Kits Stories is a series in which we tell the uniques stories of individuals through the kits that have made an impact on their lives. This first installment of Kit Sotires features Ben Chi, the Manager of Brand and Community for LAFC, founder of the dope soccer lifestyle brand FC Dorsum and member of the KTTP family. Ben help KTTP get off the ground and was integral in the vision of KTTP coming to life. Through the story of his kits we got to know more about where his passion for kits started and how he turned his passion for the beautiful game into a career.
With the World Cup hangover in full effect, this week’s excitement from the world of kits may just be what the doctor ordered. With so much going on though, it might be too easy to lose track of all that was this week in kits. Luckily, KTTP is here to provide some clarity on exactly what kits we should prescribe ourselves as well as those we might survive without.
Without further ado, let the recap begin.
On top of their mega signing, Juventus held on to the headlines this week with their solid third kit option for the upcoming season. Though adidas is taking a page from Nike this year by essentially using the same template for all third kits, this template is stylish and modern enough for me to get over this fact. Add to it Juventus’ now all too common Scudetto and Coppa Italia badge, as well as Ronaldo’s number 7 and you, might easily have one the best selling jerseys to come out of this summer.
Next in the recap is Manchester United. Though not the best United kit I have ever laid eyes on, I like the fact that adidas designers are at least trying out something new in light of the fairly safe and conservative designs we’ve seen since the adidas takeover. This number pays homage to United’s railway heritage with a clever train track graphic that runs from the bottom to the top of the jersey. The overall design might not be new when it comes to the world of soccer as a whole, but that might just be where the appeal of this jersey is as it offers something new yet still familiar.
From not trying to reinvent the wheel, we move on to a team that is really going in a whole new direction. The new Bayern Munich away kit is what I like to call the mint chocolate chip look. I don’t use this description as a wholly derogatory term as I really do appreciate the color Bayern has brought on. I simply just think this kit is just far too simple and just needs a little something more to be truly icy, fresh, or whatever other word you want to use.
Championship side Blackburn Rovers has also decided to switch up the color palette. In this case, the team does it for its home kit and the decision proves to be absolutely brilliant. The new touch of sky blue which now stands in place of the typical royal blue offering adds a greater touch of class that complements the club’s badge and retro Umbro diamond sleeves to perfection. This is one kit I call H2T good. Props to anyone who gets that reference.
As we move on, the English Championship keeps my attention as Hull City is another club doing great things. In contrast to Blackburn, Hull sticks with a familiar away look with this black jersey with orange accents. Surely, it is a simple design, however, that collar and the way this color palette accentuates the club badge is enough for me to be wooed by this kit.
Speaking of simple, it might not get any more simple than Chelsea’s new away jersey for this season. This, however, is not necessarily a bad thing because as much as I wanted to hate Chelsea’s jersey, I find myself really loving this design. Its definitely just another template look, however, the jersey’s yellow color with hints of blue are just too damn sharp and classic to overlook.
Even though this was a recap rather than a countdown of this week’s kits, I can’t help but end on the highest of notes. For that reason, I end this recap with Mexico’s Pumas who are the only team to lend not one, but two solid kit options. The range demonstrated in these kits is what really wins me over. On one hand, I have the home shirt which is everything I want and expect with that giant Puma logo, and on the other is the away shirt which relegates the Puma to your typical club badge with a classic pinstripe soccer look to go with it.
Though I am not making any decisions for now on which ones to buy, some of the kits I have covered this week have certainly made a compelling argument. Share your thoughts in the comments below on which kits you think will hold up to be some of this summer’s most memorable.
With most of our attention in the next few weeks shifting to the World Cup, some of the biggest clubs are adamant that we don’t forget about them. This past week provided us with a bevy of kit releases so it is only natural that I feel the need to share my thoughts on some of the hits and misses, which I might either pick up or pass up in the hopes of one day being able to say “I got kits for days.”
I’ve started the recap off with one of the strongest showings of the week courtesy of Manchester United. The color choice from adidas is one of the best they’ve put out since taking over from Nike. The shades of blue are the perfect touch of modern for a jersey that is ironically historically inspired by United’s 1968 European Cup victory. The biggest win for this jersey specifically, however, is how more palatable it has made the usually off-putting Chevrolet sponsor logo.
From a strong showing, we move on to a release that leaves us wanting a little more. In typical fashion, Manchester City is afraid to rock its boat when it comes to its home kit. Its jersey is essentially another simple design with only one feature working for it. That is, of course, the button collar previously seen on the France home jersey which adds just a nice touch of class to an otherwise less than unique design.
Roma has been as conservative as Manchester City with its home look. This year, however, seems to be the exception as Roma present a chainmail print jersey inspired by Roman gladiators. This is a look I can definitely vibe with considering it makes me think of one of my favorite movies. That being said, this alone is not enough to sell me on the design. Funnily enough, I wish Roma had won some competition this year such as the Coppa Italia or the league, as an additional badge or some sort of additional sleeve detail would make this shirt slightly more interesting.
Chelsea’s jersey is another design that I consider a step in the right direction despite the fact that it does not completely win me over. While I like Nike’s modern touch on a classic soccer look through its unique take on the jersey’s red and white horizontal stripes, I still keep thinking the best accent color for a Chelsea jersey should always be gold. Those who remember Chelsea’s 2005 Umbro design or even its 2008 adidas home jersey will know exactly what I am talking about.
PSG is a team I have come to hold high expectations. Their new home jersey, however, is not as innovative as I would have hoped as PSG has merely integrated the sleeve detail of Nike’s Vapor template into the central band of its signature and traditional look. Do not get me wrong though, as I still consider this a solid look. Recent years have taught me to hold on to my money until I have seen all PSG has to offer as either the team’s away or more likely third jersey will be sure to blow me away.
It is only right that I finish off this recap with one of the best reveals of this week. This honor goes to Bayern Munich who presented a design that continues with the retro aesthetic we have already seen from adidas. In this design, what needs to be stressed is the fact that Bayern has not recycled some old design, but instead presents a print that is uniquely theirs through an abstract take on the diamonds of the Bavarian flag and the M’s of Bayern’s well known “Mia San Mia” phrase. Just short of perfect, this jersey lacks simply a navy collar which might have provided a better balance for the navy sleeve cuffs.
Yes, I am critical even of the best designs. You probably are too so make sure to comment below and share your own thoughts on the jerseys presented this past week that you’ll be looking to add to your own collection.
As most major leagues across the planet wind down, brands/teams are quick to get the jump on next years kit releases. Man United, City, Bayern, Roma, PSG and others have already unveiled some of their 18/19 offerings with many more sure to follow suit. From jerseys to boots, soccers biggest keep it moving in time for the World Cup as Nike drop the “Just Do It” collection and New Balance release the pristine “Otruska Pack”. Elsewhere Waka Flocka hangs out with Edgar Davids for an Atlanta United match and Sergio Ramos flexes his Off White Vapormax’s.
We’re all used to it by now. We’ve seen it a countless number of times from the Swedish giant Zlatan Ibrahimovic dominating the soccer pitch week in, week out. What makes him so great is not solely because of the number of goals he’s scored, nor because he’s won league titles in every league he has played in with the exception of the EPL. He is recognized as a one of a kind because of the manner in which he has done everything from day one of his career. He is probably one of the few players – minus Messi, Ronaldo, and Neymar – to have so many goals that are just jaw-dropping. He’s done it so many times that you expect nothing less from him, but still, when they happen again, it never ceases to amaze you. With all that said, did you know that behind his worldly talent in soccer, Zlatan earned a black-belt in taekwondo as a 17-year-old in his hometown of Malmö? And to further his credibility, he’s even received an honorary black-belt from the Italian national taekwondo team in 2010. Putting the two pieces together, I think it’s safe to assume that his outrageous acrobatic goals can be credited to his background in the ancient Korean martial art.
This week’s Scouting Report will cover the latest “Taekwondo FC” tee collection by Nivelcrack, one of our favorite soccer streetwear brands from Korea, recognizing the taekwondo-soccer master himself: Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Overall Design: This isn’t the first time Nivelcrack has released a “Taekwondo FC” tee. Their first release was based on the time when Diego Maradona faced Korea at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, and the Koreans used their taekwondo skills to stop him from his domination. This new collection takes the same approach and illustrates Zlatan doing a jumping taekwondo kick on the soccer field during his time at Manchester. The collection comes in two colorways of blue and red. The meat of the design is on the back of the shirt, while the front of the shirt simply reads “Taekwondo Futbol Club.” Overall I think the design is cool and the colorways are dope.
Functionality: I own these myself and can safely say that they’re of great quality. You don’t have to worry about them fading away like some of the 100% cotton tees out there.
Wearability: It was a perfect time for Nivelcrack to release this collection as for the past couple weeks Zlatan has been grabbing all headlines in soccer through his move to the MLS with LA Galaxy. His debut goals to snatch a comeback win in their first ever LA derby against LAFC brought more spotlight his way, and he’s also been making some appearances on very popular shows like Jimmy Kimmel Live. Summer is upon us here in LA, and it’s only going to get hotter. It’s perfect to match the heat with this refreshing design of a T-shirt. The pieces will definitely turn heads if you wear it to an LA Galaxy home match or anywhere in LA where Zlatan has been the focus of the city for that matter!
Details: Without the number of details on the design, it would be difficult to tell which player the T-shirt is recognizing as the main drawing can easily be seen as just an outline of a person. However, Nivelcrack has done a good job of maintaining some key features of Zlatan so that any true fan will be able to immediately point out that it’s the lion himself.
Technology and Innovation: Not much innovation here in terms of design as it is a traced sketch of an actual photo, and also the fact that its a continuous release of the “Taekwondo FC” tee collection, but the overall concept of these are great and fresh.
You can now purchase the Taekwondo FC tee collection by Nivelcrack from RBC.