In 2002, my father upped our family vacation from a road trip in the US to a road trip in South Korea for the World Cup. We scored tickets to the US games, and the first one was against Portugal. I remember that game like it was yesterday – my first real exposure to pro soccer, AND first real exposure to Portugal. The Portuguese fans – super intense and so loud when Portugal scored, and totally dead when the US scored. The US beat Portugal 3-2 and the soccer world was STUNNED. With my father leading the pack, we celebrated BIG. Till 4-am-kind-of-big, with every American in Suwon in tow.
I’ve now watched soccer games in Paraguay, Brazil, Spain (Barcelona!!), and more. So of course, on this sourcing trip I HAD to check out the Sporting Portugal vs Moreirense FC game. And like how I remembered – when Sporting scored, the fans went nuts. Holy shit, this game was the loudest crowd I ever been a part of. So loud I had to cover my ears. But when Moreirense scored… dead silence. Amazing.
Couldn’t stop thinkin’ soccer but had to… I needed to get my hunt on. And the first score couldn’t be more sweet. Walked out of a subway station and the first thing I spot is a stationary shop. Within minutes I’ve got the pencils for the kit. A wood pencil with natural finish that smells like yummy flowers! Not talkin’ the old-school scratch-and-sniff stickers – I’m talking smells so sweet I don’t wanna put ‘em down. Turns out an old Portuguese pencil factory is alive and kickin’ – they still produce top quality pencils that are amazing.
I scanned the aisles, collected a few Paper Goods options, and headed to the counter. Asked the manager what the most popular notebook is, and without skipping a beat he pulled out the simple black notebook from my stash. Pedro explained that grid sheets are common in Spain, but in Portugal it’s all about the ruled. He said everybody uses the black notebook. Maybe the only exception? Girls who prefer color. We knew the black notebook was the way to go for our Portugal Kit.
So I’m lookin’ down at the goods and the Portugal Kit is lookin’ a bit… uncharacteristic of the RAH flavor. We’re into BIG gold chains, everything neon, pattern overload awesomeness. I knew I had to find something to make this kit POP. And pop pop we did! The cutest stash of tacks in rainbow colors!! And right next to them were the biggest paperclips I’ve ever seen! You know what this means? Bonus for Yearly Subscribers! These clips have got to be old stock – German brand that I love but rarely see anymore. I snatch them up whenever I can.
When the US men’s team beat Portugal, the world took notice. We got a good feelin’ that STMT X Portugal is gonna have people taking notice of RAHstrs and their super sweet, lo-fi goods!