Manchester, England 2011: Umbro, in collaboration with the critically acclaimed conceptual designer Aitor Throup, has delved into its extensive archive to launch the Archive Research Project (A.R.P.). Taking inspiration from iconic Umbro football garments, spanning the last 87 years, A.R.P. represents design innovation and style, whilst maintaining Umbro’s English football tailoring heritage.
Since 2008 Umbro and Aitor Throup have collaborated together, specifically on the re-launch of the England Home kit in 2009 and more recently the England Away kit in 2010. It was during the 2009 kit project that Umbro and Aitor delved into the heritage of the brand and created an England football shirt that redefined replica by fusing football performance and tailoring.
The new Umbro A.R.P. collection is an innovative collection engineered for football performance and curated for lifestyle. It’s about the coming together of the past and the future; reinterpreting classic Umbro designs, such as the 1966 ‘Ramsey’ jacket and the brand’s iconic ‘Aztec’ football shirt as worn by England in ‘66, in a way that shatters the mould of previous construction methods of such garments.
The collection of seven unique garments really come into their own when examined from the inside out, mirroring the ‘inside-out’ design and construction philosophy pioneered by Aitor Throup. This concept is the foundation of the way Throup approaches his work. For many fashion designers the opposite is often the case, where the exterior shell becomes the main focus. Throup, however, investigates the interior form, studying the body and its movement. He investigates scientific elements such as thermal studies, identifying specific parts of the body, which require more breathability, as well as extra stretch needed in key areas for ultimate performance and comfort.
The highlight piece from the collection is the A.R.P. Ramsey Jacket. The Ramsey displays the new wave construction on the inside of the garment with an illuminating white seam detail, completely thermo-sealed, which shows the complex architectural nature of the construction. Details include an ergonomic detachable hood with a unique fastening system and an incorporated pocket, specially designed to keep essential possessions safe whilst on the pitch. The Aztec Jersey, Diamond Tape Track Jacket, 1970 World Cup Jersey, Drill Top, Drill Pant and ‘Barcelona’ Short have been re-worked to include sleek design details, true to Umbro’s original tailoring roots. All materials are lightweight and breathable and the Swiss made Schoeller 3xDRY® fabric gives an extreme-waterproof-finish.
“Umbro was founded back in 1924 and our vast archive consists of football garments which have been a part of English football for 87 years. A.R.P. signifies a clash of tailoring with modern construction techniques, our heritage with innovation, performance with lifestyle. In collaboration with Aitor Throup, A.R.P. is a fascinating reinvention of the brand’s iconic silhouettes, redefined in a modern lifestyle collection.”
-- Andy Walker - Vice President of Design at Umbro
"When I began working with Umbro in 2008, we set out to redefine football kits, by using Umbro's extensive archive and tailoring heritage as direct inspiration. I believe that we managed to set a very relevant and powerful tone with the England kits that I was privileged enough to work on, by integrating craft, smartness and a heightened attention to detail and fit with a three dimensional approach to garment design and construction. Throughout the design process I have utilised my own sculptural approach to design by creating football-specific body sculptures, which helped to determine the ergonomics of the garments, whilst helping to map out how the range of motion would be engineered. Having generated a higher sense of style in football performance apparel, it seemed logical to us to evolve the performance work we have created so far into a collection of products constructed and engineered for football, but curated for lifestyle." -- Aitor Throup
A.R.P. will be available through selected retailers worldwide from 1st September 2011.
Umbro, Ltd., a subsidiary of NIKE, Inc., is a leading United Kingdom based football brand that has been a pioneer of sports tailoring for 87 years. The first Umbro England kit was developed in 1952 and the 1966 World Cup winning team wore Umbro throughout the tournament. Today, the company combines its heritage in sports tailoring with modern football insight to create groundbreaking and iconic football apparel, footwear and equipment that blend performance and style. For further information about Umbro visit www.umbro.com