Monday, March 29, 2010

Nike Sportswear Six Collaborations: The Alternative National Team Kits

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The World Cup 2010 is going to start in less than 3 months and related football merchs already start to appear on the market for us the footie-holics to fathom on. Not only jerseys but t-shirt, polos, shoes...anything that could let fans show their support of the team.

So does Nike, with a new collection that they dubbed the Nike Six Collaborations. What they did is they asked six artists from six nations to come out with a badge, mascot, print and an alphabet in their handwriting style. Their artworks are then transferred into N98 Track Jacket, AW 77 hoodie, kit tee, polo shirt and short for both men and women; tee for men and tank for women which are also draped with respective team colors.

On top of those fine apparels, the collection is also strengthen by couple of kicks - Nike LunarLite Rejuven8 Mid and Air Max BW Gen II, together such as Air Zoom Tiempo, Dunk High AC, Air Footscape Freemotion and Nike LunarLite Chukka Woven - that are also going to follow the collaboration's design philosophy.

Being fan of England, having England as part of the collection is pretty cool but since I'm more traditional guy, would prefer a jersey instead, in particularly the team's new away jersey that they showed off at Nike Football Innovation Summit. Still, I am going to check out the collection when they drops by at Nike Sportswear stores. You just got to seem them in real life before giving the final verdict, right?

So, do check out some shots of them together with information about the artists behind each collection, right after the break. Tell me what you think of them...yay or nay?

[images: Nike Malaysia]

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England Artist: James Jarvis

While British graphic artist James Jarvis is best known for his playful illustrations and contributions to the designer toy phenomenon, he takes his sports seriously. At first glance, his interpretation of the England crest stays true to the national archetype, but up close the designs are all Jarvis: his heraldic lion flashing a trademark googly-eyed grin. Jarvis drew from medieval woodblock prints for inspiration, and the “10” on the chest is traditionally reserved for the most beautiful players of the game.

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Brazil Artist: Nunca

Inspired by Incan symbolism and a primitive style of graffiti called “Pixação,” Sao Paolo street artist Nunca crafted a unique Brazilian kit that connects the people of the favelas to the sport they hold dear. Five stars within the otherworldly, eye-like crest symbolize Brazil’s five championship wins, and Nunca’s hieroglyphic handwriting and pattern (lining the hoodie) connects the kit to the ancients in a modern way.

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Netherlands Artist: Delta

Graffiti artist Delta, aka Boris Tellegen, has created a geometric world with his art that is a colorful reflection of the constructivist movement that brings to mind both block-like cities as well as pixelized digital environments. A rabid football fan, he was especially excited to play with the colorways on The Netherlands’ new kits. His artwork for the assortment is an extension of his blocky visual language: The boxy mascot is a simple-yet-dynamic running man, the crest is a cubic puzzle of numbers, and the font is unlike anything before it – heavy as concrete, but somehow agile through its italicized forward lean.

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France Artist: So Me

So Me, nee Bertrand De Langeron, is an acclaimed illustrator as well as the art director of Ed Banger records, one of the world’s most cutting – edge labels. Since 2003, his album art and music videos have come to embody the eclectic world of Ed Rec, adding complimentary visuals to their innovative sounds. His contributions to the France kit exhibit his pop art sensibility and tongue-in-cheek style. The colorful mascot and crest feature a simple character that’s a parody of the stereotypical Frenchman – complete with a tilted beret and manicured moustache. The pattern lining the hoodie on the AW77 is a brick-like repeat in vibrating red, blue and black and the hand-written font features rounded edges, adding to the kit’s playful vibe.

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USA Artist: Mister Cartoon

Calling himself “Mister Cartoon,” this Los Angeles street art legend has had a strong relationship with Nike for many years. His detailed black and white drawings are highly sought after in the music world and beyond. When presented with this project, Cartoon jumped at the opportunity to work on a uniform that would represent the country he loves. His eagle mascot is tough as nails, with a halo of stars and a look in his eye that says, “Don’t mess with the U.S.” On the crest, “USA” is written in Cartoon’s modified version of old English and scrolls remind wearers of the visual language of tattoos art.

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South Africa Artist: Kronk

Kronk is an emerging designer/illustrator from Cape Town. His work is colorful and whimsical, a collision of rock poster rebelliousness and wry pop culture references. His contributions to the South African team kit are the most intricate of the collection, with an insanely detailed crest embroidery, a bubble lettered font, a kaleidoscopic illustrated pattern (lining the AW77 hoodie), and a cartoonish mascot who seems to be in constant motion. Is he a footballer breaking away on the pitch or a fan blowing a horn in the stands? They are one in the same in Kronk’s mashed-up world.

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