All oval ball fans are currently living in the Japanese time zone, where the Rugby World Cup is being held. A devouring passion for some, it is above all synonymous with economic challenges for the entire sport sector. As a fashion institution, however, IFA Paris is more sensitive to the latest news from equipment manufacturers than to sporting performance. But which brand has succeeded in the exploit of transforming the test, even before the launch of the official competition?
Le Coq Sportif has won the coveted market for the jerseys of the XV de France! Specialist in hosiery in its early days (1882), the French company based in the Aube region quickly specialised in the manufacturing of sports articles, successively becoming the official supplier to the French football, cycling, rugby and athletics federations.
After more than a century of internal developments (critical situations, successive takeovers, relocations), professional sports have enabled the historic Romilly-sur-Seine factory to be reborn. Since 2010, the site has been home to the production of cap collections for official sports events (due to budgetary constraints, the general public collections continue to be manufactured in Morocco). Le Coq Sportif can therefore crow with a chauvinistic cocorico because, from weaving to assembly, all the jerseys from the PRO range are 100% Made in France, each stage of the production line taking place within a 40 km radius around the head office: knitting the stitch at Aube Tricotage (Sainte-Savine), dyeing the fabrics at France Teinture (Troyes).
French Rugby team in action
The new design of the jersey naturally honours the emblems of the hexagon but also those of the host country of the competition. Two roosters decorate the chest (one original red, the other tricolour), the blue, white and red colours are of course respected, while the Mao style broken collar, the half-moon cut and the reinforced shoulders recall the samurai armour, so dear to the land of the rising sun.
In addition to the challenge of relocating production and modernising the design for the occasion, the other feat is the technicality of the Les Bleus jersey. Traditionally made of synthetic material, it offers players a double-sided bi-material outfit, one made of polyester and the other of ultra-resistant cotton. Le Coq Sportif has developed this very robust technology, where the parts most exposed to impact (upper body, shoulders, sides) are reinforced by additional solid materials, veneers and blends are essential!
If research and development are now an integral part of the global strategy of the sector’s mastodons, it is to better meet the expectations of athletes. More and more demanding in terms of their outfits, they are concerned about their physical well-being, are looking for a progression in practice and an improvement in their performance. The added value of technical textiles now lies in the combination of new materials and predictive technologies.
It is yet to be determined whether these technological innovations will be enough to crown our Blue Rugby World Champions… We will find out on Saturday, November 2nd.
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