Photography Rosie Marks. Image courtesy of Martine Rose

Martine Rose's new England shirt celebrates what makes football great

Presented in a film by Rosie Marks, the Lost Lionesses jersey is a tribute to the community spirit at the heart of the beautiful game. 

by Mahoro Seward
12 July 2021, 1:06pm

Photography Rosie Marks. Image courtesy of Martine Rose

Over the years, Martine Rose has cultivated a reputation as one of fashion’s biggest football fans. The thing is, though, it isn’t so much the sport itself that she’s long harboured a love for -- rather, it’s the culture around it. “I’ve always been fascinated by the cultural significance of football and the characters within that culture,” she told us ahead of the launch of her AW21 collection last week, sharing memories of visiting Clapham Common with her Nan. “There were all these blokes in football shirts with their arms around people and I thought, aren’t these the people that we’re told to stay away from. That’s the power of culture, I remember even from age nine, this power can overcome all these barriers.”

Yesterday, her own personal tribute to the transformative power of football culture was revealed -- a double-crested, reversible, genderless reconstruction of England’s iconic white jersey created in collaboration with Nike. It’s the physical centrepiece of The Lost Lionesses, a project that marks 50 years since 14 English women travelled to Mexico City to play in the 1971 Women’s World Cup.

Models wearing looks from Martine Rose's AW21 collection
Photography Rosie Marks. Image courtesy of Martine Rose

While The Lost Lionesses nods to the Women’s European Championships taking place next year, the relevance of the message at its heart extends much further than any single competition. Presented in an immersive digital experience -- a thematically adjusted version of the one Martine presented her SS21 collection in last winter -- a film by Rosie Marks sees the jersey worn by a host of artists, athletes and models as they play an indoor match. Among them are the “first female to be appointed to referee an English Football League match, a footballer playing for a disability team in London that focuses on adults with learning disabilities and an ex-professional New Zealand footballer who now plays walking football for England,” a release reads.

Such diverse, authentic casting is, of course, a hallmark of Martine’s work. Here, though, the message is especially poignant. It hammers home the beautiful game’s fundamental value of community -- something that’s been proven off the pitch in recent years by players like Marcus Rashford -- and highlights the fact that “the future of football won’t be decided on the pitch. It’ll be made by the extraordinary people who wear their shirt on the terraces, at home, or in the park where football is open to anyone who wants to play.” Ultimately, it reminds us all that what really matters about football doesn’t need to ‘come home’ -- it’s already here.

Check out the Lost Lionesses project here, and follow i-D on Instagram and TikTok for more fashion.

Martine Rose