#HeroinasLF / #LFHeroes

#HeroinasLF / #LFHeroes

"A defender for the 100% Feminino soccer team, the game runs deep in her family as evidenced by her cleats sharing space with her dress shoes:)" 

#HeroinasLF / #LFHeroes

#HeroinasLF / #LFHeroes

"With the right resources and support, these natural leaders can truly take flight and help others around them."

A special congratulations to Alfredo Axtmayer and Hilary Gerson!

The LF family would like to give a special congratulations to Alfredo Axtmayer on this big day as he gets married to Hilary Gerson!

A co-founder of LF, Alfredo was a college soccer teammate of LF co-founder and current C.E.O. Drew Chafetz. Alfredo and Drew embarked on an amazing journey down to Guatemala in May, 2007 where the duo oversaw the execution of three community soccer field projects over a seven month period.

LF was on its way and the rest was history. 

Alfredo was a "natural soccer leader" both on and off the field -- with a deep appreciation for the game and ability to communicate with and empower locals to lead. He also drafted the first version of the LF methodology of community engagement. This document continues to guide the organization as we discover new spaces and communities to empower through soccer.  

Nowadays, Alfredo sits on the board of LF and recently founded his own non-profit called Remission Ball. A recent cancer survivor, Alfredo's organization promotes healing and comfort through sport to other fellow cancer patients. 

Alfredo, thanks for being there from the beginning and congratulations on this new chapter in life. 

Best,

The LF family. 

WHEN ART MEETS SOCCER: LF talks to Case Jernigan of Off-Foot Soccer

WHEN ART MEETS SOCCER: LF talks to Case Jernigan of Off-Foot Soccer

The European leagues have recently kicked off. Week after week, fans will wait for bursts of beauty to erupt on the field. Those moments of pure talent can only be matched by the jaw-dropping artistry that they inspire off the pitch.

Case Jernigan, a Charleston native now living in New York, is one example: he turns the plays, personalities, and history of the game that move him into doubly stunning, expressive paper portraits, collages, and short animation films. Off-Foot, Jernigan’s brand with his collaborator, Anderson Fariss, is an emporium of his soccer-related art. love.fútbol talked to him about his entry into soccer fandom, New York’s growing soccer scene, and the books that stand behind some of his work.

For much of the artist's childhood, soccer played a secondary role. He was interested and played casually, but chose to focus more on tennis. “I was in Germany and Italy during the 2006 World Cup for college stuff -- I was studying art -- and I was just completely sucked back in.” That tournament and his experience abroad encouraged him to follow the Premier League and keep closer tabs on his favorite club, Newcastle FC.

Moving to New York further pushed him into his love for soccer. The tennis courts in New York were limited and poor quality, so Jernigan decided to sign up for the New York Coed League. The accessibility of soccer in New York certainly helped: with a Fox Soccer subscription, reliable streaming services, and local pubs that aired games, he was able to indulge in his rekindled passion.

When asked about Pirlo’s new role at NYCFC, the artist responds with excitement. “During that 2006 World Cup, Pirlo was on everyone’s mind. That’s when I was first really exposed to him. Now he’s here, in the same city!” But, he adds a caveat: “Buying all these old guys isn’t the healthiest approach for the MLS. I’m much more excited by the Red Bulls building a strong team or Toronto having Giovinco and Michael Bradley.” In any case, Jernigan admits, he looks forward to all the New York teams -– Red Bulls, Cosmos, and NYCFC alike -– building authentic history over the coming years.

Development over time is something he is used to. “I didn’t really make any art related to sports at all until a little over a year ago,” he says. The hype around the Brazli World Cup kept international soccer lodged in his head. Naturally, it was reflected in his art work. “In the beginning, everything I made was too obvious, too literal. The game in that moment was full of big stars -- there was less media, photographs, art to digest that was interesting. I mean, there’s only so much you can say about Cristiano Ronaldo’s personality, fame and stardom. With a lot more access to different games and leagues, the really cool magazines, TV shows, and podcasts out there… I don’t know, it inspired me in a different way.”

This isn't to say Jernigan’s art doesn’t focus on individuals. His portfolio on Off-Foot features very familiar faces, like American legends Brian McBride and Tim Howard, and current Barcelona star, Luis Suarez. Many pieces feature Maradona, whose influence in the ’86 Cup  and world soccer as a whole moved Jernigan.

MARADONA 1986. Cut paper, 2015, 8x14 inches.

The artist points to the late Eduardo Galeano’s Soccer in Sun and Shadow as a partial explanation for the abundance of Maradona pieces: Galeano, he says, “found all the nuance and story related to soccer that fans already know, but he said it in a way that no one else has before.” He adds, “That’s my goal, to try and find some poetry. Not to get too hung up on caricature or portraiture, which seems to be a lot of the work out there now. To try to find something personal, unique, and try and represent the way it meant something to me.”

It's easy to see those qualities in Jernigan's work. Everything -- from the materials he uses to the particular, details in his collages -- emits ingenuity.  His personal lens is reflected through each work’s imagery; the delicacy of his craft through his short films (the latest of which you can watch here).

Off-Foot, Jernigan says, is a work in progress: he and Fariss are working to expand the brand's t-shirt collection. Be sure to keep an eye out for his illustrations over at Howler magazine and explore more of his art here. You can find more of Jernigan's Off-Foot on Twitter & Instagram.

 

#LOVEFUTBOL INTERVIEW WITH WILDFANG

#LOVEFUTBOL INTERVIEW WITH WILDFANG

Just over a month ago the U.S. Women’s National Team took home the ultimate soccer trophy: the World Cup. Thousands took to the streets of New York City to celebrate the team’s incredible feat, but one company showed their enthusiasm well before the tournament had even begun.

Wildfang was founded in 2010 by Emma McIlroy and Julia Parlsey in Portland, Oregon. The two adventurous designers sought to extend the boundaries of women’s fashion and they've done a hell of a good job at it.  Many of the new World Champs, including Heather O'Reilley, Sydney Leroux, and Kelly O'Hara, have sported Wildfang looks.

LF correspondent, Bianca Guerrero, recently interviewed Emma about Wildfang, tomboy fashion, and female athletes. #gameface 

What inspired Wildfang to “liberate menswear”? More specifically, how is shopping at Wildfang different than simply shopping in the men's section at any retail store?

We work seriously hard to find men’s styles that work on a women's body. We send four buyers and stylists out onto the market to try on items and build outfits. We shoot every product on body and work with brands like Peau de Loup to get the fit exactly right for the female body. In addition we make many of our own styles, which go through numerous fit sessions and are built specifically for the tomboy frame.

One of the latest 2015 looks from Wildfang.

One of the latest 2015 looks from Wildfang.

The #gameface series beautifully showcased America’s future Rapinoes and Wambaches of soccer. Where did Wildfang find these budding athletes? 

We sent the call out to some local Portland soccer coaches, telling them that we needed badass young female soccer players for a new campaign. Every single girl was a soccer player or enthusiast. We did zero casting and zero styling. What you see is 100% real and raw and very, very badass.

The Women’s World Cup was wildly popular, but female athletes are still facing tough hurdles. They are paid much less than their male counterparts and were forced to play on artificial (instead of natural) turf. What is Wildfang’s take on the inequalities female athletes currently face?  

First off, we prefer to just call them 'athletes.' That's what they are. World class athletes who work their butts off and provide hope and entertainment for millions of others - young and old - around the world.  From the stats we read it seems like more Americans watched the Women's World Cup final than the Men's World Cup Final between Germany and Argentina, or the NBA Finals or the Stanley Cup. If they can generate the television audience, then they should share in revenues of that. Those women are the reason people watched and adverts were sold. They should, without question, be compensated appropriately.

USWNT stars sporting the wildly popular Wildfang World Cup t-shirt earlier this summer. 

USWNT stars sporting the wildly popular Wildfang World Cup t-shirt earlier this summer. 

Wildfang flaunts the tomboy label with pride and confidence. However, not everyone looks at the word so positively: for some, it is considered an insult. Is part of Wildfang’s fashion revolution reclaiming the word as one of strength?

For us, it has never meant anything else. Myself and Julia, Wildfang’s other co-founder, grew up with grandmothers who were tomboys and as kids, we both had best friends who were guys. Our inspirations – Janet Jackson, Abby Wambach, Agnes Deyn, Cara Delevingne to name a few – all self-describe as tomboys. For us, it's not a trend. It's an attitude and a set of values and we wildly encourage it. 

Official Site: http://www.wildfang.com

Instagram: @WEAREWILDFANG

You can learn more about gender inequalities in the beautiful game here. Share your favorite #gameface with love.futbol by connecting through TwitterFacebook, and Instagram!

Why #JogaPraElas? By Larissa Brainer

Why #JogaPraElas? By Larissa Brainer

Original text by Larissa Brainer / translated into English by Andrew Carten.  

love.fútbol project #6 in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala.

love.fútbol project #6 in Santiago Atitlán, Guatemala.

"Jogamos pra elas." "We play for them" because someday, somewhere, somebody said "no" to a girl who wanted to play in a pickup game. Because when teams are selected there's a girl who doesn't have a chance or is the last one chosen. Because there are some communities, neighborhoods and schools where girls aren't even considered when it comes to playing on the field. Because we know so little about the history of female soccer, past and present. Because there are some places like Zanzibar, where many women are judged "immoral" for playing the game. Because there are people who say "soccer is not a woman thing". Because at any moment the right to play and have fun with soccer was (or is) denied to girls and women.

Women like Aline Pellegrino, born with a love of the game and determined to see her dream come true as a professional player. Like Abby Wambach, the US National Team player, who after winning the World Cup, expressed her happiness and broke protocol by kissing her wife in celebration - #lovewins! Like the girls from San Antonio Palopó who had never played a game of soccer in their lives. Like Irene and Teresa who play ball with no regard to rules nor instruction, and make us hope that no one will never take that from them, whether in actions and or words. Like Annika and Sierra who showed their bravery in #GameFaces. Or like Yasmin, who with other teammates, made history taking part in the first female soccer match at the Arena Pernambuco.

love.fútbol project #17 in Cururuquara (SP), Brazil.

love.fútbol project #17 in Cururuquara (SP), Brazil.

All of them are girls who went (and are going) to the front with their passion to play. These are the stories that inspire and are a part of the #JogaPraElas campaign. They show us how the relationship with a ball can be important, empowering and transformative for girls too, despite it still being taken for granted in some places and situations.   

#JogaPraElas was for the national teams players of the 2015 Women's World Cup. They played thinking about all these girls, about the girls they themselves were in the past, the girls they inspire and will inspire in the future.

The World Cup has come to an end, but #JogaPraElas is going to continue. While there are warriors inside the four lines of the field, we will be rooting for them and continuing our job to raise awareness of the issues that remain both on and off it. 

Larissa is a journalist, member of #lovefutbol since 2014 and coordinated the #JogaPraElas campaign.

 

#JogaPraElas is a social campaign launched by love.fútbol brasil to shine a light on the women's game during the recent Women's World Cup in Canada in promoting gender equality and inclusion in the sport of soccer. By raising awareness of the issues that surround the game as it pertains to girls, love.fútbol hopes to inspire people to stand up for the other half in the world in their pursuit of play and free expression.