Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

1988 ahead of the game

Some wise man coined this phrase in the 19th century and it (plus it’s subtle variations) is still in use today. After all, copying a good idea means it must have been a good idea in the first place.

I was reminded of this phrase after seeing a friend of Parentini’s post a photo of an old jersey on their Facebook timeline. Alongside the photo was the words “Anno 1988 Gian paolo era Avanti”.

Roughly translated it says “1988 Gianpaolo was already ahead”. You can see what he means. Take a look at the jersey above – it’s similar to the new crop of geometric ‘data’ jersey designs that are all the rage from various brands. I thought it might have been inspired by the ill-fated Le Groupement team jersey until I remembered that squad was from the mid-1990s. This jersey does seem to be ahead of its time.


I shouldn’t have doubted Gianpaolo Parentini though. After all, he and his design team have a great track record in jersey designs, having designed the famous Ariostea ‘tile’ jersey, the striking San Giacomo jersey and had a hand in the iconic Mapei design. Over the years, he’s designed numerous other elite team jerseys.


As a designer myself, I know that all creative people look to the past (and other areas) for inspiration, but when you do it’s always worth looking at the work of the people who know what they’re doing.

San Giacomo jersey

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