If you love football, you probably love football shirts too. Even the crap ones.
A new exhibition coming to the National Football Museum this month will unpick the global fascination with football shirts and how they have influenced football culture, design, fashion and technology.
With well over 200 shirts on display, STRIP! is the largest curated exhibition of football shirts ever assembled in this country.
It will examine how football shirts have developed from mere kit to genuine objects of desire, looking at the design of the football shirt, from the functional to the aesthetic, influential designers and manufacturers and the rise of the football hipster, as well as the good, the bad and the downright ugly from the wonderful world of football shirts.
Shirts from the museum’s own collection will be on display, alongside loans from Classic Football Shirts.
They will include England’s home Umbro shirt as worn at Italia ’90, Brazil’s classic 1970 World Cup shirt as worn by Pele and West Germany’s 1988-1990 designed by legendary Adidas designer Ina Franzmann.
Shirts created as high fashion items will also feature including those by cult label Fokohaela, designers Christopher Raeburn and Yohji Yamamoto and Dutch streetwear brand Patta.
Kit manufacturers involved with the exhibition include Adidas, Admiral, Hummel, PlayerLayer and Umbro.
It will also feature interviews with designers including Jürgen Rank, senior design director at Adidas (who is overseeing the design of their Euro 2020 range) and Bert Patrick, formerly of Admiral and credited with pioneering the replica shirt industry in 1974 with the first commercially available England shirt.
Illustrator Mark Johnson will be designing shirt mash-up collage terrace banners to complement the exhibition and John Devlin, designer and author of the True Colours book series, is acting as a consultant.
To coincide with the launch of the exhibition the museum has collaborated with Manchester-born artist and illustrator Stanley Chow on a newly commissioned National Football Museum shirt, manufactured by Nottingham based brand PlayerLayer
The shirt made from 50% bamboo charcoal, will be worn by staff, with a limited number available for sale at the museum shop.
“We’re sure this exhibition will appeal to anyone with an interest in design, fashion and technology,” says Jon Sutton, National Football Museum’s lead curator for the exhibition.
And probably one or two football fans too.
‘Strip! How Football Got Shirty’ is at the National Football Museum from November 22nd 2019.