National colors from around the globe punctuate the streets, flying from balconies and balustrades, flapping at the doors of shops or hanging in their windows. The traditional colors of red, white and cedar, the party flags that usually demarcate Beirut’s neighborhoods and voting districts are all but crowded out by the international surge of pride felt by all Lebanese as they weigh in to support their favorite teams. It can only mean one thing: The FIFA world cup.
As football fever grips the city, it finds its way into every aspect of fans’ lives. From shoes to dog tags, football trivia invades the retail scene at every level and literally sets a standard for fashion. Hero worship abounds in jerseys emblazoned with the names of international icons like Beckham, Jovetic or Ronaldo; advertisers cash in hard on the public’s desire to where the same shoes, athletic apparel or accessories as their favorite stars. Some especially novel items on display this year include shutter shades, dog tags, and trendy bracelets.
But really, when it comes to FIFA, no surface or facet is safe from contamination. Water bottles, laptop stickers, electric lasers and – what the heck? – a plaid pattern wine bottle style folding umbrella are only the tip of the iceberg.
And fans find novel ways to express their loyalty through their own creativity as well. Graffitti and stencils picturing flags and team logos, enthusiastically iced cookies bearing national colors and body paint and makeup name just a few. There are a million creative ways to support your favorite team – what’s yours? WE choose a few things that we think are stylishly cool…
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