols and history. But I didn’t want it to be seen as just fan gear. I wanted to make clothing and accessories with quality design so that even people who don’t support the club can have interests in it. It’s like the story how I started to be a fan of FC Barcelona. It was just by a Blaugrana shirt which seemed beautiful to me. The K-League market is very small, and football culture in Korea hasn’t been stabilized yet even though we held a World Cup once before. I want to improve the scene through Nivelcrack.
How has Nivelcrack established itself as one of the leading football-inspired streetwear brands in the world?
I’m not just being humble, but honestly I don’t think we’re on that level yet. However, we do admit that we’ve taken advantages of the power of Instagram.
What do you see as the future of Nivelcrack, both long and short-term?
We’re planning to open our first pop-up in Seoul this year, hopefully. And we’re also discussing several contracts with pro-level clubs.
The “United Beyond the Island” collection is set to drop on March 1 and will be available on the Jeju United official site. For more Nivelcrack, make sure to follow them on Instagram and check out their online shop on RAYSBEACHCLUB.