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Belonging issue two, Genoa

Discovering the relationship between teams and cities through Kappa jerseys

Belonging issue two, Genoa Discovering the relationship between teams and cities through Kappa jerseys

Football in Italy is much more than a sport, it is an essential element of a city's life. It marks the rhythm with which days pass, loves are separated from sorrows and celebrations and disappointments overlap, all of which are faced while wearing the jersey of one's favourite team. Over the years, jerseys have gone from being uniforms used to distinguish players to being a visceral symbol of belonging to a community, no longer confined to the usual ninety minutes of play but present in every aspect of daily life. A feeling that Kappa wanted to celebrate in the jerseys made for the 2021/22 season

Like Venezia FC, the club featured in the first chapter of Belonging, Genoa is also experiencing a period of rebirth thanks to 777 Partners, the new owner who replaced Enrico Preziosi a few months ago and already has big plans for the future. During the first press conference in fact the presidency has been very clear, and despite the current situation, it intends to bring the oldest club in Italy in the left side of the standings to win the Scudetto that the Rossoblu lack to get the star.

And in a season that is complex from every point of view, full of changes and internal revolutions, Kappa has managed to create three fascinating and creative jerseys, a perfect synthesis of tradition and innovation. The red and blue jerseys were designed and produced according to the slogan "our jersey, our home", and the presentation followed the same concept, being filmed in the heart of the city, among the carruggi, the houses and the little squares of the old town. Michele Bitossi, singer-songwriter, Genoa fan and protagonist of the second chapter of Belonging, was very pleased with this choice. He confirmed that "there is a lot to be said about how the approach to jersey production by football clubs has changed over the years, together with the technical sponsors they rely on. In the case of Genoa, my team has never had to deal with any crazy changes and has always had the legendary rossoblu quarter-length jersey in front of it. Of course, if I had to say whether I prefer the current jerseys to those of the past, I would have no doubts, but it is fair to point out that Kappa is doing a very interesting job, managing to balance both the aspect more linked to tradition and innovation."

These are important aspects for Michele, who wants to underline them, for him who wasn't born in Genoa but who loves and supports these colours, Sunday after Sunday, beyond the usual 90 minutes of play. And in a city famous for being divided into two factions, we asked the singer-songwriter where his immeasurable love for the Rossoblu colours comes from, which he also has tattooed on his skin: "I've never had any doubts, my father was a great fan, he took me to the North Stand for the first time in 1979 when I was four years old. I don't remember what game it was but I remember perfectly what I felt in the midst of that bedlam of chants, drums, flags, scarves and smoke. In a chorus of those that we do when Genoa play, we sing "this is a disease that will never go away". Well, I think this phrase encapsulates exactly what the "Genoan people" are, to use a definition of an unforgettable character for us, Professor Franco Scoglio."

Two colours from which it is impossible to be separated, you can understand it from his words while he talks to us about Genoa and the historical quarter jersey, but also from his gestures and movements. Genoa (city) and Genoa are something much more than a simple team or a normal football club, they are something indispensable for Michele, something that is really difficult to do without, despite all the sporting difficulties that one encounters in a single season. On the other hand, it is impossible not to consider this club something special because of its more than one hundred years of history, which earned it both the honour received in 2011 when Genoa was included in the International Bureau of Cultural Capitals (a sort of historical sports heritage of humanity, comparable to UNESCO) and the introduction in the "Club of Pioneers", the association that groups the oldest football clubs in the world.

The link between the shirt and the city has remained strong, even in the work of Kappa, who have skilfully created a perfect mix, in step with the times but remaining faithful to the centuries-old tradition of these colours. Michele Bitossi was also impressed by the work, as he took us for a photo session in the heart of his city: "The synergy between Genoa and Kappa is bearing excellent fruit, because in my opinion there is a clear desire to give free rein to creativity, bearing in mind the history of a glorious and important club like ours and the history of Genoa itself, of which we are the team." 
In fact, the designers of the Italian brand wanted to insert a map of the historic centre of Genoa, the largest in the world, on the front of the first and classic quarter-length shirt, drawn tone on tone. Beyond the tradition and historicity of the first jersey, for the past three years Genoa with Kappa has taken a very particular path, dedicating every season at least one jersey to the most recognizable symbols of the Maritime Republic. In 2019 there was the first one with the Cross of San Giorgio, in the previous season the gold and blue jersey was an explicit reference to the chromatic contrasts of Liguria, a region characterised by the sea, the sun and the gold of its buildings. This year, however, the dedication is even more special, as Kappa has linked the third jersey to the city's symbol, the Lanterna. A totally grey jersey inspired by the colour of the stones used to build the Lanterna, accompanied on the left side by a vertical band in a darker shade, with a design that stylises the slits on the facade and the fortifications that house the museum. It's an attention to the city's most recognisable landmarks that the fans have appreciated, happy to see shirts that celebrate their identity rather than fluorescent colours that are far removed from the team's aesthetic. Something confirmed by Michele before leaving us, still wearing the grey jersey, "this year's one, for me, is a small masterpiece and I'm really happy to have been chosen as testimonial wearing it."

Photographer: Eleonora D’Angelo
Stylist: Francesco Tizzano
Photographer Assistant: Danilo Cautero
Editorial Coordinator: Elisa Ambrosetti
Art Director: Alessandro Bigi / nss factory
Talent: Michele Bitossi
Production: nss factory