Those of us of a certain vintage could be forgiven for an apologetic stance on contemporary fashion these days. At 43 years young, my opinion on short-term trends like those ugly hovercraft trainers and jeans that make the wearer look like they’ve had a nasty unicycle accident is perhaps seen as less important than one of those gym-frequenting lads in their sister’s jeans. However, with age comes a bit of extra insight and experience. My memory is longer, basically. So shut up.
With that in mind, when Umbro and New Order pair up it sets off sirens in my mind. As a kid, Umbro was the football brand, certainly with regard to shirts and kit. Though I hate to admit it, Liam Gallagher’s patronage of Manchester City training gear definitely had a hand in adding a bit of something extra to the perception of the brand.
Before that though, a look back to the early 90s pomp of Umbro and their era-defining England output shows they’re yet to be rivaled in that regard. Nike and adidas do a great job these days, and of course Umbro are far from done with, even if they’re less prominent. Their South American kits are always an example that they’re as good as anything out there. Also, they were founded a stone’s throw from the centre of Manchester.
Then there’s New Order, a band made up chiefly of people technically old enough to be great grandparents, who remain as relevant now as they ever were. Their pioneering role in electronic music makes them the perfect partner for Umbro – themselves holding a similar position in the football kit game. The glue that ties things together even more so is ‘World in Motion’, easily the best football song there has ever been, or ever will be.
The Blackout Pack takes is an accessible , understated take on the influence of two Greater Manchester institutions without any of that yellow and black FAC nonsense required.
Check it at umbro.co.uk now.