Welcome to TSF Spotlight, where I plan and hope to share with you different aspects, people and initiatives within the Arsenal universe! I’m super excited to share our first spotlight with you, Gunner Club. Gunner Club is bring the most creative unofficial Arsenal themed designs to your wardrobe. As the resident Short Fuse kit reviewer, I couldn’t be more enthused about what their doing and what they have in store. Luckily, I got to (virtually) meet Jordan, who is CEO of everything Gunner Club and was generous to share some insight on what Gunner Club is all about.
Q1: Can you give us your personal background- Who are you? What do you do? What is your Arsenal supporter story? What is your favorite AFC memory?
A: I’m a visual artist, working primarily in abstract painting, based in Minneapolis. I moved to MPLS from Fresno, California last year with my partner. Previously, I was the marketing director for ex-USL Championship side Fresno FC (RIP Foxes), founded Fresno Gooners, the Central Valley’s first Premier League supporters group, and have worked in graphic design and merchandising roles in the past. I’ve been an Arsenal fan since 2003ish when Thierry was on the cover of FIFA; the dude was (and still is?) one of the coolest athletes on the planet and it was a love-at-first-sight deal, especially after watching highlights of those teams in the early aughts. Favorite Arsenal memory was either the 2014 FA Cup win, since it was the first trophy for our Fresno Gooners community and we celebrated properly, or my first North London Derby win in attendance at The Emirates in December 2018. 4-2 to The Arsenal, Auba twice, Laca and Torreira. What a match.
Q2: What is Gunner Club?
A: Gunner Club is a hella unofficial Arsenal merchandise project at the intersection of the history, culture and mischievous side of The Arsenal.
Q3: How was GC conceived? What is the origin story? What made you say, there is a need in the market for Gunner Club?
A: Gunner Club origin: I’ve had the idea for several years now and attended lots of matches in pubs across the USA and in the UK over the years (you can check one of my previous projects We All Follow The Arsenal) and, while I appreciate the club’s official aesthetic, I always wanted Arsenal gear that was unique, a bit different, pieces that were remixed, that celebrated historical moments or required a deep knowledge of the club to appreciate. While there are lots of projects similar to mine that are doing great work like Eighteen86, I have a unique design style and aesthetic that can add to the culture and that’s what I hope to achieve with Gunner Club. Or, I wanted to make clothes for my own wardrobe. Ha.
Q4: Do you have collaborations with anyone or upcoming projects you’re excited about? Where do you get your inspiration from? (streetwear culture, celebrity trends, Hector’s wardrobe?)
Collabs/Inspiration: No collabs on the docket as of now but I’m certainly open. I’ve done all of the Fresno Gooners gear since the group’s inception in 2013 and have worked with a number of other groups within Arsenal America as well as guys like Brian at 11 Cannons and JP at Art of Sport, so it’s definitely not out of the question. As far as inspiration goes, I really dig the pins and badges and hats and scarves and merch from the early 70s through the early 90s as well as going back through the archives to crazy situations (the day we bought Mertesacker, Arteta, Andre Santos, etc. in 2011 or 40m+1 in 2013) and finding some levity in those things. Streetwear and celebrity trends are fine, I just think deep knowledge of The Arsenal and the culture as inspiration points can produce more interesting pieces.
Q5: If you could put one Gunner Club item on Hector (or any current player) which design and why?
A: Hector/Player: I’d definitely put Hector in the 20/21 Fresno Gooners All Over Shirt, a size up, tucked in with a belt because you know that’s how dude would wear it.
The other one: I could see Auba rolling out of the Emirates in the Goalkeepers Union Jacket post-match in his Ferrari. Flashy style for the flashiest man.
Q6: What is your favorite Arsenal kit and what is your favorite item you own?
A: Favorite Arsenal kit: On pure simplicity, tradition and aesthetics, the 86-88 Home Kit can’t be beat. And immensely underrated and top two for me: Away 97-99. I don’t own either, so probably time to save up.
Favorite Arsenal item: the 2016 Home Kit signed by all of the first team players involved in the Arsenal in California tour.
Hopefully, if you’ve made it this far, you’ll check Gunner Club out and give them a follow. If you have any questions for Jordan, drop them in the comments or suggestions of future items you’d love to see below. I personally want to thank Jordan for taking the time to share with TSF and hopefully we’ll catch up soon on a future episode of Warning Shots.