O Fenômeno is an icon, and tied to his legacy is that of his R9 Mercurials, the OG. That instantly recognisable and iconic wavy silver, blue, and yellow aesthetic is a marker for a generation, and it has served as inspiration for Fokohaela’s latest creation.

Ronaldo inspired a generation with his unbelievable prowess on the pitch. The way he was able to destroy teams almost single handedly will live long win the memory, and nowhere was this ability better showcased than at the four World Cups that he participated at. But it was that first World Cup in 1998 that marked him out, with those radical signature boots that sparked the imagination of kids all over the world, as well as kick starting one of the most iconic and long-lasting boot lines of all time. Yes, the R9 Mercurial was a thing of beauty, so it’s only right that it serves as inspiration for creators today; creators who, as children, watched on in awe as Ronaldo carved out his reputation on the pitches of France 23 years ago.

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One such creative entity is Fokohaela, who have taken that aesthetic overlay and transformed it into a very special tee, inspired by the iconic 1998 R9 Mercurial. This was a labour of love for the kings of custom, with 104 meters of stitching and countless hours going into its production, the finished product weighing in at 1.2 kg (2.65lbs). Doesn’t sound a lot, but when you’re talking about a tee, it’s right up there. But it’s always good to know you’re getting your money’s worth. 

The R9 tee is the latest creation from Fokohaela, who last year honoured Pablo Aimar and Juan Roman Riquelme with two Superclásico-inspired jumpers. That came on the back of a tongue-in-cheek VAR-inspired shirt that took an early 90s adidas referee jersey, adding bespoke graphics that called out the all-seeing influence of VAR – all-seeing that is, apart from the obvious. But for now, attention should remain firmly fixed on the R9 inspired tee. Practical? Probably not. A beautifully crafted work of art? Absolutely.

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See more of Fokohaela's outstanding work here.