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Lionesses kit 2021/22: “There wouldn’t be anything similar, because there’s been nothing like it"

Designer of this year's kit, Molly Brown, unpacks just what makes this years kit so special

Photography credit: George Garnish

As any football fan will tell you, your team’s kit is far more than just something that sets your 11 players from the other 11 players.

At their best, shirts can gain an iconic status, living on long after all those who played in it have retired.

This might be because of either its perfect design or the great feats achieved in it. The mind springs to Arsenal’s ‘bruised banana’ or Ajax’s 1994/95 away strip for example.

Yet shirts can also have iconic status for all the wrong reasons, be them a consequence of poor fortunes on or off the pitch or just because they are rather ugly.

With this in mind, it could be said that Molly Brown, 22, had a lot of pressure on her shoulders when it came to designing the Lionesses kit for the coming season.

“No, it was very much excitement over fear,” said Brown, “I mean I remember thinking ‘oh my God is this all down to me?’ but then I thought that I have a real power to make a good job of this.”

So where did those first sparks of inspiration come from for Brown?

"Going into the design, I really wanted to touch on London, because the club is so proud of their London roots.

It’s just been great to have that whole London scene to work with. Having grown up just outside the city and going there all the time, I know it’s such a great community.”

She went on to say, Even simple shapes, like the outline of the London Eye or Big Ben are just iconic, you just know it’s London.”

Yet when it came to the practical design of the kit, Brown was also drawn to expanding on the badge itself.

“When it came to the logo, I really loved the angles and everything it represented, with the idea of it representing strength and togetherness.

So, I remember I just sketched out the logo and then just took it apart, because I knew that when it came to the angels, they would really work for what I wanted to project with the shirt.”

However, the creativity around this year’s shirt does not simply stop with the visible design itself.

“When I started looking at football shirts, they all just seemed so flat to me, so for the Lionesses I really wanted to add some texture.

“I’d seen that some shirts in the past had gone for a kind of dotted gradient, and that look really stood out to me. Which is when I had the idea of writing something in Morse Code.

She added, This was something that I knew had never been done before on a kit, and thankfully when I pitched it to the club, everyone was really on board with it.

And, of course, a shirt for the London City Lionesses wouldn’t be complete without its very own Lioness.

“Just like with the Morse Code, I really hadn’t seen a kit with a real photo of an animal on it or a real photo of anything. But the Lioness, and everything it represents is so ingrained in the club’s identity, I just knew I had to use it.”

Finally, to stay true to the London roots of the club, Brown took her inspiration from the very building blocks of the capital.

“Incorporating bricks into the design was something of real importance to me because they represent that they’re building up as a team, they’re getting stronger as they do so.

“The pandemic has taken its toll, but they’re building up from it and getting stronger all the way.”

Only time will tell what memories will be made in this year’s shirt, but it goes without saying that it has all the ingredients to live long in the minds of fans for years to come.

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