Oct 26, 2020
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Adidas links with Pharrell Williams to "reimagine" football jerseys for five top European clubs

Oct 26, 2020

Adidas has teamed up with its long-term collaborator Pharrell Williams’ Humanface line to launch a new football jersey collection with five leading European clubs: Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United, and Real Madrid.

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang wears the new kit alongside former club striker Ian Wright

The collection, which was officially launched over the weekend, takes its design inspiration “from the collective memories and significant moments in the world’s top football clubs… with their legacies serving as the foundations of the design process”, says Adidas.

Williams, the Humanrace creative director, said each jersey is unified by the hand-painted aesthetic central to his chosen process with the shirts redesigned in a traditional artistic format: “These moments were reimagined to reflect today’s football culture through the lens of the Humanrace design ethos; inspired by and in celebration of the imperfect beauty of the human spirit”.

For the Arsenal shirt, Williams explored the Adidas archives to select one of the most recognised kits from the London club’s history, the ‘bruised banana’ jersey from the 1991-3 seasons, giving it a hand-painted, paint-bleed effect update.

With the FC Bayern Munich shirt, he took inspiration from the red home shirt worn from 1991-93 to reinvent the jersey for a new generation of fans. The kit has been re-imagined by hand using thick acrylic paint.

For Juventus’ jersey, the designer chose a pink shirt from the 2015-16 season -- the first season of its Adidas partnership. The bold and vivid colour blurred the lines between sport and style and became an icon of modern football culture.

Williams remixed the Manchester United jersey from the club’s snowflake blue and white print – first seen on the 1990-92 away kit. It was a design born out of the city’s famous house music scene of the late 80s.

The new Real Madrid jersey was born from Yohji Yamamoto’s – a friend and collaborator of Pharrell – dragon design of the 2014-15 season. The original artwork saw a king’s dragon -- a mythical creature symbolising glory, honour, greatness, and speed -- and a bird print, against monochromatic black.

The launch comes at a tough time for professional football clubs and their supporters with all games in Europe continuing to be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic. This will be seen as another way to add interest for match day television viewers.

Meanwhile, this season, English clubs have also been experimenting with different colourways and patterns on their second and third kits, with mixed reviews from supporters.

It remains to be seen how this new initiative will be viewed and if it will translate into customer sales.

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