LET’S GO BACK TO THE ORIGINALS
The IED Barcelona Design University has come up with the first women’s 3×3 basketball kit for the International Basketball Federation (FIBA). The “LET’S GO BACK TO THE ORIGINALS” project emerged from the idea of creating a clothing collection that adapts to the female body and enhances movement and performance. The outfit has been designed to be functional, aesthetically pleasing and compliant with regulations for female 3×3 basketball players, now that the discipline has been included by the International Olympic Committee in the Tokyo 2020 games.
Over the years, basketball has been known to have a very masculine attire designed according male aesthetics, patterns and sizes. The uniform currently worn by both men and women constrains the female body’s movements and hampers their performance as it fails to meet their physical needs. Female players often have no choice but to adapt the uniform to their bodies or wear compression gear underneath for added comfort. Realising the problem, IED Barcelona has decided to design a collection that redefines women’s basketball kits and has been conceived specifically with the female anatomy in mind.
Designers Denise Graus and Sheila Casado from the BA (Hons) in Fashion Design have developed their project at the IED’s INNOVATION LAB under the guidance of Horge Pérez. To understand the real needs of these sportswomen, they conducted a study on different 3×3 players during events in Prague and Bucharest, and tested their ideas on players from the Spanish Basketball Federation (FEB). As well as designing the gear, after completing their study they also suggested the first universal standard sizing for female basketball players. The project goes to show that female sport is evolving and striving for equality with men. Developing special clothing is just one way to boost that equality in the sports world.
Inspired by ‘60s and ‘70s uniforms, the designers have produced a kit that is timeless, more functional, and more coherent with the female body, allowing them to comfortably take on such a dynamic and agile sport. With that same goal in mind, they have also conceived specific sizing for female basketball players that adapts to both their body width and height, introducing three new sizes that were once only available for men: S+, M+ and L+.
In terms of the kit’s appearance, the graphics used are consistent with the movement that basketball requires, which is largely diagonal and vertical, keeping the players’ upper and lower limbs moving all the time. Therefore, inspired by original basketball uniforms, the graphics are mainly lateral and vertical to create a much clearer and more powerful visual effect.
Seamless technology has allowed the designers to create each item in just one uncut piece of fabric. This technique means they can play with different levels of elasticity and compression to better suit the players’ needs and waste less material. It also enables different weaves to be blended into no end of graphic and design options using one same pattern. The result is a completely customisable uniform for all of the female teams competing for the 3×3 championship.
The uniforms have been produced in collaboration with Lurbel, who took care of materialising the project using innovative fabrics with new filaments made of various compositions. The result: an elastic item that is not tight on the body and ensures maximum comfort along with an innovative aesthetic prioritising the female anatomy and its needs when playing basketball. Properties such as a breathable, anti-bacterial and fast-drying fabric are the basis for the functionality of this special uniform made of polyester, polyamide and elastane.
This project is just a starting point of a long-term project to design a women’s basket uniform for the 3×3. There are still some movements to be done with the players, but it is a first step to ensure the comfort for female basketball players.
Designers: Denise Graus and Sheila Casado.
Head of the IED Barcelona Innovation Lab: Horge Pérez.
Photographer: Denise Graus.
Model: Arni Cortés.