When we caught up with the gang, they explained that the gulf between the hype around last year’s World Cup and the lack of visibility for this year’s helped inspired the project. “Football should be enjoyed by everyone equally,” as they put it, “It should not segregate, or be confined to half the population, which we’ve seen all too often throughout history.”
I think the general public tends to put women at the periphery of our cultural discourse.
It’s true. Although it’s come a long way since the 1991 inaugural tournament in China, women’s football doesn’t yet enjoy the same status as men’s. In England, the FA Women’s Super League has been steadily gaining recognition and standing since it was founded in 2011, but WSL players still earn 100 times less than their male counterparts, with salaries of about £26,000 dwarfed by the £2.64 million of the Premier League.
One of the biggest factors that’s helping to change this is the growing awareness and support for the game, and A Change of Kit aims both to promote the tournament and give practical help too, with all profits going towards organisations fighting for equal representation for women’s football in London.
A Change of Kit curated a host of talents to design their shirts: Soft Power, Francesca Williams, Charlotte Ager, Karabo Poppy, Sarah Boris, Nina Carter, Matteo Gualandris, Warriors Studio, Minute Books, Roger Gutierrez, and Amy herself, so we asked a few to share why the project was important to them.
With a mandate to preserve the African Aesthetic, Karabo Poppy’s illustrations give figures in the periphery the chance to take center stage and be represented in the conversations that extend the African continent.
“I think the general public tends to put women at the periphery of our cultural discourse, especially when it comes to sport. For me, sport is a tool that helps level the playing ground, it’s you, your passion and skill.
If I look at women in football, the role they’re playing in inspiring us to dream bigger and further and to open up conversations in sports that we’re not having, is so important. I’m hoping this project can help displace any misconceptions about what we, as women, can achieve in sport.”
With an eye for the smallest details, art director and graphic designer (and Everpress regular) Francesca Williams’ practice centres around fashion and editorial based projects.
“As someone who loved playing football when I was younger, I think it’s important for women’s sport to be valued just as much as men’s. This is a great opportunity to help that happen.”
Taking an expressive approach to colour and form, Charlotte Ager’s hand-drawn illustrations take inspiration from forms of writing.
“I’m very happy to be part of this project because I love the way that football helps us connect with each other; it’s able to bring together people from all over the world. However, I’m often frustrated that this huge cultural force revolves mostly around men, often excluding female participation from something that creates community.
I think raising awareness of female participation in sport is vital to encourage women to be involved in it at all levels, which will, in turn, create a more welcoming environment.”
Often tapping into current culture, Sarah Boris uses bold graphics to communicate empowering messages.
“We still have a long way to go for equality on all playing fields. Celebrating every step towards equality is a great way to raise awareness through a creative campaign.”
Read more: 20 T-shirt brands to watch in 2019