With Euro 2020 in full swing, we are finally getting to see all the coldest international football kits from across the continent on full display. The abundance of heat on show at this year’s event by a lot of the usual suspects and a few new welcome additions has got us reminiscing about some of the most unique football kits, collaborations and one-off designs of recent years. Over the last decade, vintage and contemporary football kits have become a staple streetwear piece across the world as the sport continues to grow in popularity across the US and Asia.
Capitals of culture like LA, Bangkok, Paris, Amsterdam and Roma are all beloved for both their fashion houses and football teams. That is why there are more often than not willing to experiment with riskier and more abstract designs that look so good they make us consider changing which team we support (just for a second!). Additionally, the natural tendency of brands like Patta, Nike, Klabu, Puma and Off-White to reflect the local community within which they create throughout their designs has resulted in some all-time classic football kits that look just as good on the dancefloor as they do on the pitch.
NIKE X NATIVE MAGAZINE
Nigerian based magazine The NATIVE has been a pivotal source for original reporting on youth culture, music, Afrobeats, football and skating since its inception in 2016. In a sign of solidarity, Nike partnered with The NATIVE to create a limited edition run of these crisp black and white contrasting kits that reflect the role football has played in Nigerian culture. All across the region football is synonymous with black truck tyres. Where we used jumpers they used stacked tyres for goalposts so a game can unfold at any opportunity. That is why NATIVE chose to use the white desert track markings across a black tyre-like background to pay homage to the way the game is played in their backyard.
PUMA 2020 HAVANA ‘INFLUENCE PACK’
This quirky patchwork design was made exclusively by Puma in 2020 as part of their ‘Influence Pack’ to celebrate the distinct artistic, architectural, historical and cultural aspects of the cities they represent. The entire pack imagines a new series of football teams for each respective city allowing Puma to playfully experiment with bold abstract designs without worrying about the football kit purists. This sun-kissed coral-pearl Cuba away kit embodies the energy and warmth of Havana. A particular highlight of this design is the original Cuba Taxi Cab badge that pays homage to the vintage cars synonymous with the Cuban capital.
AJAX ‘BOB MARLEY’ KIT 2021-2022
The Amsterdam based football giant Ajax has announced a third season kit that will be released in the next few months that will pay tribute to one of Amsterdam’s favourite cultural pastimes, Reggae. This instant classic is a sleek blackout design with red, yellow and green piping along the neck and shoulders. A clear nod to the Rastafari flag. Adidas has outdone themselves with this one as the addition of the three ‘X’s’ along the neck and the three little birds embroidery grounds the design in Amsterdam culture.
NR X PATTA NO.10 FOOTBALL JERSEY
This highly sought after Patta x NR kit is a revival of the classic kit worn by Diego Maradona for Naples during their 88-89 season campaign to UEFA Cup victory. NR was the original manufacturer of the Naples kit back in the 80’s meaning that the patented materials and zig-zag stitching on this shirt are the exact same as the original.
YOHJI YAMAMOTO X ADIDAS REAL MADRID 2014
This monochrome Yohji Yamamoto custom kit was designed to honour Real Madrid’s dynasty as the most successful club in European football history. The legendary Japanese designer created a striking design that features a dragon and phoenix intertwined below the club’s crest.
KAMIKAZE X UMBRO ‘MEMORIES OVER MONEY’
UK grime MC and professional footballer Kamakaze has been at the forefront of UK music since his debut album Royal Blud dropped back in 2017. He has become a cult favourite for crafting tracks like Memories, Coldeine, Time It Took and Last Night all whilst playing full time for Dagenham & Weybridge FC. In 2020, Umbro showed its support for the wicked lyricists hussle by creating a custom series of kits to celebrate the release of his most recent album Memories Over Money.
2020-2021 ITALY HOME PUMA SHIRT
This year’s Euro 2020 Italia home kit is a throwback to the luxurious prints and fabrics of the Renaissance era. Every year we think that the Italian team can’t possibly get any better dressed and then the next year they come out with this!
PUMA X KIDSUPER STUDIOS
At the tail end of 2020 Puma unveiled a head-turning collaboration with Brooklyn based artistic collective KidSuper. This collection was curated by KidSuper founder and streetwear designer Colm Dillane. The UK’s favourite football pundit double act, Poet & Vuj, unveiled the collection during an interview with KidSuper in which he highlighted the creative freedom that they were given over the entire look of the collection.
ROMA X NOWHERE FC
We are still drooling over this crisp acid wash style kit forged as the brainchild of Roma and the New York based football collective, Nowhere FC. What began as a friendly 5 a side league in downtown Manhattan in 2010, quickly became a pillar of the community as makeshift teams from all over the city began making their own DIY football kits and playing each other at every free moment. To honour the integral role that the collective played in the predominantly Italian area of the city, Roma brought the group in on a unique opportunity to craft an original kit. They did not disappoint.
KLABU X PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
Klabu is an international charity that creates limited-edition football kits in order to fund sports facilities and community centres in refugee camps across the world. At the start of this year, Klabu announced a landmark partnership with PSG as part of their ‘Defiant Spirit’ collection.
NIKE X OFF-WHITE WORLD CUP COLLECTION 2018
This kit has become somewhat of a folktale with collectors hiding it away in their resale archive knowing full well that the value of this kit will continue to skyrocket. Created by a tag-team partnership of Virgil Abloh and Kim Jones, the capsule collection was crafted in anticipation of the 2018 Russia World Cup. The black and white checkerboard style drew inspiration from the Croatia national kit whilst the orange typography fuses Virgil’s love of Premier League kits with the colour of the Dutch national side.