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Brief Published: 28 Oct 2020

Reimagined Football Shirts Bring Craft to the Archive


Adidas has teamed up with musician Pharrell Williams to reimagine the classic fan-favourite football kits of major European clubs including Manchester United, Arsenal and Bayern Munich with a DIY aesthetic. The clothes feature hand-painted crests and sketched designs – reinforcing the crafted look that has grown increasingly popular throughout lockdown.

With the original designs mainly hailing from the 1990s, the refreshed garments also intentionally evoke a vintage and nostalgic feel to celebrate the history and heritage of these legendary teams.

Not only is football kit licencing a serious business – sportswear brands spent $483m on licencing deals for the Premier League’s 2019/20 season alone (Vogue Business, 2020) – but the vintage resale market is also incredibly lucrative. An original version of the 1990-92 Manchester United away jersey that’s been redesigned for this collection is selling for £350 ($455) on resale site Classic Football Shirts.

Adidas x Pharrell Williams
Adidas x Pharrell Williams
Adidas x Pharrell Williams

Adidas and Williams have stated their intention to use archival kits and club heritage to bring people together through sports, democratising access to memorabilia and ensuring that football is for everyone. Brands would be wise to follow suit in looking back to their archives in order to evolve them for the future.

Additionally, the visual, crafted quality present in the handmade designs is sure to resonate with the DIY-hungry and vintage-loving Gen Z consumer both during and after Covid lockdowns. For more on this evolving trend, see our S/S 21 trend direction Analogue, as well as our accompanying updates and validations. For another recent example of classic pieces being updated and reissued for the coming season, see Zara Revives the Archive.

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