Sportswear is by its very definition designed to give a competitive edge. As a result, the world is swimming in contemporary tech brands, keen to get ahead of their competitors. It's a massive bunfight where the smallest margins can make or break a brand. But what about the pioneering goods which created the mould, rather than just broke it? What of those brands who adapted, innovated and overcame challenges presented at the very beginning of what we now know as sports.
Admiral Sporting Goods Co. seeks to crystalise classic sporting garments for the modern man in the street. As a sportswear brand which has been around for more than a century, it makes perfect sense for Admiral to be front and centre in pursuit of perfection.
But what about other brands with a similar sensibility?
Back in Victorian times, when upper-class educational establishments led the way in sporting pursuits, formal clothing was the order of the day. It was a time when rules and fair play were stringent requirements, and any victory earned was only worthy of merit if it was achieved by the rules. The referee's whistle therefore became a necessity in many sports. Symbolically, that old-fashioned signal of governance remains an unrivalled part of the furniture. In football, the referee may be assisted by technology these days, but his whistle is the same timeless item used in the 19th century. Can you see the synergy with what we've set out to achieve with ASGco? We wanted to take things back to the start of modern sportswear, and what better way to signal that start than with a whistle?
ACME are the authority in whistles, quite literally. Joseph Hudson made his name as an innovator when working with the Police. Keen to replace the rattle as their standard attention-grabber, the Birmingham-based Hudson utilised the expertise in the nearby jewellery quarter to develop the ideal solution to the problems and the modern whistle was born. One year after designing the police whistle, Hudson received 250,000 orders for more and the ACME story had begun in earnest.
Down the years, ACME continued to provide whistles far and wide, with wartime use particularly wide. That their Thunderer whistle remains just as effective in 2020 is testament to that same timeless quality ASGco. identifies with and therefore ACME became our first collaboration in this new era for Admiral.
Each garment you purchase from our website includes a very hard-wearing black plastic version of ACME's iconic whistle, but if you require something markedly more mature, there are also versions in Antique Brass and Nickel Plated.
The first half of Admiral's history is the inspiration for this project and while the second half was very much focused on football, it's time for our very own version of Project Restart. How better to begin this than with a whistle?
Words by Mark Smith