While us ‘Mericans have the luxury of perfectly mowed fields and a plethora of generic gear at our disposal, most of the world does soccer… or fÃºtbol… or futbito, differently. It’s a beloved and gritty sport, the foundation of which lays in the townships of Africa and in the dirt surfaces of Spain and Brazil. As so many of us have been, while traveling to these hallowed international ‘fields,’ Travis Winn – the founder of Calle (pronounced KAI-yay) – was inspired by the passion, talent, and ultimately, the style he saw being displayed by 12 year old street soccer players in Spain. Confidently and creatively, he thought, they tirelessly played 5 v. 5 on fenced-in concrete courts and in the callejones (a.k.a. alleys).
The difference between most of us and Travis is that Travis went one step further and saw a business opportunity in all of this. Calle was born out of international streets, and has come to fruition through the idea of bridging the gap between the mostly hideous soccer apparel/gear that we’re used to, and a more fashion-forward, to-the-roots-of-the-game aesthetic. There’s a market for a brand like this, no question about that. My hope is that Calle doesn’t try to become ‘the Quicksilver’ of the soccer industry overnight, but rather focuses on conveying through its apparel and other products the authentic look, feel, and style from which the brand was born.
Their Primero street soccer ball is, in my book, the icon of the brand– low bounce, soft touch, and not afraid of getting dirty… canvas sack included.