Browse all

The balance between archive and modernity on adidas jerseys

Two big trends have characterised the three-stripe jerseys this season

The balance between archive and modernity on adidas jerseys  Two big trends have characterised the three-stripe jerseys this season

Although in the past year adidas has been heavily involved in collaborations with fashion brands, from Prada to Gucci to Wales Bonner, which have elevated the Herzogenaurach company to newfound relevance in the lifestyle world, it has certainly not forgotten the soccer field. Indeed to date it is one of the brands to have already revealed a significant number of jerseys for the coming season, thus granting us a comprehensive look at its work. In particular in the German brand's work for its top teams, two major trends can be detected that will characterize the jerseys in the 2022/23 season and that somehow link the very deep archive of the three stripes with high fashion's contacts. 

The first recognizable element in the jerseys made by adidas is the presence of the collar, a welcome return on the uniforms of Real Madrid, Arsenal, and especially Manchester United. The button-down collar, to be raised like an aileron, has always been a key detail in the aesthetics of the Red Devils, and adidas after too many years of absence has decided to bring it back, riding on the interest in vintage and archival. It's a trend shared with the Gucci and Wales Bonner collaborations, which have revived 1970s cuts and pieces when adidas was creating some of its most iconic items. It is no coincidence that in the Manchester United home jersey is crossed with a light pinstripe reminiscent of the clothes of that decade, while the away jersey is in total white with the edges decorated with a retro motif that we also find in the second Ajax jersey.

Similarly, the home outfits for Real and Arsenal follow the same style, with an extremely clean and classic design that enhances the clubs' 100-year history, including the polo collar that immediately guarantees an innate elegance. A choice picked also for Bayern Munich, which will play next year on a first jersey in the traditional red crossed horizontally with white stripes and with a second also white with gold detailing. In general, as we had written a few months ago, the use of the collar in kits brings them closer to the lifestyle world rather than the world of sports performance, in a dichotomy that in recent years is running through football jersey design.

And while adidas for some of its top clubs has relied on the vintage trend, for others it has tried to introduce new designs that can mediate between this fascination with heritage and the inevitable push toward modernity. Take, for example, the home and away kits made for Juventus, where the classic Bianconeri stripes have been reinterpreted through a geometric pattern that is somewhat reminiscent of the one used last year by rivals Inter. The second trend that adidas has relied on to make the jerseys for next season is precisely this use of intricate all-over geometrics and tone-on-tone coloring, thus balancing the dynamism of the shapes with less conspicuous hues. A gimmick used especially in the away jerseys presented to date, such as those for Real Madrid, Arsenal and Juventus, demonstrating how the Three Stripes have used templates that are similar in intention but then different in realization by avoiding fossilizing on a single template.