Gypsy Sport Put the Fantasy Back in Fantasy Football
For something that has the word “fantasy” in it, fantasy football, what with all the stats to keep track of and depth charts to decode, seems more like a nightmare to me. And while I’m sure droves of boys would disagree, there’s at least one out there who would heartily concur: Gypsy Sport’s founder and head designer Rio Uribe.
Born in Los Angeles to teenage immigrants, Uribe has never made an attempt to be something or someone he’s not. Launched in 2012, Gypsy Sport is much more than the NYC-based, VFiles endorsed, sportswear heavy designers its often grouped with. Uribe’s collections oftentimes look like a sartorial extension of himself—like his dream world, realized, in which gender is but a construct, alls races are celebrated, and basketball nets make abundantly cute tops.
For his SS17 collection, Uribe continued with the fantasy trope. Specifically, he injected the “fantasy” back into fantasy football, concocting his own, much more adorable and kawaii version of the game—one that might actually get him to bet on a player or two. The result? Less concussions, and a lot more lace—fashioned into tiered skirts, oversized shirts, one-shouldered jerseys, tiered tube tops, and floor-length dresses. The jerseys that weren’t made out of lace were given either a ruffle or a fringe treatment—and, we suspect, is not exactly what the football team physician ordered. And then there were the logos. What, from afar, appeared to be heavily-sponsored uniforms you’d find at the World Cup were actually covered in deliberately and cleverly warped logos; particularly memorable was the NBA emblem that, upon closer inspection, featured not a Michael Jordan illustration but an ankh.
For the show, Uribe worked with longtime collaborator and jewelry designer Chris Habana, who designed all of the bold, enamel jewelry and statement headbands. And Uribe also solicited artist LilKool, who was responsible for all the flower prints as well as the trippy, anime-flooded, Nintendo laden graphics that appeared on the screens dotting the perimeter of the runway.
During the show yesterday, we caught up with Uribe to talk about sports, video games, and his gorgeous cast of diverse models. Let the games begin! (By which we mean, read on.)
So what’s the general inspiration behind this collection?
This one is all about sports and fantasy. All my friends and brothers play fantasy football or whatever, so it got stuck in my head. Like, what does fantasy football look like?
So I’m assuming you don’t play fantasy football?
I don’t follow sports.
Sports would be a lot more fun if it looked like this.
Right? Hello?? And I would watch.
And I noticed a kind of anime, Nintendo vibe. Are you into that stuff?
Yeah definitely. I grew up playing every video game
What’s one of your favorites?
I always liked Mario Kart. And I hooked up with this artist [LilKool] who did all the video installation for the show, and he’s super inspired by the same kind of digi, video game world. So the match was a match made in heaven.
“I didn’t grow up in the fashion world, and I never really thought I would have a way in. So now that I do, I kind of want to bring other outsiders in.”
Do you cast all of your models through Instagram?
I was never educated in fashion, I didn’t grow up in the fashion world, and I never really thought I would have a way in. So now that I do, I kind of want to bring other outsiders in.
What was the concept behind the makeup? Did you have a say in that?
You know what? Yeah, I did. We went to Six Flags as a team building exercise last week, and we all got our faces painted with this tribal thing. And we were like, “Let’s do this for the show!”
I noticed there were a lot of plays on different logos. What was that about?
Actually, since it was inspired by athletics and sports, we took the NBA logo and turned it into an ankh. It’s called the NBAnkh.
All photos taken exclusively for Milk by Andrew Boyle.
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