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This article is written by the team at SPAOTP - a relatively new football fashion brand on the scene, check out their website by clicking here.
Football and fashion have had a long-standing relationship. Footballers themselves have been flaunting the latest in fashion since the times of George Best, but the fans also have their own way to express themselves. From old school “Terracewear” to “Football Casuals”, young football fans have had their own stamp on the fashion industry. This youth culture amongst young men has been a way to express identity, even seen as a way to bring intimidation by being dressed smart and being a step ahead of that day’s rivals.
In the late 70’s/80’s, Merseyside was on a roll in European competitions. The fans of the Reds and Blues followed their clubs faithfully around the continent and while doing so, opted for the top designers in the big European cities. Soon, designer wear from the likes of Sergio Tacchini, Fila and others was making its way back to England. Ironically, many of these brands make it look like you’ve just stepped away from a tennis court, but the smart look became popular and was a must if planning to meet the mates for the match. Violence was unfortunately something happening in football, but dressing nice in designer wear was a way to have a leg up on the rivals and bring intimidation.
Fred Perry was hugely popular from the late 70’s until early 80’s, but soon fell out of favour amongst the Football Casuals, although it is making a come back.
Fila, a superior Italian brand, was originally made popular by tennis hero Bjorn Borg in the 70’s. After winning Wimbledon five times, the tennis star helped catapult Fila and other Italian sportswear like Sergio Tacchini to being a “must-have” in any Football Casuals wardrobe.
Lacoste is another brand made popular by…you guessed it…tennis! The logo was first worn back in the 1920’s by Rene Lacoste. The famous polo had been adopted by football fans, and the brand is still a top choice today.
And finally, we can’t ignore the footwear. The right pair of trainers would make all the difference, and nothing compared to the likes of Adidas. Their timeless collection featuring the iconic three stripes have been a hit for Football Casuals since the movement started. Fans of the Adidas brand still wait in queues overnight outside stores to get the latest re-issue of the famous trainers.
It’s not all about brands from the 70’s/80’s. There are brands now establishing themselves with in this youth culture, such as Pretty Green. Pretty Green was created by Liam Gallagher, a massive football fan himself, with the longstanding relationship between football, music and fashion kept in mind. It channels the classic styles from football eras past but with a modern look and feel.
We know that football fans love their fashion, especially the young men, but when looking up into the stands, it’s hard to ignore how many fans are donning their replica shirt. The replica shirt industry has been huge for football clubs. They’re not only popular amongst match-going fans, but also supporters around the world who want to show their love for their team. Some of first replica shirts were created by Admiral, a Leicester-based company that paid the FA £15,000 to be able to make England’s shirts with the Admiral logo on them and be able to produce replicas to sell. It was controversial even then with concerns being raised over profits being made by Admiral through fans. Umbro, Le Coq Sportif and Adidas became other brand synonymous with replica shirts and since then Nike, Reebok, Puma and New Balance have also jumped into the massive industry. Billions of pounds have been passed around to have the rights to creating kits, sticking their name on it and being able to sell them. Not only is it popular to get the kit to match the players on the pitch, but also to get replica kits representing a previous era. They’re loved by all generations too. Putting on a replica shirt makes someone feel part of the club.
Football and fashion has seen a close relationship throughout the years, without really changing much. Different brands may have risen in popularity over time, but the style has stayed similar to the tennis court style, but made with slight changes to fit modern tastes. If a classic polo isn’t your thing, replica shirts are also a choice that makes its own statement of who you are. The way both industries are going, we predict the fashion and football fan relationship will be one that long continues.
Check out the SPAOTP website - www.somepeopleareonthepitch.co.uk