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12 Apr

424’s Guillermo Andrade Named Creative Adviser to Soccer’s Leagues Cup

Guillermo Andrade is just not shy about saying that soccer saved his life.

The founder and artistic director of the Los Angeles store FourTwoFour and streetwear brand 424 was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala, and immigrated to California on the age of nine. He grew up watching his father play the sport and took it up himself, eventually earning a scholarship and landing a spot on a respected team in L.A.

His love of the game also led to a real appreciation of his Hispanic culture, something that shines through in his designs. Andrade started off creating high-end jewelry for shoe eyelets that he called Sneaker Crowns and has since partnered with everyone from the Arsenal football club, Hummel and Michelob Ultra to Adidas on soccer jerseys and performance apparel.

It’s stories comparable to these that Andrade will share in his recent role of creative adviser to the Leagues Cup. “I’ve been obsessive about soccer my whole life,” he said. “It’s been an element of my vibe eternally. Even once I wasn’t playing, I liked to appear like I used to be about to play. So this chance is unprecedented.”

The Leagues Cup is a tournament between Major League Soccer and LIGA MX, the highest skilled soccer league in Mexico, where all 47 first division clubs within the U.S., Canada and Mexico will pause their respective seasons this summer for the primary time to compete on this World Cup-style tournament in North America. It should consist of 77 matches and can run from July 21 through Aug. 19. The champion and the second- and third-place finishers will qualify for the Concacaf Champions League and have a chance to earn a spot within the FIFA Club World Cup.

To advertise the tournament, MLS tapped Andrade to create and seek the advice of on cultural and storytelling initiatives that sit on the intersection of soccer, fashion, art and design. As well as, Andrade will design and develop limited-edition co-branded capsule collections for fans that shall be sold at stadiums and third-party retailers.

“Teaming up with the inaugural edition of the Leagues Cup is incredibly humbling and such a novel opportunity,” Andrade said. “It’s beyond an honor — it is a childhood dream come true. I cannot wait to share my journey and the way soccer saved my life.”

As a lifelong soccer fan, Andrade said he “never heard of a tournament like this. It normally only happens in video games so it’s massively exciting.”

A promotional image for the Leagues Cup features a mock newspaper announcing the partnership.

Courtesy of Major League Soccer

He said the association with MLS began innocently enough when he was having a creative meeting with a friend and the subject of soccer got here up. Seeing Andrade’s passion for the game, his friend said he needed to introduce the designer to his father, who just happened to work for MLS.

One thing led to a different and Andrade was connected to David Bruce, MLS’ senior vp of name and integrated marketing.

“There’s an enormous opportunity across the Leagues Cup, our newest event,” Bruce said. “So we thought, how can we position and market this in a way that’s going to talk to a very diverse audience base? Is there a voice on the market that may also help bring this to life in a way that each audiences of the Mexican leagues and MLS can understand and respect and can enable us to get immediate credibility? We thought Guillermo’s background perfectly fit that sort of purpose. He’s a soccer person at heart, it really drives him in what he does and the way he views the world, and also you see it in his work. It just felt like a very authentic match and I feel there’s a lot that we are able to do together.”  

Although the capsule design has not yet been accomplished, Andrade said there shall be “different tiers of product for various purposes. The thought is to make use of the chance to have fun cultures and reach out to different people potentially, and do some interesting collaborations after which specific capsules.”

Along with designing and making a line of fanwear, Bruce said Andrade will use his skills as “an unbelievable storyteller” to bring the games to life. That can include telling his personal experience as a Hispanic immigrant in addition to “how he sees the sport in all the pieces that he does.”

The content shall be distributed on Apple TV+, MLS’ partner for the Leagues Cup.

“The thought is to reflect the sport from the viewpoint of the fans within the stands — where you support your club and grow to be an element of the sport,” Andrade said. “We at all times give attention to what’s happening on the pitch, but my approach has at all times been in regards to the people who find themselves fortunate enough to be within the stadium. The very first thing you do is locate the T-shirt, cap or scarf, even in the event that they’re bootleg. These are memories they’ll take home with them eternally. So what we’re going to do is use this as our first step, to create a base for everybody to be comfortable engaging with the game — these two cultures coming together in a really unique way.”

The promotional images for this partnership were shot in an empty L.A. Galaxy stadium. “It’s very Ted Lasso-y,” Andrade said. “It’s eerily just like the opening scene — it was pretty fun.”

Bruce said Adidas is the official licensee of MLS and may even create the match ball for the Leagues Cup. While a number of the clubs inside the MLS universe have partnered with fashion brands individually, the take care of Andrade is the primary for the league at large. “We imagine his influence goes to rub off on the event in some ways, shapes and forms,” he said.

Bruce said the partnership will run through the tip of this yr and should be prolonged.

Andrade has had a serious impact within the streetwear industry since he began his business 13 years ago. He opened his FourTwoFour store on Fairfax in Los Angeles in 2010 and it became an epicenter of sports, fashion and music, being among the many first to sell brands comparable to Rhude, Martine Rose, Hood by Air, Fear of God and others. He launched his 424 label in 2014.

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