The Jamaica x Wales Bonner kit collab is football fashion at its finest
The four-piece Adidas collection provides the resurgent Reggae Girlz and Boyz with a serious upgrade.
After last month's teaser at Paris Fashion Week, today sees the official launch of the Jamaican Football Federation's partnership with Adidas and Grace Wales Bonner – and it's a banger. The days of shirt-as-afterthought are long gone: the football shirt market is a behemoth, with legions of collectors looking for retro grails and future star pieces in equal measure. Any national team wanting to showcase their ambition would do well to take some time to create a shirt that showcases this, and luckily for us, the Reggae Boyz and Girlz have been treated to just that.
To kick off the new partnership, Jamaica and Adidas have launched four new pieces, including home and away kits, a pre-match shirt and a reversible anthem jacket that will be worn by both the men's and women's national teams.
So far, so normal. When you put a world-renowned designer like Grace Wales Bonner into the mix, however, things get a little stratospheric. It's not the first time Adidas has teamed up with Wales Bonner, with the inaugural Adidas Originals collection launched at the end of 2020 and a further collection in 2021 a portentous dry run for the latest launch.
Mixing football and fashion is a tricky business. Sometimes it goes well (Nigo x Japan), but most of the time it goes down like an overthought lead balloon. Luckily for Jamaica, Wales Bonner has just placed them at the top table.
The home shirt shows the best of classic Jamaica, the bright yellow permeated with green pinstripes and a woven team badge (no iron-on nonsense, here). The classic Adidas accents find a natural home, using Jamaica's national colours to good effect on the collar and cuffs. The shorts are a winner, too, somehow managing to work perfectly with the top despite the potential strong colour clash thanks to mirrored accents between the two.
As is usually the way, though, the winner in the casual stakes is the away shirt, merging the understated with rich, technicolour touches that cut through like fresh fruit. There's no wonder Wales Bonner adorns the back of each of these shirts – we'd want our name on them, too.
The rest of the collection is similarly sophisticated. The pre-match shirt is perhaps the most notable Wales Bonner design, using traditional Scottish Fair Isle patterning as a base to showcase the warm colours of the Caribbean at night, including a golden sun motif throughout. The final piece in the partnership is the team's anthem jacket (read: so they don't get cold while singing). This also sports a Fair Isle influence, with a bright yellow and gold on the reverse.
It's an apt time for Jamaica's footballers to enjoy a serious kit upgrade, with the national teams starting to realise some long-held potential. The Reggae Girlz will be heading to Australia and New Zealand later this year to play in the Women's World Cup for only the second time in their history. Meanwhile, the Reggae Boyz have put together promising results in the Nations League, and will look to stick around deep into this year's Gold Cup.
The men's team certainly has the staff to compete at the tournament: players like West Ham's Michail Antonio, Aston Villa's Leon Bailey, Brentford's Ethan Pinnock and Fuham's Bobby Decordova-Reid all have top-flight pedigree, while Reggae Boyz captain Andre Blake has focussed his national teammates under the guidance of the experienced Heimir Hallgrímsson – you might remember his Iceland team beating England 2-1 at Euro 2016.
The Reggae Girlz will debut the home kit against Spain in February's FFA Cup of Nations, with the new away kit debuting a few days later against Australia, and the Reggae Boyz will get their first chance to showcase the away kit in their Concacaf Nations League group stage match against Mexico on March 26th. We don't need to wait that long to get our hands on it, however: the collection is available now in selected Adidas stores and online at adidas.co.uk/jamaica.
Source: GQ Magazine