The New Fabric Of England

8 09 2010

While there may have been some other ‘activities’ regarding England’s football team taking the headlines this week, we’ve also had a couple of cracking Euro 2012 qualifying results and a new Umbro kit launch. As there’s already been plenty of column inches taken up with the former, I’ve decided to explore later – the story behind the new England Home Kit.

The primary focus of the latest launch, much like Fabio Capello’s new tactic, is to focus on the next generation, or the ‘New Fabric Of England’ (Fabric, see what they’ve done there!?). So in keeping, all the advertising campaigns feature England’s brightest young hopes including Walcott, Hart, Wiltshire and a certain Mr Rooney.

The design of the shirt itself comes courtesy of iconic designer Peter Saville (the man behind the now infamous Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures cover), who used the St Georges Cross as his inspiration when designing the print which appears in a panel on the shoulders of the latest Umbro shirt. Evoking the stitching synonymous with bespoke tailoring, the crosses themselves are a mix or red, blue, green and purple – all blended to accentuate diversity.

Commenting on the new design, Saville said: “Both the nation and the fans themselves are more diverse than ever before. Football is a language that everyone can relate to and the new England Home Kit provides the perfect canvas to reflect what England looks like today”.

I love the idea behind the crosses Saville has used, but I also particularly like the vintage inspiration for the shirt collar. Coupled together they give the new England shirt something that very few football shirts have; a nod to history, a nod to culture and a more than evident nod to style. Lets all hope the men on the pitch can find inspiration from the good work of the men off it.

For more information on the new kit release, including a video interview with the designer, visit Umbro’s official website.

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