Sporting KC members and friends create the athletic line they hoped to buy
Soccer (or football everywhere else in the world) is known as ‘the beautiful game’. The finesse, the speed, the agility necessary to move the ball continuously for 90 minutes creates a ballet of athletic ability. No one knows this better than the members of Sporting KC, Kansas City’s MLS team. Two of these players, defenders Matt Besler and Seth Sinovic joined forces with friends and fellow soccer enthusiasts Daniel Kerley and Ryan Van Goethen to create a clothing line that combines the function of high-performance athletic wear with the laid-back casual vibe of the athleisure trend.
The resulting clothing line is called STATES and is meant to reflect the growing American soccer identity. With their summer 2018 launch, they are debuting a line of shirts, shorts, pants, and hats that perform just as well on-pitch as they do off-pitch.
We caught up with founder Ryan Van Goethen to find out the nitty gritty of their inaugural line.
States is the American answer to an athletic style that has been popular in Europe for a while. What brands inspired you?
Like any great business we spend a lot of time studying competing brands, but to be honest we are as much influenced by great brands (not just apparel ones) that have created a devoted and loyal following – those that stand for a mission bigger than selling product, but telling a story, giving its followers (in our case soccer players, fans, followers) a voice.
What’s your favorite piece or combo from the new line?
We divide our product lineup between two categories ‘on-pitch’ and ‘off-pitch’, but with the idea that all States’ products are soccer-inspired with technical and performance properties.
On-Pitch: Designed with an eye to the specifications of on-field performance. Tested at the highest level by world-class players. Our on-pitch shirts feature soft, breathable fabric with moisture wicking technology, four-way stretch, perforated venting, and flat lock seams. Shorts feature functional stretch, an inter-lock fabric in the waistband and side paneling and strategic ventilation through a stretch mesh gusset. The shorts retain their form even while wicking away moisture and remaining lightweight during the toughest training session.
Off-Pitch: Designed with an eye to post-game lifestyle and off-field wear. Athletic-lifestyle apparel with an ability to stand up to performance standards and fashion demands. Off-pitch shirts are designed to have the feel of a favorite broken-in tee but with the temerity to withstand a rough or workout session.
The States hat features lightweight technical fabric that wicks sweat and repels moisture and stains.
Where will States be available to purchase?
All of our products will be available on our website at States.soccer. The site is much more than just an eCommerce platform; it is a story-telling destination with editorial content and visual identities that tell the narratives of the sport in this country.
What lead you to become personally involved in creating a clothing line from scratch?
The meteoric rise of the sport in this country is nothing short of amazing, and we believe we are still in the early innings. As we sat around as a group, we felt that among the different business verticals of the sport, apparel represented an underserved market and one lacking a clear sport-associated identity.
Almost all the other large U.S. sports clearly have a brand tied to their rise in popularity almost synonymously, track & field, football, baseball, yoga, surf/skate… we aim to be this for Soccer in America.