Few sportswear brands are such fixtures of British culture than Umbro, and now it joins Slam Jam in a marriage that celebrates the U.K. and Italy’s well-documented relationship that encompasses football, sports, and the style that was born from here.
Umbro was founded in 1924 in Wilmslow, Cheshire and is based in Manchester, whereas Slam Jam was created by Luca Benini in 1989. Despite decades of difference, the similarity is one underpinned by cultural shifts; Slam Jam is, after all, a collaborative powerhouse known for getting its references consistently on point, à la Amnesia, AC Milan, Levi’s, and CCCP — Fedeli Alla Linea.
Now, themes of terrace culture indebted to both countries’ love for football come to the fore in Slam Jam x Umbro. Exclusively dropping in the Italian market, the collaboration focuses on “Penalty Culture,” acknowledging professional sportsmanship and that not every game can be whole-heartedly good.
With this in mind, Slam Jam and Umbro print archive-derived football jerseys in palettes of red, cream, and black with the phrase “Penalty Culture” on the front, sitting alongside a custom “P.C.” crest badge and Umbro branding. The same statement is incorporated into a jacket that sees its body printed with a black-and-white photograph of young football players huddling to talk tactics, which also happens to grace the rear of a T-shirt too.
Elsewhere, football scarves incorporate an intarsia knit green-and-white design using the “Penalty Culture” motif, while jester hats also make an appearance in a nod to the not-so-welcoming side of football culture in the 1980s and ’90s. Matchday essentials like a trench coat, pullover jackets, shorts and sweaters come in sizes and cuts for all, while the addition of Umbro-branded jeans goes to show Slam Jam’s ability to pull on references and make them applicable in the current day.
Speaking on the collaboration, Benini said: “We are very happy about the partnership with Umbro. We have got the opportunity to dive into an incredible heritage of football culture to celebrate, and develop further our dialogue with our communities.” Adding to this, Pino Magno, CEO of Umbro Italy said, “We are excited to announce the partnership with Slam Jam, pioneering the global street culture since 1989. ‘Penalty Culture’ is a collection that draws inspiration from Umbro’s extensive and valuable archive, revisited by a forward-thinking partner like Slam Jam.”