If you’ve ever got your pens out and designed football shirts for fantasy clubs from far-away places, then you will have an affinity for the work of Robby Smukler and Icarus FC.
The Philadelphia based brand cut a niche in producing bespoke kits with an 80s and 90s influence for lower-league sides in North America and have since become well-known for the flights of fantasy they’ve brought to the world of football fashion.
The personal touch and passion for finely designed shirts, so good they could be worn away from the pitch, attracted attention from fans across the globe, leading to commissions for some wholly imagined clubs.
We’ve always been interested in the history of football clubs and the origins of the colours they wear, so we particularly love how Icarus FC have twisted time and space with their designs for make believe football clubs from an alternative world and past.
Shirts for FC Stroitel and the Ottoman Empire took us on a trip away from talk of VAR, European Super Leagues and of course the bland templated shirts that many professional clubs, just below the elite level of football’s top table can ever hope to receive from the global, mega brands.
Icarus FC’s Mesopotamian Premier League collection imagined a world where teams with centuries of titles to their name like the Lions of Babylon and the Kingdom of Kush, could wear kits inspired by iconic designs of yesteryear, like those legendary adidas strips from USA ’94.
Our favourite of those is the Lagash Vultures shirt which zooms-in tightly on the detail of that summer’s Germany shirt and then spins and twists it into something that really pulls on our nostalgia for the 90s.
As the lines between reality and imagination become ever more blurred, we see tales of historic heroes merge into shirts for clubs like Fall River Marksmen, one of US Soccer’s most decorated sides from the 1920s and ’30s, now reformed and carrying the legacy of those red and white hoops in New England’s amateur leagues.
Icarus FC’s creativity and expression makes quality, eye-catching kits accessible to groups of friends and amateur clubs, allowing them to turn-out in good-looking football shirts with intricate details that actually mean something to the players.