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Football x Fashion, Chat with Jersey Embellisher, Diana Al Shammari aka @TheFootballGal

Diana Al Shammari, also known as @TheFootballGal on Instagram, has taken over the football fashion industry by surprise. A few months ago I came across her awesome Instagram page and absolutely loved the designs she was garnishing to soccer jerseys. From embroidered roses to gold embellishments, the Football Gal jerseys make your soccer kit dreams come true to life.

How did we meet?

I came across her Instagram page possibly a year ago and loved her creative artistry and love for the game.  Pressed follow.

During the FIFA Women's World Cup she posted a giveaway of a custom-designed France jersey. Granted, I never win scratch-off tickets so imagine my luck with giveaways... Well, i was wrong. I WON! Diana created her masterpiece and shipped it to me :) .

Our coffee shop talk

It was so awesome to finally meet Diana as she was visiting NYC. We sat down at a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan over a matcha and and a latte (so millennial, yes). We talked about entrepreneurship, life, football, and of course... jerseys! To me to be able to connect with another multicultural female footballer passionate about the game is a true blessing.

Diana Al Shammari, The Football Gal with Melissa Ortiz

How did she get started?

Diana told me that she always loved wearing football jerseys growing up. However, in addition to the male-dominant jersey sizes, the jerseys were somewhat boring and it could never be dressed up. Well, thankfully brands started making sizes for women and happily Diana kept on adding her flare.

She enjoyed embellishing clothes and transitioned to putting her creativeness to the jerseys. When Diana finished her first jersey (which btw takes around 2-3 days on average to create), she asked a friend his thoughts on her design concept. Ironically, he disapproved.

Guess what, that didn't stop her. She kept on sketching, designing, and creating. She went from posting her sensations on Instagram to being reached out by a multitude of brands. While working a full-time job and attending university full-time in Los Angeles, she says she unfortunately has had to say no to opportunities because it’s difficult to manage her job, making jerseys on her own, meanwhile balancing her life well-being. However, she did collaborate with Nike this past summer for a campaign during the Women’s World Cup in which she designed jerseys for England Striker, Toni Duggan, as well as presenter Nicole Holliday, and musician Chelcee Grimes .  Her exposure is increasing and demand is high, but she humbly says she wants to build the brand while completing her Master's Degree in Digital Media & Mass Communications in London.

My favorite part of our convo:

Diana modestly mentions that some English Premier League players have slipped into her DMs requesting a design… In addition, she just finished making a jersey for a very famous singer/band (can't be announced yet, sorry!) 

Diana and I chatted for over and hour as if we had known each other already. The vibe you get when meeting someone with similar interests, passions, and value is truly one of a kind. And, to see a female footballer who is absolutely killing it is inspiring. She went with her gut feeling and made her design ideas to life. I am confident we will continue to see her shine as she steers the way of football x fashion.

Make sure you follow @TheFootballGal on the gram!

Random Questions:

Which is your favorite team?

"My favorite football team will always be Bayern Munich." 

Who is your favorite player?

"Favorite footballer of all time has to be Zinedine Zidane. His ball control abilities and the way he played enchanted me from a young age."

Who is your favorite fashion blogger?

"I don’t really have a specific favorite fashion blogger because my style is not confined in one category. It just depends on my mood and/or what I feel like wearing."

Who is your favorite soccer blogger?

"Do I even have to say it? Melissa Ortiz, of course!"

What is your career goal?

"My career goal right now is to work in football media/communications/PR while also applying my creative side into it."

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

"I don’t even know where I see myself in 5 months hahaha but hopefully in 5 years I’ll still be doing the things I’m doing today but elevated, if that makes any sense. I’d like to continue this ride and see where it takes me. Life, just like football, is unpredictable."

Who has been an inspiration for you?

"This might sound cheesy but my parents have been my biggest inspiration to me. Their hard work, love and dedication shaped me into the person I am today. "

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