Last night PUMA revealed the 2012 technical football kits for PUMA’s ten partnered African National football teams. The designs were commissioned from a selection of leading ten Creative African Network (CAN) artists from the corresponding nations and has become the basis for the design of the football kits. They used inspiration from visual and cultural motifs of their country. PUMA.Creative brings together individual artists and organization through a platform for creative exchange and international exposure.
This month-long exhibition, ‘Interpretations of Africa: Football, Art and Design’ is being held at the Design Museum in London, and showcases the artists’ design inspirations and exploration towards the brief which focused on Africa’s unique visual identity and culture. The exhibition charts the artists’ journey, inspiration, and design process, demonstrating how Africa’s culture and history can be captured in both an artwork and a corresponding sportswear design.
Through PUMA.Creative’s CAN program, artists were commissioned to design a football jersey inspired from the country’s heritage, culture and traditions. Ten artists worked with their home nation to create unique and inspiring designs for the official football kits.
Some of the notable football players attending included including Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, John Mensah of Ghana and Yaya Touré of Ivory Coast and the artists involved, including Barthélémy Toguo of Cameroon, Zineb Zedira of Algeria and Godfried Donker of Ghana all renowned for their emotive art. The other artists representing their nations are: Saïdou Dicko of Burkina Faso, Ernest Düku of Ivory Coast, Owanto of Gabon, Hentie van der Merwe of Namibia, Samba Fall of Senegal, Hasan and Husain Essop of South Africa and El Loko of Togo.
Franz Koch, the CEO of PUMA SE, had this to say about the project:
“PUMA has been at the forefront of integrating the two disparate worlds of sport and art, and today through a celebration of football, art, color and culture, we have shown to the world how these two spheres can be uniquely combined. PUMA has a long standing history with Africa, and this event demonstrates how as a brand we continue to be fully committed to our relationship with the continent.”
The PUMA partnered African national teams represented include Cameroon, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Algeria, Namibia, Senegal, Togo, Gabon, Burkina Faso and PUMA’s newest partner South Africa, which signed with the sportlifestyle brand in June 2011. The technical kits have been designed to maximize the player’s on-pitch performace while imbuing their persona with a cultural pride.
Alex Newson, Exhibition Curator, Design Museum, London adds,
“As a design challenge, creating a new national football kit is a complicated and demanding brief. The results of the collaboration between PUMA and the group of celebrated artists are remarkable and testament to the talent, pride and passion evident in both African art and football and this exhibition charts this unique journey.”
Last night was talks and seminar on the Interpretations of Africa exhibition. The panel discussion saw leading figures from the African visual art diaspora brought together to highlight their work to a London audience. Hosted at the Design Museum, and presented with Iniva (Institute of International Visual Arts), the event explored how these artists perceive themselves within an international art context and the role they feel they fulfil working in and outside of their respective countries.
The exhibition is open for public viewing from November 8 – 27, 2011, 10.00am – 17.45pm.
For further information please visit: http://www.designmuseum.org