We Are Timbers: Eugénie
You’ve seen them. Big. Bold. Towering over the urban landscape with some as high as seven stories tall.
They are portraits of photographers, brewers, coaches, men, women, kids.
They are portraits of fans.
Eugénie Frerichs is a photographer and art director at uber-cool local clothing company Nau. Moving here as a one-year old from Colorado, Eugénie grew up in Portland but has traveled throughout the world. And yet, somehow, the pull of the city always brings her back. A true Portlander, she loves her soccer.
Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.
With all your traveling, why did you choose to settle here?
Eugénie Frerichs: Portland is good living. It’s full of smart, creative people who are very talented and focused. Quality of life is important. The bike community was a huge draw. As an adult, the food scene here was a draw. The vicinity to the outdoors and to the ocean and the mountains and the desert—big draw. Also the creative community here is inspiring.
Do you consider yourself a soccer fan?
EF: I grew up playing soccer. I was a really serious dancer growing up and the highest act of rebellion in the ballet community was to play soccer because it was the most dangerous sport for your limbs. I insisted on being able to play soccer while still dancing. It was like the constant point of tension with my ballet coaches, but I hung in there.
And I would always get in trouble for swearing too much on the field.
Do you still follow the game?
EF: For a different reason these days. I think soccer players are the most beautiful form of athleticism to watch. So I watch it now for aesthetic reasons. It is amazing to watch a player maneuver with a ball through the field. It’s so cool.
Much like a dance.
EF: It is. I’m drawn to it as a performance.
As a Portlander, why do you think soccer fits so well here?
EF: I view soccer as more of an international sport that has a global awareness to it. To me, it reflects a broader view of the world and I feel like that’s the case with Portland. We’re fiercely local but with an understanding of international influence. It’s not American. It’s something on more of a global scale. I feel like soccer is just another slice in that same pie about that choice of quality of life. It feels smarter.
Between the books, and the coffee, and the soccer.
EF: Yes. I mean, soccer is a complex game. And there is this real grace to it. Its level of complexity to me feels in line with the same expectations that Portland citizens have about other things in their life.
It’s the only organized sport that I will verbally say I’m a fan of. It’s true. I would never say that about any other team sport.