[Editor’s Note: Today we have a guest entry from Austin Chen, who runs the uniform brand Equipt Studios. As you may recall, I collaborated with him last year on the Uni Watch soccer jerseys. He’s come up with a new soccer-related apparel project that I think you’ll really enjoy hearing about. — Paul]
By Austin Chen
Back in March, my wife gave birth to our first child. To say that the following months were hectic would be an understatement — moms and dads, you know what I’m talking about!
Amidst the chaos, I somehow latched onto the idea that the calming and friendly patterns typically found on baby clothes might translate well into soccer jerseys. Attempting to prove this ended up being the perfect project to help keep me sane. It was something lighthearted that I could work on at my own pace and in small increments.
First I cobbled together a generic soccer-style roundel logo featuring my son’s initials:
Then I fleshed out a few proofs of concept and realized that this idea actually had legs. Again, I wasn’t creating soccer-themed onesies; I was creating onesie-themed soccer jerseys. And I was just doing mock-ups, not manufacturing the real thing. Here’s an example:
I also decided that short-form videos on TikTok would be perfect for showcasing each design. Every jersey would be presented in three segments. Here’s the video for the design I just showed you:
By condensing everything into bite-sized pieces, I hoped to appeal to both parents and non-parents, soccer fans and non-fans, people who Get It™ and people who don’t. Here’s another example — baby photo, mock-up, and video:
The format seemed to work, racking up thousands of views per video — nowhere near “viral,” but I’m pleased with it nonetheless! You can see all the videos I’ve done so far here. (I’ve done these under the Equipt Studios banner for lack of anywhere else to put them, but it’s really a separate project meant solely for fun, rather than for any sort of brand-building or client acquisition.)
Now, a disclaimer: I’m fully aware that ads on uniforms are polarizing, particularly in soccer, where they’re so prominently featured. As a form of subversion, I used this as an opportunity to turn well-known sponsor logos into something relevant or to reference baby product brands – sort of a “If you know, you know” kind of thing for parents. Here are all the ones I’ve done so far:
I hope you enjoy, and if there’s one takeaway from this project it’s this: Design inspiration can truly come from anywhere!
Paul here. What a fun project — please join me in thanking Austin for sharing it with us!