Browse all

It's the year of iridescent kits

From the new concept of logos to the influence of virtual concept kits

It's the year of iridescent kits From the new concept of logos to the influence of virtual concept kits

If last year football jerseys followed the path of architecture, in the season that has just begun, iridescent jerseys are establishing themselves as the most innovative trend among the designs proposed by sports brands. Iridescence is an optical property of some surfaces which, when illuminated, take on a range of different shades based on the angle of observation. Despite the first attempts from 2016 onwards by PSG, Tottenham and Juventus, the Manchester City away kit from PUMA, the Barcelona away kit and the pride kit from Nordsjaelland, the three stripes of the Juventus away shirt, the self-produced third jersey of St. Pauli and the special edition of SK Brann are some of the current examples of this new wave of jersey that exploit the effect of iridescence.


Although the archives are regaining ground in the contemporary football scene - just think of how many teams have chosen to use versions of retro logos - the iridescent trend on the new jerseys gives new life to a sector that thrives on constant stimuli and continuous external influences. Among the possible explanations behind the growth of the trend are the growing influence of virtual concept kits and that of videogames, increasingly at the center of the studies of designers who make club kits. What might have seemed complex no more than five years ago is now not only a reality but is paying dividends beyond the most optimistic estimates. As Phil Delves of Football Shirt Collective also remembers: "Over the years we have seen a number of iridescent concept kits, but now the imagination and dreams of designers are making their way onto real football jerseys".

This new trend is the clearest evidence of a reversal of perspective, with kits appearing to have become more important for digital and virtual visions such as those offered by TV and video games rather than for the field format. What is advancing more and more in the world of football is the aesthetics of the virtual and the fascination of everything that recalls the digital and that seems to be apparently illusory.

The trend of the 2021-22 season was planned by the designers at least a couple of years ago, when the iridescent effect was one of the most frequent on the catwalk. The 2018 and 2019 winter / fall collections and shows are full of examples of how fashion anticipates influences and trends that then enter the aesthetic world of football. From Balmain to Giorgio Armani, from Maison Margiela to Arthur Arbesser, up to the first Louis Vuitton show signed by Virgil Abloh with all the bags that follow the iridescent effect. Almost transversal to all these references, there are the items of Digi-couture, with The Fabricant which is among the main brands in the production of garments that follow what it is today is one of the main influences in football.

The use of the iridescent effect is very diversified at the moment: Juventus uses it only on the adidas stripes, Barça and St. Pauli have twisted their logo to give more character to the shirts, City has also involved the sponsor "Etihad Airways" in this transformation. Different variations, the same effect: a stylistically futuristic shirt that can represent the link between different generations and take advantage of the increasingly dominant hook of streetwear in football.


All brands are following this trend, with Nike that more than others is riding the wave by having the opportunity to experiment on teams that are not at the top of the range. The semi-unknowns of SK Brann - the Norwegian Elite team - have led the way with one of the most revolutionary kits of recent years: a total black kit with iridescent logos and details, officially "inspired by the spotlights of the stadium". A shirt, the one launched by Nike on May 7 - which was the omen and anticipation of what has become the trend of the summer kit.