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Fun fact: From 1971 to 1985. New York City had its very own professional soccer team, The New York Cosmos. Now, the championship-winning Cosmos—for which soccer legend Pelé once played—is set to re-launch in the 2013 season with a fresh (and as-yet undetermined) roster in a new stadium in Queens. And last night, the crew behind the Cosmos threw sort of a debutante's coming out party for themselves.
Held at the Open House Gallery, it was co-hosted by Umbro—yes, soccer-shorts Umbro—on the cusp of their big brand relaunch. The brand took the opportunity to preview their new Umbro x NY Cosmos Spring/Summer '11 Collection—a series of tailored green-and-white sportswear inspired by the Cosmos 1977 kit (kit is Soccer for uniform) and embellished with the team's iconic logo. Another fun fact: That uniform was worn by Pelé in his last ever professional match.
The party was obviously soccer-themed. Fueled by Belvedere vodka cocktails and Bass beer, the space featured two awninged snack carts serving up Asian slaw-, spicy ketchup- and potato chip-topped hot dogs and beef and cheese empanadas in brown paper envelopes. The space was decorated with Cosmos images past, present and future—archival match photography, shots of fans, a sort-of Umbro lookbook, and some mob-possible Italian dudes drinking espresso in green and white trackies.
Music was Cosmos-era and party-hardy: Old Madonna, classic disco, Run-D.M.C., Michael Jackson—all provided by one DJ Soul. The only interruption was a short speech by Paul "PK" Kemsley, natty Brit and new owner of the team. Tickled, Kemsley pointed out some Cosmos alums in the audience before putting the spotlight back on DJ Soul and a new Kanye West track. Last fun fact: Mr. Kelsley was definitely wearing those brand-spanking-new Spring/Summer '11 Prada creeper-lace-up-espadrilles in black patent leather. Hello!