Robbie Rogers knew he was always meant to play soccer. Like any other professional sport, soccer is relatively hard to break into unless you’re THAT good. It was around the age of 14 when he knew he wanted to turn his dream into a reality. “I wanted to be a professional,” he said. “This is something I could do, and I wanted to be one of those guys. I went to college and turned pro and at that age, it was soccer or nothing.”
The professional athlete was able to flaunt his talents overseas before settling down in MLS, watching as the league shifted over time with new teams, new stadiums, and new ownership. It was back in 2013 that his own life changed drastically, when the 25-year old came out to the public, and soon became the first openly gay man to compete in a top North American professional sports league.
“It took me about a year before I realized I’m different from my teammates, but we’re all different. No one’s weird about it and everyone treats me just the same as anyone else,” Robbie says. “I don’t want to talk to people every day about being gay, I’d like to just focus on soccer and doing my job. I go into things as a member of the Galaxy.”
Now, things are going as smooth as they could be. As someone who’s extremely stylish when he’s not in his uniform, the 28-year old has begun collaborating with Proper Assembly, a Brooklyn-based fashion company set on putting out functional and high quality designs at an extremely affordable cost. Using their popular ‘No.3 Cinch’ for inspiration, 100 bags were produced in gunmetal grey to match Robbie’s aesthetic, each coming with a tag marking the edition and signed by the soccer star himself. #14 is clearly more than just your typical athlete.
Right after a long day of training, Robbie filled Maxim in on fashion around the globe, Rihanna’s badass image, and life after soccer.
Just because I love it so much, I have a suede jacket that I got from the Levi’s House that the Levi’s team gave to me. It’s a brown, suede leather jacket. It’s so vintage, old school, and it fits so well, and every time I wear it, it gets better and better, so I think it’s probably my favorite piece today to kind of rock around. Unfortunately, it’s hard to wear that in LA, but I still do. It’s a little hot, but I’m just gonna rock it anyways.
My mom used to stick soap in my mouth whenever I cursed so people always make fun of me for saying like “shoot” and like “gosh!” I guess one that I use the most is probably “shit” and that’s when I’m on the soccer field. Obviously, you can’t really control it, and when I’m mad at a referee, I just go, “You’re shit.”
As a teenager, I went to a prep school, and I would wear a uniform, which made life easy. But, I’ve always kind of enjoyed being well dressed, like wearing jeans that fit properly and are not too long or too baggy, and that are not too slim or aren’t too sloppy either. Just as the years have gone by and living around the world in different countries – I’ve been able to live in London and see Fashion Week there and live in East London where it’s so creative – and to travel to New York and comparing the different places. It’s just kind of inspired me and has educated me. I think everyone kind of has their own style, but I love to follow fashion around the world, so it has just kind of educated me a little bit in different ways. Obviously I’m a Californian, and I live here in LA, and you find yourself dressing very casually – just jeans and a white T-shirt or whatever and some Vans or some Converse, so it’s a little bit more mellow here, but when I was living in London, I would spend a little bit more time on the detail.
I think one of the most important pieces is – I have a few like white Levi’s Made & Crafted shirts.. I know I keep saying Levi’s, sorry, but it’s the truth. I just love their Made & Crafted stuff, and it’s so iconic and simple. So, I always wear their white shirts with the little pockets in the left corner. I think a white shirt – a white T-shirt that fits you well. It doesn’t even have to be expensive. I know American Apparel make really great summer tees. So, I think a clean white T-shirt is really important.
I love Rihanna. She’s such a badass, and she’s so beautiful, and her style is amazing, and she’s so different than other people. Whenever I see her on the red carpet or at a party, I’ll always laugh but be like, “She’s so cool.” She should be the top of your guys’ list every year.
As for what’s next, I hope to play for a few more years. I love playing with the Galaxy, so I hope to continue doing that. But after soccer, there are so many different things that I have gotten myself into over the past few years, so we’ll see. I don’t really want to say quite yet just because I don’t want someone to look at this interview in a few years and say, “What happened?” But, there are a lot of things that really excite me, and I’m excited for life after soccer. I think I can take this work ethic and how athletes pay such close attention to detail, and we’re a bit crazy at times when it comes to our work rate and stuff like that – but if I can take that into my life afterwards then hopefully I can find a way to be successful.