Designer blows whistle on Qatar with collection
29 November 2022
When University of East London fashion lecturer and emerging UK designer Hattie Crowther learned of FIFA's decision to allow Qatar to host the World Cup she was not going to sit quietly on the side lines.
A feminist, advocate of human rights and fierce supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community, Hattie did what she does best – she blew the whistle on the tournament, making a powerful statement through her latest collection.
The lecturer, who is part of the School of Arts and Creative Industries, has created a football-themed corset collection to coincide with the FIFA World Cup that explores the tensions surrounding migrant and LGBTQIA+ rights at the World Cup. Each piece is provocative, aiming to highlight what she sees as the contradictory values of the officials behind FIFA.
The tournament has received backlash from fans and celebrities as a result of Qatar's hostile stance towards migrants and the LGBTQIA+ community.
With her collection, Hattie aims to raise awareness of the true principles of the sport, while highlighting why many feel the decision to hold the world's greatest sporting fixture is at odds with those very principles.
"Football's true values are at the heart of this collection," Hattie said. "I believe that the freedoms that everyone has as individuals - being used as action to form unity within a team - is a powerful metaphor for how fashion and football can bring about social change.
"I wanted to highlight the contradiction that is being created by FIFA in holding the World Cup in a host nation Qatar, which has values which I believe are incompatible with the unifying values that form the foundation of the sport of football itself, and which bind its fans together.”
Photography: Shan Purdy
In keeping with her signature design style, the collection reimagines the humble football jersey as a symbol of change taking on a new meaning and supporting gender expression, inclusivity and diversity. Hattie has transformed the staple jersey into high-femme corsets, scarf-skirts, ties and shrunken tees.
"By juxtaposing a traditionally masculine sport with tailoring and corsetry, I'm able to create gender-fluid collections that celebrate queerness," she said.
For this statement collection, she has re-worked existing football kits dating back to the early 2000s into garments featuring slogans that mimic the corporate and commercial sponsorship logos, displaying phrases like "HUMAN RIGHTS" and "F-CK FIFA". She aims to compare the high cost of sports advertising with the low-cost migrant labour used by Qatar to build its World Cup infrastructure.
"I don't want to take anything away from the game the world so dearly loves, but the garments are intended to take a stand against injustice. My hope is that this collection promotes inclusivity, diversity, and freedom while celebrating the true values of the beautiful game."
As part of the campaign, Hattie is donating 50 per cent of the proceeds from all sales to Amnesty International, a charity that fights the abuse of human rights. Each piece from the collection is paired with deadstock fabrics, making the garments not only one-offs but also sustainable.
Find out more about Hattie Crowther and her World Cup 2022 Collection.
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