England’s new ‘made to measure’ kit, which debuted in the impressive 3-0 friendly victory over Norway at the end of last month, marks the arrival Umbro’s new concept of ‘Football Tailoring’. A concept, which they claim, uniquely blends style and innovation to produce a football kit that improves performance both technically and psychology.
Martin Prothero, Umbro’s Senior Vice President of Football said: “It was really just saying: if we really rethink it, this can be a significant point in time, a watershed for the Umbro brand and the FA and this can help change people’s view of both.”
The kit was designed using an examination of the individual biodynamics of football.
This involved the deconstructing of the former kit and re-assembling it patch by patch according to exact motions of the human body specific to football.
Umbro, who created their first England kit in 1952, recruited a bespoke tailor to work alongside their design team, bringing craftsman’s expertise and high-end Saville row tailoring techniques, such as the placket collar and darted shoulders to the project.
The ‘Football Tailoring’ concept also afforded the manufacturer the opportunity to rethink the way the players interacted with the development process in order to create a kit that would add confidence to performance.
England women’s left-back Casey Stoney was delighted with the individual fitting each player received, with the kit tailored to needs of each member of the team. “It’s quite different from what we’ve had before. Normally kits have been designed for men. They’re baggy and not really made to fit women, but this one’s got a different feel to it; it’s really comfortable and looks a lot smarter.”
“It’s crisp – you look sharp you feel sharp!”
Design team head, David Blanch explains: “We did a fitting session very much as you would in Saville Row. We measured the players, made the shirts and then we came back and did the second fitting. If we’re trying to convey this smart confidence, this team unity, this intimidating visual, we need the team to look the part.”
The whiter than white kit was inspired by the timeless glory of 1966 and reflects the brand’s proud heritage and vision for the future combined, of course, with a true passion for football.
In the days before mass-produced sports apparel, Umbro prided itself on tailoring football garments, something they once boasted on the labels of its garments: ‘Tailored By Umbro In England.’ They say it was this proud acknowledgment of the brand’s heritage that inspired and drove the concept of ‘Football Tailoring’ and the label’s statement of pride returns on the new England strip.
The nation’s team will wear the individual made to measure kits for the next two years, including the World Cup in China in 2011.
Created in the great English tailoring tradition, Umbro have produced a kit that is arguably both classically stylish and utterly modern.
Hannah Galloway, Sportsister
The Women’s Sports Magazine
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