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2018 was the year of football jerseys

There are many reasons,the World Cup, the Nostalgia, the fashion weeks and the "Culture"

2018 was the year of football jerseys There are many reasons,the World Cup, the Nostalgia, the fashion weeks and the Culture

Maybe everything changed on  November 15th, 1969, in Anfield. Not because Liverpool beat West Ham 2 to 0, but because sports communication started a phase of renewed realism. The BBC transmitted the first color game in football history. From that moment the colors of the clubs no longer remained only an exclusive of the stadiums, but began to circulate in the eyes of the soccer fans, and became part of the personal sporting memory, adding an aesthetic component began the transition of football from a mere sporting event to a cultural movement.

In this sense, 2018 was an important year for football, thanks to the World Cup in Russia, the jersey has become a symbolic element of sport and football culture, reaching various levels of audience. From the revival of vintage t-shirts to Virgil Abloh, through high fashion and independent brands, jersey became the sporting item of 2018 part of the great game of contamination and references between design, music and art that has become contemporary culture.

Brands and clubs have ridden the trend with different strategies and objectives, spending energies on creativity.
A very precise choice to bet in a new way on their merchandising, and, among all the official items released each year by the teams, the jersey has lived a golden year also in the sales.
The versatility of the product allows you to use the jersey as a white canvas, experimenting with different ideas and designs through collaborations with avant-garde: to give you some examples, look at the infinite PSG partnerships or the collaboration between EA Sports and adidas x Juventus, Real Madrid, Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
The trend of the jersey was driven by the wider streetwear movement, which recognized in this item an object the symbolic strength and the global market potential in the year of the football World Cup.

A newfound identity

One of the topics in 2018  was the nostalgia trend: reliving the designs of the '80s and' 90s, implementing the marketing strategy of memory. Focusing all on an emotional effect, on the story of a mythicized past of football once opposing the bionic Cristiano and Messi narrative, relive those same emotions looking at the objects that have remained most impressed in the collective memory. The meshes of the '80s and' 90s were very different from the current ones: first, the study of patterns, palettes, fit baggy and collars were greater, lost, at least until this year, in the modern research of a futuristic style. adidas has thrown himself headlong, stopping to imagine the future to make a melancholy leap into the past, inspired by the 80s for the uniforms of the national teams that participated in the World Cup. The half-finished result as demonstrates by the doubts on a design almost copied and not reworked in a modern way.

The football 90s trend has also rediscovered smaller historical brands such as Kappa or Hummel, which, by focusing on their own archive, have regained the market space lost in the last decade. A historical-sporting legacy that its competitors can not boast and therefore an exclusivity to be exploited as a weapon in its favor.

Moving the attention from the brands to the clubs, the return to the origins has rediscovered the teams' identity, lost in recent years by a series of banal uniforms, respectful of the color tradition but that did not tell much more. Color and uniformity have been favored rather than creative research, but rediscovering the links of the past has led to bringing together some fans of a past football, as well as uniting purely sports enthusiasts with others more attentive to style. The clubs have presented celebratory t-shirts for anniversaries or significant events, projecting the values and memories of the club and its fans into the knitwear object.

Therefore, the incredible success of the Mecca of the vintage shirt is not surprising: the English website Classic Football Shirt. The online store of reference for the vintage football apparel lived a golden year, opening its first store and projecting itself as a successful business reality, nss magazine has told you about it.

A global football

In the World Cup year two football fashion cases were held. The first (and most important) was the shirt of the Nigerian national team, with 3 million jerseys sold even before the official launch. In order to restore the values of the past, Nike's intuition was unique, focusing on one of the teams with the most national identity of the entire competition. The shirt of Nigeria look back at the design of  USA '94 uniforms, and the messages transmitted during the sponsorship were aimed at marking the values of the African people. The marketing project that accompanied the launching and advertising of the jersey has focused on celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and singers like Skepta, making the tee enter in a more fashionable world.
In short, Nigeria's uniform is a perfect synthesis of the trend of soccer jerseys: an eye to the past reworked in a contemporary key, the attention to the identity that the jersey is transmitting and the connection with the extra-football world.

The idea of a global football, which also developed outside the playing field, winking at the creators of fashion was a constant in 2018, in this process of industrialization of football Paris Saint-Germain is the most accomplished, the second case of the year.

The explosion of soccer jerseys was favored by the direction taken by the high fashion, more and more sportswear in shapes and fabrics. In this way, the jerseys represented an extra possibility for brands, to spread their products to customers who, until a few years ago, would have snubbed acrylics, crests, and football-inspired design. Sportswear is a spokesperson for more popular culture and as a result, fashion has also become inspired by it, it is a change that does not start from footballers or sporting events, but from the brands and their choices. The jersey was a further possibility, from the advent of Jordan in football to the Off-White jerseys in collaboration with Nike, which focused on patterns and patterns of contrasting colors.

In addition to the brands that were already producing for sportswear, football jerseys in 2018 were also reinterpreted by haute couture designers, just think of Kim Jones, at the time creative director of Louis Vuitton, who collaborated with Nike with a collection not exaggerated jersey inspired but remained faithful to the sophistication, typical of high fashion.

We thought about the future of football jerseys, asking three graphic designers to create some concepts of hypothetical Tottenham uniforms that will be used in the future. It is not absurd to think of increasingly strange partnerships, with Netflix for example, or the exasperation of the logos, as in the Rupertgraphic and Matteo Caputo's concept. It is clear that their look forward to the future has been contaminated by details still from a nostalgic vision. Fashion guides towards a future, maintaining a link with the past that does not seem to want to be totally replaced, in 2018 and maybe even for the next years.

Cover image Amanda Adasz