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A massive football shirt exhibition has arrived in London


Sportswear has had a huge impact on London’s thriving fashion scene. From Palace to Aries, the Big Smoke has created some legendary homegrown streetwear and skate brands. The capital has also got some absolutely iconic footy teams, with stunning football strips. In a new exhibition at the University of Westminster, iconic streetwear and historic football shirts will be brought together under one roof, celebrating 100 years of British sportswear. 

Opening today (April 12), ‘Umbro 100: Sportswear X Fashion’ – curated by the Westminster Menswear Archive – will exhibit over 100 Umbro pieces from the past century, all of which played an important part in the ‘global sportswear revolution’.

Over the years, the Manchester born sports brand has collabbed with huge fashion players including Paul Smith, Supreme, Virgil Abloh’s Off-White, Vetements and many more. The free exhibition will celebrate Umbro’s centenary, as well as explore how sportswear has evolved from practical garments to cutting-edge fashion.  

On display will be Umbro collaborations with iconic British designers like Philip Treacy (the guy who makes the crazy hats), Aries, Kim Jones, Peter Saville and Palace. You’ll also get to peak at pieces from international designers including Supreme, Off-White, Patta and Slam Jam. Plus, historic examples of Umbro sports garms from 1936 to the present day will be on show, including sportswear for rowing, boxing, athletics, hockey, and basketball. 

For footy fans, the main draw of the show will be a collection of vintage football shirts from Manchester City, Manchester United, AFC Ajax, Scotland and England. 

Professor Andrew Groves, co-curator of Umbro 100: Sportswear X Fashion, said: ‘Though collaborations between sportswear companies and fashion designers are now commonplace, Umbro was at the forefront of this, with its collaboration with Paul Smith in 2002.

‘While other sportswear companies had previously produced footwear for designers, the Paul Smith collaboration was the first to result in a full collection between a designer and a sportswear company being produced. As such it is a landmark moment and led to later collaborations with some of the world’s most important fashion brands, including Off-White, Vetements, and Supreme.’

Umbro 100 is open at the University of Westminster from now until April 28. Admission is free. 

These are the best exhibitions on in London right now.  

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