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PSG x Jordan, Juventus x Palace Skateboards and the best fashion and football crossovers

7:19 PM SGT 26/8/22
NEY_JORDAN
Blurring the lines between the pitch and the pavement.

Earlier this week, Ajax announced a new collaboration with Amsterdam-based label Daily Paper. Designing the Dutch giant’s third kit, the brand took inspiration from a golden generation of street footballers from its home city, dedicating the design to “Amsterdam’s homegrown icons and rising stars, pushing boundaries for the love of football.”

This season feels like the year that fashion-designed football kits really crossed into the mainstream. As well as Ajax and Daily Paper, Parisian Red Star club tapped Lack of Guidance, and Venezia recruited the well-known consultancy firm Bureau Borsche, who count Supreme and Balenciaga amongst their clients, to work on its home, away and third kits. In reality, though, these teams were far from the first to do it. Here are some of the best examples of what can happen when fashion designers are let loose on football kits.

  • Yohji Yamamoto x Real Madrid (2014/15)

    Yohji Yamamoto x Real Madrid (2014/15)

    Real Madrid first worked with Japanese designer Yohji Yamamoto for the 2014/15 season. The Japanese fashion legend designed the club’s third kit, bringing his own aesthetic to a black shirt with white trim. The stand-out feature, though, was a graphic that ties the dragon king with the dragon bird. The first was a symbol of greatness and glory, while the second is a mark of resistance, determination and agility.

    Yamamoto reunited with the Spanish club during the 2021/22 season, celebrating the 120th anniversary of Real Madrid and the 20th anniversary of his own Y-3 line with adidas. That shirt again came in black with white detailing, complete with a Y-3 logo.

  • Jordan brand x PSG

    Jordan Brand x PSG (2018/19 - onwards)

    The partnership between Jordan Brand and Paris Saint-Germain is one of football’s most long-running and successful collaborations. Since it launched in 2018, the partnership has allowed Jordan to enter the footballing world while giving PSG access to Jordan Brand’s fashion and streetwear heritage.

    The collaboration has gone mainstream, moving from its basis in third kits and special-edition releases to PSG’s home kit for the 2021/22 season. That shirt eschewed the Hechter stripe, instead adding a subtle red and white trim to a dark blue base. This season, the collaboration continued with a grey away shirt, showing that there’s still life in the Jordan x PSG partnership.

  • Palace x Juventus - Ronaldo

    Palace x Juventus (2019/20)

    London-label Palace has dipped its toes into the sporting world before, including designing kits worn at Wimbledon. It also has a long football history, beginning when it referenced vintage England kits through a collaboration with Umbro. None of that made it any less surprising when it joined up with Juventus in 2019, though.

    The sight of Cristiano Ronaldo wearing a shirt designed by a London skateboarding company was a shock. Palace launched the kit during a match between Juventus and Genoa, with a design that mixed a gradient take on the black-and-white stripes with neon green details. 

  • Human Race Pharrell Williams x adidas jerseys

    Pharrell x adidas (2020/21)

    Pharrell Williams' work with adidas eventually led to him working with some of the biggest football brands signed to the Three Stripes. The designer, musician and creative produced kits for Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid, with Juventus and Bayern wearing the designs during competitive matches.

    The five kits all referenced various designs from the past – including Real Madrid’s previous Yohji Yamamoto shirt – and all were given a hand-painted design by Williams. Speaking at the time, he explained that he had wanted to “learn of each club’s legacies and how each defining moment of their histories were captured and preserved from a design perspective.”

  • Wood Wood x Copenhagen FC

    Wood Wood x FC Copenhagen (2012/13)

    FC Copenhagen recruited hometown label Wood Wood during the 2012/13 season, asking the brand’s creative director Karl-Oskar Olsen to design its third kit. Olsen, an FC Copenhagen fan, described the project as a “dream come true,” before admitting that he had suffered from “performance anxiety” while designing the kit.

    The special-edition kit, which was worn in continental competition, merged the club’s black away colours with new touches from Olsen. Referencing famed half-and-half football shirts, Olsen and FC Copenhagen dressed one half of the shirt in black and another in maroon. The design was finished off with white detailing, including the much-missed Carlsberg sponsor’s logo.