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Fun fact about those eye-catching Nike shirts worn by Jason Day, Tommy Fleetwood and others at The Open over the past two days.
Turns out the design of them can be traced all the way back to a small shop on Great Western Road in Glasgow.
Nike commissioned the award-winning Timorous Beasties, whose studio is based in Scotland’s biggest city to come up with a custom design for their staff players to wear this week based on the history and landmarks of Portrush.
Founded in 1990 by Alistair McAuley and Paul Simmons, Timorous Beasties describes its work as embodying “a unique diversity of pattern”, ranging from designs that echo “a golden age of copperplate engraving” to other examples that have “a distinctly edgy nature, an elegant transgression, and a display of chic irreverence”.
The Portrush design for Nike is based on a “toiles de Jouy”, a type of decorating pattern that consists of a white or off-white background, on which there is a repeated pattern that depicts a relatively complex scene, usually in the a single colour.
In the case of Portrush, that pattern was mixed with a style inspired by Wedgewood Jasperware – the company that creates the iconic World Golf Championship trophies.
The finished result fuses traditional with contemporary, using silhouettes of golfers, the landscape, sea-gods and mythical creatures in a contemporary.
Here’s a look at one of the original artwork concepts for the shirts.
“Nike contacted us with a view to creating a custom design for their players early in 2018,” explained Angela Cairns, the manager of the Great Western Road store. “We’ve collaborated with them on designs in the past, so we were delighted to be asked to work with them again.
“It’s hard to say for certain but this is possibly the single biggest sporting commission we’ve ever had, in terms of the overall global reach of the designs, and it would be great to see one of the Nike players win the Claret Jug at the weekend.”
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