Revealed: Puma Steals Famous Haçienda Design For Manchester City 19-20 Kit Without Asking Designer

In Summer 2019, Manchester City and Puma unveiled the club's new 2019-20 season football kits. Both the home and away kits pay homage to cultural aspects of the city's history, with the away strip inspired by famous Manchester clubbing institute, The Haçienda. Now the designer of The Haçienda complains that the new City away shirt is ‘beyond appropriation’. Story via The Guardian.

The Haçienda was a nightclub and music venue in Manchester, England, which became famous in the Madchester years of the 1980s and early 1990s. The club was the beating heart of Manchester's rave culture, founded in 1982 by New Order and the team behind Factory Records. The Haçienda closed its doors for good in 1997.

Puma Copies Black / Yellow The Haçienda Stripes Design Without Asking Its Designer

The Puma Man City 19-20 away kit features black / yellow stripes on the left sleeve - this design, however, was not created by Puma but was taken from the famous Manchester clubbing institute The Haçienda, which was created by designer Ben Kelly. He complains that he was not consulted by Puma as they used his black and yellow stripes designs.

“All of those things came together in the Haçienda and it went mental … It’s a space that changed people’s lives. It sounds like a cliché but it’s true,” Kelly said. “There’s not a week that goes by in my life where I don’t get a phone call from someone, somewhere in the world – students, journalists, a fan, whoever – asking about the Haçienda,” he added.

However, in terms of copyright, Puma does not have to fear anything.

“Design copyright is all you have as a designer … Ultimately, I can’t copyright stripes. I would be a very rich man if I could,” Kelly said. “I’m looking at it and now I’m thinking, ‘Let’s put stripes on a ball and kick that bloody thing around,’” he joked.

Kelly says he thinks Manchester City’s decision to feature his work without his prior knowledge is “beyond appropriation”. He also believes he could have provided invaluable insight in the design of the jersey. “It could have been beautiful,” he said.

Puma declined to comment on the issue, and Manchester City’s press office told the Guardian that “Puma sought the necessary copyright to use the Haçienda in reference to the away kit”.

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