Anyone remotely familiar with New York City’s Hip Hop scene in the past decade (think SOB’s and Santos Party House) has undoubtedly come across the work of Mel D. Cole.
The tenured photographer — known for his spectacular black and white snapshots of all things Hip Hop adjacent culture — recently collaborated with Umbro for The Mel D. Cole Metropolis Soccer League Collection. The new collection splices NYC folklore with pro fútbol for a total of four jerseys and snapback caps that include to Queens Kings United F.C.’s pairing with Big Mama’s Chicken Shack sponsor and Real Bodega FC paying homage to its iconic quarter snacks.
Cole, who openly admits he published over 500,000 photos throughout the years (and snapped more than a million), feels like he’s doing his Big Apple Hip Hop sensibilities the ultimate justice with the new capsule.
“My friend Marc D’Amelio got me in the mix,” Cole tells HipHopDX, recalling the birth of this latest collection. “He knows that I really love soccer, looking fresh and he also knew about my collabs that I have done in the past. My intense passion for soccer, soccer shirts, streetwear fashion and being able to create with one of my best friends Ron Uppenman again inspired this particular collection. [Marc] presented the idea to the good folks at Umbro US and the rest is history!”
The particular rollout bosts of tailored typography contrasted with bigger shapes, easily making it a standout for sports fans. But ultimately, it was created with nothing short of Hip Hop purity.
“Looking fresh has always been a big part of Hip Hop and African American culture,” Cole continues. When you don’t have money you still find a way to look fresh! When I made this collection, I made it for New York but also for the Hip Hop fashion head in mind.”
That’s a quote worth a thousand words.
The Mel D. Cole Metropolis Soccer League Collection is available via the Umbro USA website and isn’t designed to break your bank.
For more on-the-spot updates from the Village Slum, follow him on Instagram @meldcole.