More Than A Shirt: How Classic Soccer Kits Became Works Of Art

by MR Magazine Staff

“Feel that material!” Neal Heard, football shirt collector, author, Instagrammer and all-round fanatic, is proffering a 1981 Juventus home shirt – one of his personal favourites. It is a timeless bit of kit that demonstrates the Italian eye for detail that makes Serie A the spiritual home of classic strips, but also encapsulates the humble football shirt’s dramatic evolution. The rough-hewn collar and stitched-on panels lend an old-school feel but innovation is woven in. The thin, elasticated cotton was designed with player performance in mind. The player number is rendered in vinyl, with the Ariston sponsor patch an optional extra – supporters could choose whether to stitch it on or leave the black and white stripes unspoiled. Even for a club that remains fashion-forward, it is a cut above. The Juventus shirt is one of a handful that Heard is whittling down for his ‘Iconic Eleven’ – the crème de la crème of vintage kits that will take pride of place at his exhibition, The Art of the Football Shirt. Opening in London on Wednesday, it celebrates the elevation of shirt design to an art form, and features a vast array of obscure outfits from Newport County to Eintracht Braunschweig. Read more at The Guardian.