Q&A with Meyba

Remember Meyba? If you are anything like me, you will remember the iconic shots of Maradonna or a young Pep Guardiola proudly sporting their kit with Meyba plastered across the front. The brand is so much more than football heritage however. We caught up with Neal Heard, Creative Director at Meyba, for the full lowdown.

Hi, cheers for taking time to have a chat, how are you today?

I’m a little stressed from a busy work with stacks on but it’s 3.15 on a Friday and off to the Newport County derby with Bristol Rovers tomorrow so there are silver linings.

For those who may not know, please can you give us a brief backstory into Meyba, from past to present day?

Well, those of a certain age, will remember from back in the day, the odd ‘M’ logo we suddenly saw bedecking players such as Mark Hughes, Gary Lineker and Steve Archibald during the time when overseas football was rare and exotic. It turns out that the M was for Meyba, rather fittingly for a brand which kitted out Barca for no less than 10 years, Meyba were born in the Catalan city as a swimwear brand in the 1940’s. They went on to make the kit for other teams like Atletico, Espanyol and Betis too. After Barca wore the brand (With a youthful Guardiola bedecked in the iconic shirt) to their first European cup in 1992, sadly the brand couldn’t keep up with the big boys. But they’re back now.

Where do you draw inspiration for the brand?

It’s a semi tricky one, as when a brand comes with such heritage, when Cruyff wore it, Maradona wore it, it means you have to be respectful. But though we are justly proud of our past, I believe you have to look to the future and embrace it, build new memories from strong foundations. So, though we cater for those who knew the brand from its glory days with a retro section we also look to the young and new to the brand. First and foremost, we are a football teamwear brand, so our inspo comes from football both on and off the pitch.

Meyba relaunched a few years ago, why was the moment right do you think?

I guess it was a perfect moment, retro and heritage had never been bigger but also the world of football is changing, the link between fashion, streetwear and actual kit has never been stronger so we deliberately set out to make us the coolest football teamwear brand out there.

As well as fashion, this blog is all about music and football – do you have much interest in either?

Well, I cut my teeth on the terraces of 80’s Britain, with the birth of the casual movement being my stomping ground so I am soaked in both tbh. I am also the author of the first book on Trainers, which came out in 2003 and also of football shirts, which came out in 2016. I have also been in fashion, with a bent for terrace influence since 1995 so you can see I obviously love football and fashion, music of course, but tbh I don’t like being pigeon holed into I’m into football so I must like Oasis etc, the Smiths and Neil Young are more my scene as well as Dub Reggae.

What’s the best, and worst, thing about working for a mainstream label like Meyba?

The best is kind of I guess, what’s not to like, like lots of us, I’ve long loved this scene from afar and now I’m actually in it, driving it and influencing, it is the hardest since I’ve been my own boss for so long, it’s harder to see how kinda slow a dept moves, as you can’t do it all.

What advice can you give to any youngsters wanting to forge a career in menswear?

Stick to what you love, follow your heart and it shines through.

What are Meyba’s plans for the future?

To be the coolest football teamwear brand out there.

Describe Meyba in only 3 words…

Past, Future, Present

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