ARE fan-made kits the future?
British graphic designer SETTPACE is trying to change the landscape of football by combining team’s shirts with high-end fashion brands famous motifs.
SETTPACE, real-name Marlon Feeney-Thompson, believes the world’s leading football clubs should embrace designer streetwear to keep up with the times.
SunSport grabbed a brief chat with the 24-year-old graphic designer who told us about his vision for football wear.
His work hasn’t just got him noticed among football’s elite, he also works with EA Sports in producing kits for FIFA 18.
Marlon, a football and fashion fan, explained how he got involved with the idea.
He said: “It was a hobby to start with. I wanted to do something on Instagram and I wanted to grab people’s attention.
“I started off as a conventional graphic designer and there’s not very much graphic design work out there, so I thought I’d design football shirts.
“Obviously, people love football so I went on Instagram to see who else was doing it, and there were people doing normal concepts.
“But I really wanted to do something different that no one else was thinking of.
“So I thought I’d combine fashion and streetwear with football shirts and that’s how it all started for me.
“I love football and I love fashion, so really I’m just combining both of my passions together.”
Marlon is of firm belief that football clubs need to do something to justify their expensive tickets.
Manchester City recently teamed up with Dsquared2 to produce their own fashion wear, but the design whizz said that football’s elite need to justify expensive ticket sales.
He said: “They can’t change it up too much, otherwise they’ll lose core fans and season ticket holders.
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“But because tickets are getting so expensive now, I believe football clubs have got to offer more to fans.
“So, if that means they have to get more fashionable, they’ll have to move in that direction.
“I think if it was a bit more fashionable, then people would definitely buy more merchandise from the clubs.
“There should be a place where high-end designers and football clubs work together.
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“If you look at basketball teams – they have their bog-standard home and away kit, they may have a third kit and then an alternative kit.
“There’s definitely a place for clubs offering the fans a collaboration with a top designer.
“Maybe like a third or fourth kit that’s more lifestyle-related than something the players would wear on the pitch.”
Marlon admitted that he has had some interest from some amateur teams, but is yet to be contacted by a major team or sports franchise.
However, fashion-conscious footballer Hector Bellerin has liked some of his posts and follows SETTPACE on Instagram.
Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo is also a fan and follower too.
He told us: “I’ve had interest from some of the players. Hector Bellerin has liked a few of my things.
“Rojo of Manchester United has liked one or two of them too. I know he was following me at one point.
“They haven’t requested any designs from me personally, but once Hector liked a post I designed another Arsenal jersey with his name on the back.
“I just wanted to thank him for showing an interest in my work.”
Marlon confessed that he would love to work with the world’s top clubs, but he’s well aware it’ll be tough because the best teams’ sponsorship deals.
He revealed: “I’d love to work with the clubs, but because they have their sponsorship deals it would mean I’d have to get in with the brand.
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“They wouldn’t be able to take on some random person to design their kits without knowing me, so that’s a sticking point.”
However, he has got himself a fantastic gig working with game designer EA Sports, including doing kit designs for the FIFA series.
He told us proudly: “I’ve got my own collection of kits on FIFA 18.
“I can’t say too much on what’s coming, but I’m hoping to work on the next game and have a good idea.
“EA are in contact, and we’re working on some stuff. Watch this space.”
Take a look at the work of SETTPACE for yourselves, he’s definitely worth a moment of your time.