Mon, 13 Feb 2023

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Dozens of patrons descended upon the Adidas Flagship Store in central London for the Jamaica Football Federation(JFF) kit launch party Monday evening. They were greeted by a warm, authentic and eclectic taste of the Jamaican experience. Roots rock reggae, lovely art pieces from Kieron Boothe, Jamaican style food and beautiful kits all took centre stage in what was a truly memorable evening.

Taking it back just a few moments before the event kicked off, the line bent right around the front of the store, with eager guests itching to get a first-hand look at the new JFF kits. The massive LED screens which adorned the front of the store all shone bright gold and pictured lovely graphics of the JFF logo as well as some sneak peeks at the kits. The interior was just as glowing, the decor gave off a rustic feel with the music in the background and the smell of patties in the air taking me home, even if just briefly.

Seani B of BBC Radio 1Xtra hosted the event and was his typical charismatic self, riling the crowd up after a fairly subdued kickoff. Guests were invited immediately to the food section where hot lamb(not exactly authentic) and chicken patties awaited them. The line in a flash grew to a laughable length, curving the whole way round to the back of the room. The patties were, expectedly, not up to what a Jamaican is used to, but it was a decent imitation. 

The main event though were the kits. The gold home strip seemed to be a fan favourite and by half an hour in, employees were scrambling to restock sizes. The kits were already being donned by the Adidas staff, but as the night went on you started to see more and more Jamaica kits on the guests. The away and pre-match kits also received good reviews, but the surprise package for many was the tracksuit. A reversible jacket with one side gold and the other the pattern of our pre-match kit, a bit more expensive than the kits but rightly so.

The event continued to fill up as the night went on, eventually becoming crowded at the entrance where the DJ was situated and the live performances started. Artistes Lickle Jay and Brixx opened it up for a fiery main event showing from grime icon D Double E. It was understandable that the Reggae and Dancehall music which echoed throughout the store, transitioned into grime and drill by the evening’s close. 

All in all, the kit launch could be considered a huge success. For turnout, entertainment value, vibe and setup, and of course the gorgeous kits, all were top quality. Slight issues with space and overcrowding was the only damper on what was truly an enjoyable night for the diaspora.



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