Under the watchful eye of designer Martine Rose, England’s iconic home kit is transformed into a double-crested, reversible and genderless statement on the future of football.
The project, titled “The Lost Lionesses,” is inspired by the 14 English women, aged just 13 to 21, who traveled to Mexico City in 1971 to play in an international football tournament. These were trailblazers; athletes who pushed forward with limited resources, and strove to define the validity (and opportunity) of their passion and talent.
Fifty years later, and with a year to go before England hosts Europe’s women’s championships, Rose and Nike share the story of “The Lost Lionesses” as illustration of the beautiful game’s capacity to create the conditions for societal change. It issues a call to the extraordinary people who wear their shirt on the terraces, at home, or in the park: football is open to anyone who wants to play, regardless of gender or body shape.
The shirt itself carries 50 years of nostalgic reference. Rose recasts the original ’71 women’s crest — three lions neatly stacked within a Tudor rose — and adds her initials, M.R., as marker of both time and fellowship. Use of Nike’s famed Futura logo on the tag throws back to ’90s classics, and the verbiage “Engineered to the exact specifications of Martine Rose,” subverts a definitive Nike adage. Rose’s inside-out take on the cap, itself a terrace staple, furthers the punk dynamic of the collection.
With Rose, Nike is honored to collaborate with a partner who shares an ambition to show that sport belongs to all, a belief in the future of women’s sport and a sensibility that sport is inclusive and unlimited in possibility. While Rose took inspiration from the team of ’71, the jersey serves as a beacon of hope for a new generation of fans who do not see gender. Intentionally oversized, the fit of the jersey is reflective of today’s fans who continue to challenge and subvert the status quo.