The Dutch were the inventors of total football, a footballing philosophy that stood the test of time and makes today’s football ever so attractive. While we’re used to see great football from Holland, there are some football brands from the small country with wind-mills and wooden shoes which you might not already know of. One of those brands is COPA Football, a brand with that has had a life of over a decade and a brand that is worn by some very popular people.
COPA Football have a flagship store in Amsterdam and their offices are in Breda, the south of Holland. There aren’t many smaller football companies around the world with physical locations, so it’s pretty impressive that COPA Football have opened and maintained a physical shop. Here’s the description of the brand as told by COPA Football:
“COPA was founded in 1998 when a football addict started with a small collection of traditional heavy weight cotton football shirts and the collection has grown ever since. Nowadays the collection consists of different lines with retro shirts & jackets, football inspired printed T-shirts & sweaters, recycled bags, leather bags, footballs, watches and functional football apparel.”
COPA Football works with a number of international designers to produce new fashion lines which include football shirts, football hoodies, jackets, bags, watches and more. It’s a very diverse brand, which has in its portfolio the sponsorship of the Suriname National Team, signing a four year deal of sponsorships where COPA designs the kits, jackets, and training wear for Suriname.
Here’s the kits and jackets designed for the Suriname national team:
Salomon Kalou, Guus Hidink, Moussa Dembele, Phil Collins, Danny Kovermans, Louis Van Gaal, and Jon Dahl Tomasson are a few of the famous football players, managers, or celebrities that have worn COPA Football across the years. This adds to the brand’s credentials and sets it apart from other online football brands. Not to mention their awesome store in Amsterdam, which looks like this:
We “sat down” with the owner, Cees Akkermans, and a current employee of Copa Football, Alex Jansen for an interview to give you a little more inside info on the brand and what they’re all about:
SL: How long have you been involved with COPA Football?
Cees who founded COPA has been involved since the start in 1998 and I have worked for COPA since 2009.
SL: COPA is now a relatively old football brand, being active since 1998, however, what was the shirt or event that really sparked the brand’s growth?
It’s difficult to really name one shirt. At the time brands like Adidas and Puma where starting to relaunch some old time classic shoes like Adidas Stan Smith shoes or the Puma Clyde suede versions. So when we started with COPA to relaunch classic football shirts, we were at the beginning of this trend. Besides the classic retro line we started with, the printed T-shirt line launched around 2003 was a really good step for the brand which still works very fine today.
SL: What would be the iconic COPA football clothing item?
If we have to name one it’s the t-shirt below. This was basically the first shirt with prominent branding and people still seem to like the design today.
SL: There are not many football brands that don’t produce boots, sponsor players, etc. which have physical locations. You have a flagship store in Amsterdam, which is unique, when did it open and why do you think a flagship store was a good idea for COPA?
The store opened in October 2009. The store gave us the perfect opportunity to show all the collections we work with in the way we feel fits to the philosophy and style of the brand. According to the reactions of the people visiting the store it works very well as we get very positive feedback about the store.
SL: How much influence did Amsterdam and The Netherlands have in the initial designs and what created this brand?
Amsterdam not so much as our flagship store is based there, but we have our office in Breda which is in the south of Holland. There is Dutch influence in the brand of course, because we are all Dutch, but there is also international influence as we co-operate with designers from Italy, Brasil, UK, Sweden etc.
SL: Why was the name COPA chosen, what does it represent?
I made a long list with potential brand names and in the end felt that COPA was the nicest and I’m very happy untill today that I picked this name. It’s the spanish word for cup so it’s ofcourse football related and works very well internationally.
SL: What was the proudest moment for COPA football in it’s history?
I think to be the sponsor of the national football team of Suriname and attending their World Cup qualification games. This was prety special.
SL: Who, from the people that have worn COPA football products, are you most proud to be recognized by? (e.g. celebs, footballers)
It’s always nice to see people wearing COPA no matter if they are famous or not. From the famous section it was nice to see Guus Hiddink wearing a training suit we made for him for a T.V. show some years ago. It was also nice to see Theo Maassen wearing one of our t-shirts during the World Cup 2010 tournament as he is the most popular comedian in Holland.
SL: Where do you see the brand going in the near future?
We want to be a special but small football brand in between the major players but we have many projects we work on and come up with, so the best is yet to come! And it will always be 100% football related.
SL: Do you plan on expanding your product line to include boots in the future?
It would be nice to make nice boots one day but we like how things are going now so we don’t know if or when we will start thinking about it.
A big thanks to Alex and Cees for the information and giving us a look inside COPA Football and the future vision of the brand. What I can say with confidence is that the shirts are very high quality, having been sent a sample, it is one of the most soft and comfortable shirt I ever put on – ever. COPA works with many international retailers, so you can always find their stuff online or in physical stores.