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Is this the best NYCFC apparel collaboration yet?

Only NY and NYCFC have a new NYC Parks-inspired line of clothing and accessories — and it sure looks nice.

NYCFC goalkeeper Luis Barraza styling the Only NY x NYCFC rugby shirt | Courtesy

The first-ever NYCFC third jersey, the green Parks Kit, isn’t the only exciting new merch the club has unveiled this summer. 

The team and New York City streetwear brand Only NY have announced a new NYC Parks-inspired apparel collaboration that is fittingly Queens-centric and is on sale as of noon on Thursday, August 24th. You can shop the collection here at this link, while supplies last. 

The line includes hats, T-shirts, hoodies, a rugby shirt, and a Nalgene water bottle. Flushing Meadows Corona Park and its iconic Unisphere feature prominently, with a soccer ball branded with the NYC monogram from the club’s crest replacing the Earth in this version of the landmark structure. 

The World’s Game works well on a shirt highlighting Flushing Meadows Corona Park, the biggest public park in the World’s Borough, and a park steps away from the eventual home of NYCFC’s Queens soccer stadium

Critic’s Notebook: Some thoughts on the NYCFC Parks Kit

It’s rightfully been a Queens-heavy season given the seismic stadium news, but it’s also been a busy season for NYCFC merch collaborations. 

This is Only NY’s second time designing NYCFC-branded clothing and accessories, coming seven years after they put out a clean, text-heavy line featuring a hat, shirts, a hoodie, and a tote bag

Only NY’s return to the NYCFC scene brings with it a reminder of the possibilities present when the team’s merchandise is made outside the realm of MLS’s two major official gear and retail partners, Adidas and Fanatics. 

It also begs the question: What has been the best NYCFC apparel collaboration since the club was founded? Both the Only NY x NYCFC collections have looked classy and seemed to successfully mesh the style of the city with some of the iconography of the team. 

Drake’s OVO x Mister Cartoon drop NYCFC capsule collection

Another strong contender for the collab throne has to be the pigeon-inspired 2021 collection made by another New York City streetwear brand, Staple. The Staple gear likely holds a special place for many fans since it arrived during that fateful MLS Cup-winning season, but it was also a unique and varied collection that paid homage to the sport, the city, and the team’s unofficial/divisive pigeon mascot. 

Mitchell & Ness, makers of a wide assortment of retro-leaning sports merchandise, also did a capsule collection with supporters group The Third Rail back in 2017, a pre-Interboro Kit nod to the tile patterns that are synonymous with New York City’s subway stations. 

Mitchell & Ness have not been strangers to NYCFC, as the brand also designed another special clothing collection for the team in 2022. This line featured shout-outs to the orange Volt Kit and was modeled by Alexander Callens while touring Peruvian enclave Little Lima in Paterson, New Jersey. 

2023 has been busy on the collaboration front, as Drake’s OVO clothing brand and graffiti artist Mister Cartoon teamed up on a strikingly blue NYCFC capsule collection, though that wasn’t exclusive to New York City, as Toronto FC and LAFC also each got their own lines of gear from the same sources. 

Of the special one-off NYCFC apparel collaborations to pop up since 2015, it feels hard to select a clear winner. Scarcity and uniqueness has made each of these collections special in their own way, and this latest line further connecting NYCFC with NYC Parks is no exception.