Olympics Begin In
Begin typing your search above and press return to search.


Do you know the brains behind designing the KBFC, NEUFC, and Indian football team jerseys?

Do you know the brains behind designing the KBFC, NEUFC, and Indian football team jerseys?

Md Imtiaz

Updated: 25 Nov 2021 5:26 PM GMT

A scintillating fixture awaits us in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Thursday when North East United FC (NEUFC) and Kerala Blasters (KBFC) would face off and would look to open their account in Goa. While both the teams would be setting their feet at Fatorda Stadium for the showpiece event, the rivals from pristinely beautiful Northeast India and Kerala will have one thing in common — their jersey! They will sport their own colours made by the same homegrown brand SIX5SIX.

The Delhi-based brand blends style, emotion, and culture in its sartorial creation and brews a fresh innovation in sportswear. For instance, the storyline for the NorthEast United FC home jersey is based on the eight stars representing the 'eight sisters' or the eight states of Northeast India, which is also depicted in the crest of the club. The club's third jersey is an experimental concept considering Bhut Jolokia or ghost pepper, a pepper specifically cultivated in Northeast India and considered one of the spiciest specimens of pepper in India. Similarly, the home jersey of Kerala Blasters FC is inspired by the elephant motif, which is recognised as the state animal and is present even on the emblem of the Government of Kerala.

Starting its journey in 2018, SIX5SIX has come a long way in establishing itself as one of the most prominent team wear brands in the Indian football ecosystem. Not just the two ISL teams, the brand rose to prominence by designing the jersey for the Indian national football team. Founded by siblings Avni Aneja and Ambar Aneja, the brand manufactures official jerseys for sports teams and individuals and comfortable streetwear inspired by the latest trends.

Avni and Ambar Aneja

Avni, who is the Creative Director at SIX5SIX, was a basketball enthusiast, and her brother Ambar used to play cricket. While they shared interests in sports, they realised there is a gap in good, affordable sportswear in the Indian market to bridge this gap, they conceptualised a brand that breathes fashion into sports.

"When we used to play in schools and colleges, we realised that there was a gap in terms of good quality jerseys for the athletes. The students were usually handed whatever the supplier provided without much input about the fabric, colours, or designs. So eventually, we started taking up such projects, and later, we went on to be associated with a few licensed events. As we ran our supplies from a garage, we thought of making a big leap. In July 2018, we launched SIX5SIX. Soon after our launch, we discovered that the contract for the Indian National Football team jersey was up for renewal. We convinced our creative ideas, and the directors liked our concept. That is how we landed our first project with the Indian national football team, and we went on learning from the job. It turned out to be a great experience," says Avni, who pursued a Masters degree in Fashion Entrepreneurship & Innovation Needs from the London College of Fashion.

Ambar, who conceptualised the brand, pursued Global Business Marketing and International Relations at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Thriving in a big market of sportswear brands facing stiff competition, SIX5SIX is primarily focused on creating value with uncompromised quality. "It all boils down to the value of the product. It doesn't matter how good the designers or how innovative we are with our marketing efforts. In the end, we have to create a value system that benefits the clubs and all of their partners. I think we love the idea of creating an identity of products that fans don't have access to so far and making them available. There are thousands of sportswear brands, but what we call ourselves is a team wear brand. We collaborate with teams and bring out the merchandise which the players as well the fans didn't have access to so far," adds Ambar.

The name SIX5SIX evokes curiosity which led Avni to share the interesting story of choosing the brand title. "We really did not have any particular name in mind and created an excel sheet, which had over 200 names written down. One day, we were discussing a few more names on a flight, I came across the boarding pass, which displayed the flight number, which was 656, and that is when it struck the right chord, and we decided to go by this name."

The SIX5SIX sports vertical makes sports jerseys exclusively and are currently signed up with the two ISL clubs, the Indian National Football Team, and two I-League clubs — Roundglass Punjab FC and FC Bengaluru United. The brand also has a street vertical that offers casual clothing that draws inspiration from pop culture, music, graphics, and the everyday lives of today's millennials. While their jerseys can be purchased online from six5sixsport.com, Ambar and Avni say they will soon be having a ground presence in India. "As we expand our network into other sports as well, we will have more offline outlets in the next few years in India," assures Ambar.

The sports brand plans to expand, leveraging on their associations with teams and fans with the zeal to create a unique identity for every club they are working with. While their product is available across India, recently, they witnessed a rise in demand among foreign countries like Singapore, Portugal, and even the United States of America.

Like the Indian men's football team, SIX5SIX will soon also be launching the jerseys of the Indian women's football team, which is currently ranked 57th in the world. "While the Indian men's footballers are called the tigers, we wanted the Indian women footballers to be associated as tigress of India, which we are trying to replicate in the theme while creating their jersey," says Avni.

SIX5SIX presently has two offices in India. The creative office is set up in Noida, while the manufacturing unit is located in Delhi. "With over 25 employees including dedicated designing, operations and marketing team we plan to be a sports agnostic company in the coming years with plans of manufacturing cricket, basketball, esports merchandise in the pipeline," says Ambar. SIX5SIX is redefining sportswear with the perfect blend of fashion and set to conquer greater territories in the coming years,

Next Story