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What inspired 1995 Italy's football jersey?

A Nike designer, Drake Ramberg, told everything on his Instagram profile

What inspired 1995 Italy's football jersey? A Nike designer, Drake Ramberg, told everything on his Instagram profile

The 90s were years of smashing shirts, original lines or bold structures, in which designers were allowed to push the boundaries of the ordinary, focusing on creative inspirations coming from the past and even being extremely radical. For each project they worked on a precise model, and it was unthinkable that the same was 'recycled' then for other teams as actually happens. Among the most iconic kits there is certainly the one worn by Italy during the brief period of the Italian national team with Nike: the greatest inspiration was that of the pavers of streets and sidewalks, rustic and at the same time geometric, and the effect that was chosen to give at the pattern was a contrast of shiny and matte.

On the front of the shirt, an old Italian Republic badge was revisited re-modelling the Italian flag in the background accompanied by three stars, indicating the three World Cups won by the Azzurri in 1934, 1938 and 1982. 

If attentive one will also notice the other massive details: the big white collar, the end of the sleeves in the colours of the Italian flag and above all the absence of the tick, which did not appear in its regular current position (in the left side of the chest) but only in the centre of the large central badge, almost hidden in the serigraphy.

To reveal ideas and secrets of the creative process of this old jersey was the historic graphic designer of Nike, Drake Ramberg, through an Instagram post. Ramberg, author of many famous kits of the 90s (not only those of Italy, but also those of Nigeria, Arsenal, Paris Saint-Germain, Borussia Dortmund and PSV Eindhoven) also known for being the creator of the Flight and Premiere logos, from 1990 to 1996 left Portland and for a long period lived in Europe as he was 'on a mission'.

As said in an interview with Classic Football Shirts, Ramberg explains how it was really necessary to 'immerse' himself in the history and culture of a team or an entire country to create the perfect jersey. And even in the case of Italy, for him who was used to watching Timbers on TV and knew almost nothing about European traditions, it was necessary a deep research thorough stadiums, monuments, locker rooms and fan's dens. The goal? Making the players proud to wear that shirt, so full of identity calls.

During one of these was born the inspiration to design the shirt of Italy, which the Azzurri wore across the 1995, after having concluded the partnership with Diadora. After the USA '94 World Cup, Italy in fact relied on the US brand to face the Euro 1996 qualifying matches: it was the National team of Maldini, Zola, Ravanelli, Dino and Roberto Baggio and of a young Alessandro Del Piero, and Arrigo Sacchi still on the bench.