If ever there was doubt that Palace is a proper British brand, let it be exiled. Not that the skate label has ever been shy about owning its heritage but its latest Fall 2021 delivery includes a proper salute to the UK by way of a branded cricket bat and ball, dropping online and in-store on August 20.
Of all the British sports, is cricket the most British? Maybe: it has roots in children's games centuries older than rugby, while football (soccer, for us Yanks) is too decentralized to properly codify prior to the British Football Association's formation in the 19th century.
Despite its popularity in western Eurasia (and African, and Australian), cricket never really spread over to America, so my only real reference point for the entire sport is a throwaway line in Austin Powers. Still, even I understand why it makes as much sense for Palace to own a streetwear/cricket crossover as it does for Supreme to partner with the MTA and celebrate the chop cheese.
Produced by cricket specialist Gray-Nicolls, this special cricket bat and ball are broad signifiers of British heritage, indicative of the specificity that shapes Palace's brand identity. This is why Palace and its ilk are the biggest fish in the pond; they understand streetwear world-building. It's not mere faffing about (as they say in London, I assume).
"We’re not trying to be anything we’re not," Palace founder Lev Tanju said a few years back. "Like it or lump it. It’s basically representing London in a way that it’s supposed to be represented. We’re honest."
The Palace Garfield plus may have ironic appeal but the cricket gear is a serious statement amidst a sea of unnecessary streetwear accessories. No hate to Garfield, though.