Mexican brand Charly have gripped us in a tight stranglehold with the release of their latest collection of Liga MX shirts.
Their brand new third shirts for the Clausura (or “closure”) section of the season, follow on from last year’s Day of the Dead designs and are inspired by the colourful posters and masks of Mexican wrestling.
Lucha Libre (or “free fight”) has a deep social significance dating back to the 1860s, and has developed a distinct style all of its own, full of holds, aerial agility and of course, the colourful masks worn by its heroes.
You only have to think of Wolves striker Raúl Jiménez celebrating in his luchador mask to understand a little of what wrestling means to the people of Mexico, and since the introduction of television in the 1950s; only football can fight it for stirring the public’s passions and adulation.
Charly are known for producing absolutely bonkers designs and this series of six shirts is no exception, with each of their six Liga MX clubs having a fictional wrestling hero and mask created for the launch.
The shirts for Atlas, León, Pachuca, Querétaro, Santos and Xolos all carry the same lace-up collar to mimic the back of a wrestler’s mask and it is that key symbol that repeats across the selection to mark the 30th anniversary of Lucha Libre promoters AAA in 2022.
Máscaras have played an important part in Mexican culture since the days of the Aztecs and luchadores have protected their identities and created a sense of mystery around their personas by wearing them since the early part of the 20th century.
The sanctity and honour surrounding the mask means that anyone removing their opponent’s disguise can be instantly disqualified unless the two fighters have agreed that the loser will be forever unmasked in a grudge match.
Mexican football shirts should have an element of madness about them and Charly are a brand who have never taken themselves too seriously.
The faded colours created to ape big fight posters work particularly well in the Pachuca and Atlas shirts, with Los Xolos’ benefitting from the most understated piece of the collection.
Whilst we’re not sure any of the jerseys delivers a clear knock-out blow, we love how Charly continues to weave stories of Mexican culture into their fabric.