Sportwear x Fashion
Over the last century, sportswear has evolved from its functional, athletic, and sporting roots to become the daily uniform for billions of people around the world. Founded in 1924, the British company Umbro has been central to this revolution.
Today collaborations between sportswear companies and fashion brands are the norm, but Umbro’s collaboration with Paul Smith in 2002 marked the beginning of this trend. Since then, Umbro has collaborated with over 60 different designers and brands.
Umbro 100 investigates how this relationship has evolved and its significance for both sportswear and fashion, using over 120 examples drawn exclusively from the Westminster Menswear Archive.
Designers featured in the exhibition include: Kim Jones, Aitor Throup, Aries, Palace, Paul Smith, Vetements, Supreme, ALMOSTBLACK, Bikkembergs, Eliminator, Philip Treacy, Slam Jam, Factory Records, FORESOMEONE, Peter Saville, Patta, Off-White, John Smedley, Nigel Cabourn, Christopher Raeburn, Rowing Blazers, NOWHERE FC, Gio Goi, Hanon, House of Holland, KANGHYUK, New Order, Numerals, Sweet Sktbs, R. Newbold, Pretty Green, and N.HOOLYWOOD.
Curated by Prof Andrew Groves and Dr Danielle Sprecher
Umbro 100: Sportswear x Fashion
12 April – 28 April 2024
Ambika P3, University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS
Free admission. Open 11am-7pm every day.
The Westminster Menswear Archive was founded in 2016 to establish and maintain a collection of garments and related artefacts to encourage and develop the study of menswear design from a technical and functional point of view; to advance the general knowledge of menswear as a design discipline, and to serve as a resource tool to inform contemporary menswear design.
The Westminster Menswear Archive has examples of some of the most important and exciting menswear garments covering the last 250 years. The archive includes garments from the following designers: A-COLD-WALL*, Adidas, Ahluwalia, Aitor Throup, Alexander McQueen, Aquascutum, Austin Reed, Barbour, Belstaff, Berghaus, Bernhard Willhelm, Blades, BodyMap, Bonneville, Bukta, Burberry, Burton, C.P. Company, Calvin Klein, Carol Christian Poell, Christian Dior, Comme Des Garcons, Craig Green Gieves, H&M, Harrods, Helmut Lang, Irvine Sellars, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jeremy Scott, Joe Casely-Hayford, John Stephens, Junior Gaultier, Kim Jones, Left Hand, Levi’s, Lewis Leathers, Liam Hodges, Martin Margiela, Martine Rose, Masimo Osti, Meadham Kirchhoff, Michiko Koshino, Mr Fish, Nanamica, Nigel Cabourn, Palace, Paul Smith, Prada, Ralph Lauren, Sibling, Stone Island, Tom Gilby, Tommy Nutter, Umbro, Undercover, Vexed Generation, Vivienne Westwood, Walter Van Beirendonck, Zegna Sport.
The archive also contains a large collection of utilitarian and uniform garments from the British Army, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, Metropolitan Police, HM Prisons, London Underground, GPO, Coldstream Guards, and London Fire Brigade, among others.
MASSIMO OSTI STUDIO
Since 2022, the Westminster Menswear Archive has been documenting the development of the Massimo Osti Studio. As part of this documentation, a sample of each production garment produced in the first year of the Massimo Osti Studio will be accessioned into the Westminster Menswear Archive.
Following initial discussions between Lorenzo Osti and Professor Andrew Groves in March 2022, the Westminster Menswear Archive has been documenting the development of the Massimo Osti Studio and providing both historical and contemporary contextual research in relation to their activities.
Traditionally, fashion museums normally only accession garments into their collections years after their date of production, so that their aesthetic, societal or critical value has already been established. However, as the processes of design, production, and consumption have radically changed in the last decade with the emergence of direct to consumer consumption and the rise of limited edition drops, this approach can mean that collections are unable to document the relationship of these processes to the final garments that are produced.
Dr Samuel Ross Donation
PADDED POCKET RIBBED GILET
Black nylon gilet with a quilted and ribbed turtleneck and three padded nylon pockets. The gilet's front is composed primarily of padded and quilted nylon, with black rib panels on the upper right and lower left sides. Front centre zip closure in black, with a 6-inch placket covering the top of the closure. On the pocket's front is a white ACW* bracket logo printed sideways. Another attached pocket with a zip opening is located on the lower right side. The gilet's back is composed primarily of rib, with a panel of padded and quilted nylon on the left side, extending from the centre back to the outside edge and down to the upper waist. Attached to the lower back is a large asymmetrical bellow pocket with a large flap closure and an ACW* bracket logo printed in white on the pocket front. From the AW2019 collection, "BIRTH.ORGAN.SYNTH."
Archive No. 2022.99.2
Donated by Dr Samuel Ross
The concluding denouement of the Locating Menswear research series points to Italy’s role in shaping menswear’s industrialisation, and in turn, its international landscape.
Sites of countless luxury ateliers and manufacturing house’s, Italian production is the ultimate signifier of quality – the benchmark for the upper echelons of industry standard. Moreover, it’s the site of the second oldest global Fashion Week; the tailor’s nation for centuries; the home to generations of textile and silk merchants. As such, this rich genealogy has aided a global interconnectivity between Italian trade and talent. Further, one that has spread across continents, feeding into the hand of Italy’s status as a vanguard for menswear.
“Menswear is the fastest growing sector in fashion, yet its history is in danger of being unwritten, with most fashion museums and collections focused solely on womenswear. The Westminster Menswear Archive is a pioneering institution, both for its world-class conservation and its commitment to telling the true story of menswear: it's past, present and future.”