England Polo this weekend unveiled their on-field kit ahead of the 2018 season, co-designed by Regent’s University London students, in partnership with Hurlingham Polo 1875.
The striking shirt made its debut at the Beaufort Test Match against Ireland on Saturday 9 June where England took home the spoils, and is the result of a live industry project between students of Regent's MA International Fashion Marketing programme, and the global sporting and lifestyle brand.
Worn by both the men’s and women’s teams, the England shirt features a white base, red sleeves, and navy and red shards across the front and back. Simon Hawkins, CEO and founder of the brand said: 'Part of our design ethos is to create links between education and industry and encourage young talent - we are delighted with the outcome.'
From a total of thirty designs created by the Masters students, the Hurlingham Polo 1875 in-house design team shortlisted them to three. These were subsequently shown to players in the England Polo team, whose input helped to select the final choice.
'We liked their fresh approach and innovative ideas, which included graded ombre colours, and even punk. However, we were particularly inspired by one which showed the movement of a polo mallet as if it were in strobe lighting,' added Hawkins.
The collaboration between Regent’s University London, which boasts its own polo team and recently launched the re-named Filippo Corsini Polo Scholarship in association with the Federation of International Polo, and Hurlingham Polo 1875, seemed a natural fit, as the clothing brand itself was born out of the sport’s rulemaking body, Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA). The HPA drew up the game’s first formal set of rules designed to protect the interests of the sport, players and horses. These were issued in 1875, hence the name of the British sports brand.
All term, Regent’s students worked closely with the company, coming up with suggested PR strategies - which involved a fashion shoot in the grounds of the University – as well as learning both about the brand, and the roots of the game itself, which dates back to the 6th century BCE. Next year is the 150th anniversary of the first polo match played in the UK.
Polo continues to rise in popularity and awareness. It is currently played in 90 countries with 24,000 players globally. Last November, an estimated 250 million people in 103 countries tuned in to watch the Argentina Open.