Earning Our Stripes
Our story began in Leicestershire in 1903. You could say we started at the bottom, producing high-quality woollen underwear, and the brand has continued to make great strides ever since. Our association with the military began early on, supplying our first range of sportswear to the Royal Navy at the beginning of World War I. In fact, it was this partnership that led to the company adopting the name ‘Admiral’ and we would continue to work with the military for over six decades. You could say it was our first collaboration.
Fast forward a century-or-so and we’re still producing top quality sporting apparel. And we’re still always looking to work with likeminded people who share our ethos about quality and craft. When we were putting together our Spring/Summer ‘21 collection we knew we wanted to work with fellow Leicesterians and all round good guys Wellgosh. Their store has been at the centre of the city’s streetwear and fashion scene for over 30 years and what this lot don’t know about cool isn’t worth knowing. We were also looking for an excuse to work with talented illustrator Daren Newman, who also just happened to hail from our new home in Altrincham. What quickly began to come together in our minds was a 3-way collaboration that was suited to a tee.
We quickly realised that our story wasn’t the only military link with Leicester. The county itself boasts a proud history with the armed forces, most notably through the Royal Leicestershire Regiment of the British Army. The regiment earned the nickname ‘the Tigers’ after an 18-year spell in India from 1804 saw them awarded the ‘Royal Tiger’ badge as a lasting testimony to their exemplary conduct.
The tiger - a fitting animal to signify military heroics on the Indian subcontinent. And as a T-shirt motif, they’re great.
When it came to the design of the tees, we wanted to continue with the military theme and drew a lot of inspiration from uniform shoulder patches, from the 40s and 50s in particular. Known as Formation Badges, the shoulder patch designs were primarily used as an easy method of visually identifying the various units of the armed forces. But they also ended up having the added effect of creating an esprit de corps, as each unit became proud of its own insignia. Well, we’re damn proud of ours, and now the cat’s out of the bag you can pick one up for yourself here