Creator Series introduces the individuals who are using their inspiration and talent to push football culture forward.
A Paris-based graphic designer, with roots in Vietnam, Nam Kunn is the founder of Le Ballon's Bled FC. The club is a collective of creatives, across formats and disciplines, who have toured and told the story of Southeast Asia's rich football culture.
When did you first get into football?
I’m a kid of France 98, the world cup in France were the first football event I’ve seen on TV.
But I really got into football in 2000 when PSG bought back Nicolas Anelka as symbol to a team project named « Banlieue » made by players from Parisian suburbs, it didn’t work…
How would you describe football culture in Paris? What’s happening there right now?
Paris is a rare capital where there is only one big club. Maybe it is the reason there isn’t a big enthusiasm for football in Paris, but more in its suburb, where are the real heart of Parisian Football culture. Parisians intramuros are more interested by the culture, art, fashion or gastronomy.
How does Bled F.C. fit into that scene? – How did Bled F.C. get started?
The word Bled has many meanings in French. For immigrants, Bled is the country or the city of origin. For city-slickers, it means the countryside. In French slang, Bled is a small village, a lost place. So I chose the word Bled because I have Vietnamese roots and I wanted to share my cultural heritage and discover other cultures through football.
“Today, the Bled FC mission is to explore football all over the world and to mix different cultures through football, fashion and design.”
What is the favourite football project you have been involved in?
In 2015, I created a football magazine dedicated to Southeast Asia. I went to Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand & Burma during 3 months to explore the local football culture. The magazine is like a travel notebook, a testimony of this trip, where you can find interviews, pictures, anecdotes and unique stories chanting the glory of those unsung heroes. Personally, it was the best experience of my life so far, it was incredible to travel and to share the same passion with people on the other site of the world.
What do you have planned next?
A collaboration with a big brand will release very soon and I’m planning another trip, so stay tuned.
What other creative teams/outfits do you admire? Either in Paris or elsewhere.
When I created Bled FC in 2013, there was not much « amateur and creative clubs » like we can see too much on Instagram today. I was and I’m still inspired by collectives like Nowhere FC, Chinatown SC, The Ringleaders and Soho Warriors. Much important for me is to differentiate from other clubs/collectives/creative peoples and try to propose something new.
Favourite player, brand, team? And why?
My favorite players are Ronaldo and Zidane, I told you I am a kid of France 98. They had a unique style and represent a nostalgic period during which I began to love football. If I had to chose a football brand, definitely it will be Nike, for their story telling, their philosophy, their advertising campaigns, their choice of ambassadors.
PSG have a bottomless pit of cash, how far can they go?
This year PSG has a very good team and I believe they can win the Champions League, anyway I really hope they will win it very soon. Because of money and because it’s Paris, PSG has the potential to be become the biggest club in Europe.