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Did Palace and Gucci just drop this year’s best football shirts?

9:49 PM IST 14/10/22
Palace x Gucci
Gucci are once again making its mark on football fashion

Palace and Gucci might not seem like natural collaborators. One is a London-based streetwear brand, while the other is one of Italy’s most famous luxury labels. In recent years, though, the gap between the two had narrowed and their recently-announced collection is neither surprising nor unexpected.

What is more unexpected is the collection’s obvious football influence. The collaboration includes three football shirts, each is a contender for shirt of the season, while also fusing Gucci’s luxury heritage with Palace’s tongue-in-cheek imagery.

The first shirt nods to Gucci’s Italian roots, with the national team’s iconic blue covered with Gucci’s double G monogram and a gold sponsor-style logo. The Italian influence continues onto another of the shirts, which sports Gucci’s green and red colours in a Hechter-style stripe down the centre of its white base. Both of these shirts also feature a special Palazzo Gucci club crest.

The third and final shirt is more out there. While traditional shirt stylings are still used — that crest, a Palace sponsors logo and a Campione manufactures badge — the whole jersey is covered with a zoomed-in photograph of strawberries. All three shirts hark back to the early ‘90s, with Italia 90 and Serie A reaching a global audience.

While the shirts are all bangers, the two brands’ involvement in football also makes sense. Earlier this year, Gucci signed a huge deal with Jack Grealish and began working with Leah Williamson, with more footballers rumoured to enter partnerships with the brand soon. Gucci also collaborated with adidas on a collection that included a pair of loafers designed to look like Copa Mundials. That collection was even modelled by Paul Pogba, Serge Gnabry, Jude Bellingham and David Alaba.

More widely, luxury brands are showing more of an interest in football. Off-White recently joined up with AC Milan as the club’s “Style and Culture Curator” – whatever that means – while Ajax has worked with Daily Paper, Real Madrid reunited with Y-3 and Moncler partnered with Inter Milan. So now is a good time for Gucci to get involved.

Palace, on the other hand, has been using football aesthetics since their earliest days. One of the brand’s breakthrough moments came a decade ago, when Palace collaborated with Umbro on a run of football jerseys. The design was significant, as Palace referenced England’s Italia ‘90 shirts for the release. Palace also created football shirts with Moschino and in collaboration with Kappa.

This love affair with football hit a peak in 2019, when Palace’s long-running adidas collaboration expanded to include Juventus. The London-based label created Juventus’ fourth kits, which were worn by the club against Genoa. The wider collection included training gear, goalkeeper gloves and a whole range of accessories.

Maybe the Gucci x Palace shirts are the latest stage of the Italian brand’s entry into the football market. It’s already signed up players and referenced football culture in the past, so working with a brand known for its football aesthetics seems like an obvious next step. Whatever Gucci’s intention, the three shirts are some of the best out there at the moment.

You can check out the entire Palace x Gucci collection on the Gucci website