In today’s day and age, brands are no longer confined geographically. Thanks to the internet and social media, brands from Asia can pop off in North America, a British brand can gain a cult following in Japan and customers are blessed with an unending amount of knowledge and information about trends. That wasn’t always the case.

There was a time where you actually had to travel to unearth a new brand or buy that coveted grail. There was, of course, the famed era of “sneaker tourism,” where sneaker aficionados descended, first on Baltimore and later on Japan, to scoop up rare, regional exclusives. Even so, the roots of modern fashion globalization and the notion of fashion tourism were spawned, not by sneakers, but by football. Today, brands like Stone Island boast an impressive reputation, but decades ago, they were relatively unknown outside their home countries. That all changed thanks to European football (or, as we say in the States, soccer).

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