Nomad x The Design Museum

Our work is seen on streets and screens all over the world, by billions of people, every day... But now it’s also on display at The Design Museum in London.

It’s an international institution, and it’s where our Hackney Laces shirt proudly hangs. Celebrating this miniature feat, Nomad co-founder and ECD, Stuart Watson, muses on the nostalgic fashion of football both on, and off the pitch from his own perspective.

Growing up in the North West in the 80’s was a far cry from the catwalks of Paris and Milan. Here, we had two main sartorial influences: Burberry — of which there was a factory store nearby, was the go-to symbol of sophisticated, cut-price thuggery. And secondly, football. Liverpool was a European giant at the time (still is 😉), and fan’s trips across the continent brought back exotic and undiscovered treasures to our towns with names such as Sergio Tacchini, Fila, Ellese and Le Coq Sportif.

Now these may seem to you, young people, as the base inventory of a Sports Direct, but at the time, this was high fashion, and hard to get hold of. Gold dust you may say.

Fast forward to 2022, and these brands are back, baby. Nostalgia is at an all time high and football fashion is leading the way. These plucky brands somehow captured the spirit of their homeland. Le Coq felt so uniquely Parisian and Tacchini tracksuits made me think of Milan and the Duomo – even though it would be a further 20 years before I would ever visit these places. They captured the romance of Europe in a single garment. I wonder if they still do that today, or if their ubiquity has stripped them of it?

You can see these brands and be the judge of that for yourself at The Design Museum’s hot new exhibition, Football: Designing the Beautiful Game. Take a trip down football memory lane and look back at a time when teams had amazing kits, designed by Renaissance women and men, who created the most futuristic concepts imaginable, and pushed the very apex of technology and print to breaking point.

And it worked. They’ve certainly stood the test of time, perhaps inadvertently made to hold a million memories. As will ours, hopefully. Because our Hackney Laces hangs alongside these iconic football club, country and community shirts from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2022 in an impressive wall installation, with its own 80s-nostalgia-inducing glory.


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