“Youthful. Vibrant. Powerful.”
This is how Nike Senior Apparel Product Manager, Cassie Looker describes the Matildas new kit. Unveiled in Paris earlier this month, elite footballers from all corners of the globe came together to debut 14 National Team Collections ahead of the Women’s World Cup this Summer. Three years in the making and these uniforms are unlike any other, combining technology, design and culture for a new generation of women’s sport.
In recent years, the lines have been blurred between everyday style and sportswear for a new wave of jersey culture. And bringing the look to Australian shores, the nation’s darling of women’s football, the Matilda’s, are taking to the pitch with a new sense of exuberance. Entitled, ‘Everything we ever dreamed of’, the new campaign and its newly created kit – exclusively for the team – reflects the strength of the squad and the inspiration they hold for young people in sport.
Rallying fans for the incoming tournament, the jersey highlights the spirit of Australia, marrying urban street culture with the unique countryside seen throughout the nation, in splashes of clover green and golden yellow.
“[The] graphic mixes the awesome ‘90s inspired graffiti you see on Hosier Lane [in Melbourne] and the Golden Wattle – the brilliant yellow colour – to create this print,” Cassie Looker said during the unveiling in Paris. “The graphic is dynamic and a reflection of the spirit of Australia and the Matildas. The average age of the Matildas is 24, they’re super young and fun so we’ve made sure it’s reflected in the kit.”
In past seasons, women have worn that of the male teams but as Nike continues its support for women’s sport, the powerhouse has also focussed its attention on how best to fit the female form. This is just the surface of how Nike are diversifying its offerings. “We’ve been really supporting sport for the past 40 years and we continue to do that and continue to listen to the voice of the athlete. They lead us to the place we are going and its really no different as we’re going into this event,” Looker explained to GRAZIA.
“From a fit perspective we have really taken the time over the last three years to really obsess the fit of the women’s jersey and shorts,” Looker continued. “We partnered with our Nike research lab and brought in elite footballers from all across the globe. What we were able to do was analyse the data of these footballers and really look at their body types. What we found was that they’re actually different from standard sizing…”
Using innovative technology, the players’ precise 4D measurements were captured including heat-mapping to understand the areas of power and perspiration. Additionally, after speaking with the athletes, the design team soon learned what the women wanted and needed from their uniform – a V-neck, high rise in the shorts as well as the removal of the drawstring. And with the importance of sustainability at-hand, each kit is created by recycling at least 12 plastic bottles.
The Matildas team cry is, “never say die” and with the mantra emblazoned onto the inside of the colourful kit, its historic meaning will hold special power as they head to the FIFA World Cup in June.
We have our jersey. Do you have yours?
The Matildas jersey is now available via Rebel Sport.