We caught up with illustrator Dave Will to talk about his concept kit project where he designed up shirts for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United based on their first ever shirt.
What was your inspiration for the project?
In terms of my inspiration for the kit project, I’ve always been interested in designing kits but I didn’t think creating my take on a club shirt would be massively interesting so I was looking for a concept to tie the project together.
I’ve always found it interesting that my own club, Liverpool, used to play in blue and it got me thinking of how it would look if every club in the league reverted to their original strip for the upcoming season. On researching the current 20 Premier League teams, some have hardly changed (Arsenal for example) whilst others have actually used their first kit as inspiration for recent shirts (such as Southampton). So I didn’t think those examples would be very interesting, which led me to opening up the project to any team in World football that had an interesting origin story.
It was quite fun to discover some unique stories from around the world, with the likes of Atletico being inspired by Blackburn Rovers, or Juventus originally wearing a tie as part of their kit. I asked for suggestions from followers and investigated every suggestion, then picked out the ones I felt had the best story. Some sides, like AC Milan were very similar to their current kit, so I avoided those teams and focused on the ones that made for a great story.
What was your favourite shirt?
In terms of my own favourite, the LA Galaxy one was the most recent (1996) but is really different to most football kits we see these days, so that was a fun one to design. I also loved the story of the Brazil kit, which was the only national team I featured, but the fact that their iconic yellow was born out of a fan competition was incredible!