STYLE AND CULTURE
7 BEST FOOTBALL KITS OF THE 2019/20 SEASON
By Ashley Birch and Matt Glazebrook and Steven Potter, 9 August 2019
Tottenham Hotspur away
There are a lot of little details to like in Tottenham's away uniform: the grown-up all-navy colour scheme, the classic cockerel badge, the little 'SPURS' motif on the socks. But the most intriguing design flourish in the Nike getup is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it patch of purple-and-navy gradient checkerboard on the chest.
Giorgio Armani SS20
It's that sophisticated bit of patterning that takes the Spurs change strip on a quick city break from Haringey to Milan. Giorgio Armani's SS20 collection brought a similarly refined palette of navy, blue-green and grey across relaxed tailoring and smart-casual staples, but broke up the understated approach with surprising geometric flourishes. Like a Mauricio Pochettini corner routine in fashion form. MG.
For most other teams, last season’s performance by the Blues would have been great. A satisfying Europa League win against Arsenal, a third-place finish in the league and a certified Champions League spot. In real terms, it resulted in an air of general dissatisfaction and yet another sacked manager. With that bridge burned, Chelsea look to 2019/20 wearing another one on their chest – Stamford Bridge, the stadium's girders and roof-panels interpolated into an abstract take on their traditional colour scheme. Will it inspire the players to raise the roof this season?
Although Chelsea’s royal-blue hue was replaced a punchy purple, the details in Chinese label Sankuanz’s SS20 show are unmistakably similar. With the matching design plastered over western-style jackets and shirts (big news for next summer), we’re hoping that the messy, erratic graphics are just a shared striving for something new and refreshing, not a metaphor for another of Chelsea’s rocky mid-season patches. SP
Manchester United away
Ahh, Manchester United... The 2019/20 season promised so much a few months ago when Ole Gunnar Solskjær took hold of the managerial reins on a permanent basis having won 14 of his first 19 matches as caretaker coach. However, after losing six of the next 10 – yikes – and an underwhelming summer transfer market, all things considered, the skies above Old Trafford are still very much grey.
CMMN SWDN SS20
Well, at least the Red Devils' adidas kits are something for fans to feel proud of. Opting for a very steezy beige colour palette and featuring a subtle texture that was apparently inspired by mosaics throughout the Manchester streets – but, to us, looks more like the animal prints that took centre stage at CMMN SWDN's SS20 showing in Paris – United's away shirt really is no joke. Unlike the team's midfield, sans Paul Pogba. AB.
Leicester City away
What could be more 80s than the classic adidas red, yellow and black zig-zag shirt that West Germany wore to the semi-finals of the 1988 European Championships (and, then, two years later, all the way to World Cup glory)? How about that same zig-zag pattern on a pastel pink, Miami Vice-vibes number, as delightfully demonstrated by Leicester City's new away kit.
Olivier Rousteing's SS20 show for Balmain was full of more-is-more 80s futurism – think silver space-suits, mirror-ball sweatshirts and PVC trenches – but delivered some strong era-appropriate casual cuts, too. This pink graphic tee would look perfect paired with stonewash denim at a South Beach roller disco – or, indeed, some Leicester City shorts and socks at the King Power. MG.
Crystal Palace away
With a middle-of-the-pack finish last season, Gary Cahill joining and the ongoing Zaha saga still not wrapped up, it’s been a bit of a ‘meh’ summer for Crystal Palace. Luckily, the team’s new away kit could be one of the most interesting yet. A slick black finish coupled with the home strip's distinctive colourway on trim details and a psychedelic central strip, it sits on the eye-catching-but-still-tasteful side of things, for sure.
Dries Van Noten SS20
SS19 was probably a halcyon moment for adding flashes of bold colour to your look. One designer taking that spirit through to SS20 is Dries Van Noten. Clashing prints, mind-bending patterns, and sublimated designs awash with highlighter hues resulted in an ultra-busy, 'bright lights big city' kinda vibe. Will Palace be as dynamic as their shared stylistic inspirations come the weekend, and will Zaha be there? We’ll let you answer that one. SP.
Burnley have had a wild time, haven’t they? Landing a seventh-place finish the season before last; qualifying for the Europa League; a plummet to 15th place; and an unlikely turn to Peter Crouch as a mid-season saviour. The Crouchy signing is the sort of blue-sky-thinking that the Lancashire team have manifested with this super-clean, slightly tonal away strip. A not-so-subtle reminder of where your headspace needs to be to tackle the dizzying highs and crippling lows of the Premier League.
Fashion East (Robyn Lynch) SS20
Fashion East, the collective organisation that, each season, gives three menswear and womenswear designers the chance to showcase their creations, also got in on the blue-sky act. The above tonal AF look from Robyn Lynch gives more clout to the Clarets' away-strip tekkers. Come on you blues! And you slightly lighter blues. And slightly darker blues. And deep-almost-purply-blues. And... SP.
Manchester City away
Manchester football (and Manchester in general) may be more continental coffee bar than grimy warehouse rave these days, but one little corner of the north west remains very much 'mad fer it' – Man City's away shirt. The Puma top pays explicit homage to the pop-art-industrial colour scheme of the legendary Hacienda nightclub, with yellow-and-black warning stripes, neon details and a general air of 3am, 150BPM debauchery.
Acid house and rave styles have returned to the catwalk in a big way in recent years. Les Hommes, Liam Hodges and MSGM all picked up the glow stick and ran with it for SS20, having it large in tie-dye tees, baggy windbreakers and bucket hats. But it was Iceberg's London show that brought the waviest, raviest garms – rainbow brights, neon trackies, cartoony graphics – and provides the most fitting accompaniment to City’s Madchester moment. MG.