Blue Bulls fans may be feeling the blues over the team’s pink Super 15 away kit, but Durban fashion experts agree that the team’s “bold” jersey is a leap towards dispelling one of fashion’s biggest myths.
The Daily News asked local designers to analyse sports apparel. Wearing pink is not a new concept, with Italian soccer team Juventus, and French rugby team Stade Français, who have played away games in pink since 2005.
Locally, the Sharks sported a pink kit in support of Cansa in 2010. However, the Bulls team have adorned the hue more permanently.
The team revealed the away kit on February 14, ahead of the Super Rugby competition.
Durban designer Karen Monk-Klijnstra, who had designed for the Lee Jeans and Lotto sportswear brands, applauded the Blue Bulls decision to go pink.
She said the team’s pink away jersey was “bold, brave and directional”.
Monk-Klijnstra said a lot more emphasis was being placed on sportswear’s design and shape, and often bold moves were made to compete with world trends.
“You find that jerseys have hidden panels for comfort and more attention is paid to the human body,” she said.
Sibu Msimang, known for her ethnic inspired designs, said brands like adidas and Reebok had been creating active wear fashion ranges and the growing trend had seen people wearing sports brands outside of sporting activities.
She said the Bulls pink kit was “shocking and very interesting”. However, Msimang said colour played an important role in psychology and as a result certain colours had been more prominent in teams’ uniforms.
Darker shades, she said, were perceived to be “stronger” than lighter shades. Msimang said these colours often dominated kits because they represented “power and strength”.
Laurie Holmes, one half of the Durban design duo of the Holmes Brothers, said the shade of pink was significant.
“It’s not a feminine pink. It’s a very strong, bright colour that will look great on the field,” he said.
Holmes agreed with his counterpart, saying: “Some of the best designing on the planet is in the technical sportswear area. everybody is keeping fit and wants to look like their sports heroes”.
Haroun Hansrot, known for his fusion of Indian and Western styles, said internationally sports and fashion have always gone hand-in-hand.
He added that sports stars such as Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh and English soccer player David Beckham were fashion icons synonymous with international fashion houses.
He said while South African sportswear was synonymous with popular sporting brands, their designs were becoming more fashionable, adding that the “fashion statement” made by the Bulls was proof of this.
He said because rugby was the epitome of a masculine sport, a team’s appearance played a large role in the perception they created for opponents and fans.
Thus, he said, most teams opted for darker colours like the Sharks, which wore a black kit to appear powerful and aggressive-looking because black was a strong colour, which made the Bulls pink kit an ideal juxtaposition on the field.
Italian designer Giorgio Armani has twice designed off-field uniforms for England’s national football team and has been chosen to design Italy’s Olympic uniforms for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Most recently, British designer Stella McCartney, in collaboration with adidas, revealed the British Olympic team’s 2012 kit.