For the first time in history England Women will wear their own kits for a major tournament instead of sharing a design with the men’s senior side.
The Lionesses have revealed their home and away kits for the World Cup in France this summer, marking the first time that their kit manufacturers, Nike, have designed bespoke kits purely for their 14 women’s teams. Traditionally, national team kit launches only take place in men’s World Cup and Euro years.
The England kits – each one made from 12 recycled water bottles – will feature the Lionesses’ name for the first time and a hand-drawn graphic with flora representative of the the 48 English counties.
“We really see this as a representation of all of the country and all of the team,” said Cassie Looker, a senior apparel product manager at Global Football Nike. “We wanted to do something that was bespoke and specific to them. It’s a point of pride, a representation of both them and the country.”
The result of three years of research, the kits moreover mark a significant step forward in women-specific sport research. Women’s sport is hamstrung by a lack of studies into everything from the effects of menstruation, returning to sport after pregnancy or why women athletes are more susceptible to certain injuries than their male counterparts. Looker admitted this is “definitely” the first time a sportswear brand has been willing to resource research of this nature on women’s football.