The Matildas’ new kit has all the right ingredients ahead of World Cup tilt
The Matildas will wear the kit for the first time in a friendly against the USA in April. (Supplied: Nike)
With the women’s World Cup in France fast approaching, the Matildas’ uniform has been unveiled on a Parisian catwalk.
Opinions on the design have varied, with many punters drawing attention to its similarities to the Socceroos’ infamous ‘spew’ shirt of the 1990s.
However, it’s also won plenty of support, not least for the fact it’s the first to be exclusively designed for the women’s team.
Kathryn Forth is a designer and director at the Australian fashion label Acler, whose clothes have been worn by celebrities such as Beyonce.
She is among the new kit’s admirers, saying the designers have worked well with a challenging palette.
“I think they have done a pretty decent job,” Ms Forth said.
“It’s a tough brief asking any designer to work that Aussie bottle green and marigold into an outfit and pull off something aesthetically pleasing!
“I much prefer the [away kit’s] all-green look over the green and gold — simplicity always reigns supreme in my eye — but I appreciate the hand painted artwork which shows a point of difference and a bit of creative flair.”
90s influence on point
The kit is heavily influenced by the 90s, a fact referenced both by Nike’s senior apparel manager Cassie Looker and Matildas captain Sam Kerr.
Sam Kerr (left), along with teammates Caitlin Foord (centre) and Hayley Raso, are fans of the new kit. (Supplied: Nike)
“The average age of the Matildas is 24, they’re super-young and fun so we’ve made sure it’s reflected in the kit,” Ms Looker said.
“This graphic mixes the awesome 90s-inspired graffiti you see on Hosier Lane and the Golden Wattle to create this print.”
Kerr added, “Most of the team was born in the 90s, so the throwback to 90s graffiti is pretty cool.”
“We are a super-young team, so this kit is definitely our style.”
The 90s theme is definitely ‘in’ this year, with the era influencing the wider fashion scene as well as football kits.
“Twelve months ago it was all about the 80s, and 90s fashion is very much flavour of the month,” Ms Forth said.
“It’s actually quite a subtle 90s influence that shouldn’t date too quickly.”
The new kit is influenced by contemporary Australia, according to the designers. (Supplied: Nike)
Unique, female design
It will be the first time the Matildas have worn a uniquely designed kit, which Kerr says reflects the growing stature of the women’s national team.
“We are such a different team to the men’s team, and we are so excited to have a kit just for us that reflects our vibe,” Kerr said.
“It’s epic, it’s so fun. We’ve got our own women’s kit, and we can’t wait to wear it.”
Ms Forth agrees, saying the move is a big step forward.
“I think so, although I do feel this kit is relatively gender-neutral, which I’m happy about.
“I think it’s less about creating a ‘feminine’ kit, and more about a kit which speaks to the brand voice of the team.
“Female athletes more than ever before want to be seen for their own unique achievements as they rise from the shadows of their male counterparts.
“They just don’t want to be compared any more, and having a customised kit is a fantastic step to achieving this.”
Fashion and sport are not two subjects that often go hand in hand, but Ms Forth doesn’t consider them to be mutually exclusive.
“I think fashion is all about empowering people,” she said.
“In the case of Serena Williams for example, she makes fantastic fashion choices on the court and always looks fierce.
“In team sport, fashion both empowers the individual and unifies the team.
“A sense of patriotism is of course also important, and I do think this kit is a great reflection of modern Australia.”