Have Palace and Gucci just released this year’s best football shirts?
Palace and Gucci might not seem like natural collaborators. One is a London-based streetwear brand, while the other is one of Italy’s most famous luxury brands. In recent years, however, the gap between the two has narrowed and their recently announced collection is neither surprising nor unexpected.
What’s more unexpected is the collection’s obvious footballing influence. The collaboration features three football shirts, each a contender for Shirt of the Season, while fusing Gucci’s luxury heritage with the tongue-in-cheek imagery of Palace.
The first jersey nods to Gucci’s Italian roots, with the national team’s signature blue overlaid with Gucci’s double G monogram and gold sponsor-style logo. The Italian influence continues on another of the shirts, which features Gucci’s green and red colors in a Hechter-style stripe down the center of its white base. Both shirts also feature a special Palazzo Gucci club crest.
The third and final shirt is over there. While the traditional shirt styles are still used – that crest, a Palace sponsors logo and a Campione manufacture badge – the entire shirt is covered in an enlarged photograph of strawberries. All three kits date back to the early 90s, with Italia 90s and Serie A reaching global audiences.
While the shirts are all bangers, the two brands’ involvement in football also makes sense. Earlier this year, Gucci signed a huge deal with Jack Grealish and started working with Leah Williamson, with more footballers rumored to be signing partnerships with the brand soon. Gucci also collaborated with adidas on a collection that included a pair of loafers designed to look like Copa Mundials. This collection has even been modeled by Paul Pogba, Serge Gnabry, Jude Bellingham and David Alaba.
More broadly, luxury brands are more interested in football. Off-White recently joined AC Milan as the club’s ‘Style and Culture Curator’ – whatever that means – while Ajax worked with Daily Paper, Real Madrid reunited with Y-3 and Moncler s’ is associated with Inter Milan. So now is the right time for Gucci to get involved.
Moncler / Y3
Palace, on the other hand, have used football aesthetics since their early days. One of the brand’s defining moments came a decade ago when Palace collaborated with Umbro on a series of football shirts. The design was significant, as Palace referenced England Italia ’90 shirts for the release. Palace have also created football shirts with Moschino and in collaboration with Kappa.
This love affair with football reached its peak in 2019, when Palace’s longstanding adidas collaboration extended to Juventus. The London-based label created Juventus’ fourth kits, which were worn by the club against Genoa. The wider collection included training equipment, goalkeeper gloves and a whole range of accessories.
Perhaps the Gucci x Palace shirts are the latest step in the Italian brand’s entry into the football market. He has signed players and referenced football culture in the past, so working with a brand known for its football aesthetic seems like an obvious next step. Whatever Gucci’s intention, all three shirts are some of the best around.
You can discover the entire Palace x Gucci collection on the Gucci website