13/06/2008 07:44, Report by Gemma Thompson
Reds suited and booted
While United continue to set standards on the pitch, they’ll also look the part off it next season after teaming with English fashion designer Paul Smith.
Smith kitted out players and staff for the Champions League final in May, and the label will continue to supply the first-team squad and club officials with formal wear and accessories for travel to and from all domestic and European matches over the next three years. Smith's handiwork will also be on show on pre-season tours, beginning with the Reds' trip to South Africa and Nigeria in July.
Sir Paul Smith, a keen United follower, made a personal visit to Carrington in May for an official team photo in the new outfits. There, he also met with fellow knights Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Alex Ferguson.
“The suits are outstanding,” Sir Alex beamed. “This is a club with a rich heritage and one that has a clear sense of identity. Sir Paul has recognised that, while providing clothing that will be the envy of every other club.”
The 2008/09 suit is a two-button slim navy piece made from 100 per cent wool, with specially designed lining featuring red panels and striped piping. The club crest has been created from gold and silver thread and is sewn onto the top pocket of the blazer.
The label's iconic stripes aren't confined to the blazer lining. Sir Paul has incorporated a colourful diagonal stripe into the team’s red tie. A white shirt, belt (which features an imprint of the club crest on the tip) and dark brown brogues with a burnished finish complete the new look. Sir Paul has also designed a simple black raincoat for the players, while striped fabric luggage has been provided for away trips.