XWHY STYLE: Always look at the bright side of life

As usual Nike continue to keep things fresh as we move into the Autumn months with their latest colourful kits and boots. Using vibrant colours  Nike Football launches a new collection of boots and third kits designed for some of Europe’s leading clubs.

Martin Lotti, Nike’s Creative Director for Global Football provided some insight into how his design team approached the development of these kits and how they use color to make a bold statement on pitch.

 

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What was your inspiration for these new third kits? 

I wanted to create a design that drenched the players from head to toe in color. I remember being inspired by an art exhibition on London’s South Bank where a room was flooded with these neon lights to create an immersive sensation, and knew, in these kits, the shirt, shorts and socks all had to be the same color.

What do you believe is the impact of these third kits? 

I love these kits because they are unexpected and refreshing. They are also both simple and intriguing. The best ideas can be the simplest ones. I like the term “complex simplicity,” which works with these kits. They look simple from a distance, but the closer you get, the more complex they become. I can’t wait to see them on the pitch.

How will players benefit from such colorful kits? 

We hear from our players that brighter colors make them feel faster and empower them. There is a very real psychological aspect to these colors. The two-tone aspect of the front and back also has a role — the idea of an opponent seeing one color in front of them, but when they are beaten they will see a different color on the back of the shirt. I hope it will inspire players to leave their opponents in the dust.

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Do you consider the fans as well in the design? 

Of course, and we believe the brightness of these kits will trigger a visceral reaction in fans, and inspire even more pride in their team.  We also want to give them a different experience at night. These kits will be worn in the evening, under the floodlights, and we wanted to cerate a more dramatic feel for the players and fans in the stadium and at home.

How do these kits reflect the modern game? 

I believe the intensity of the colors mirrors the intensity of the game now. The game is getting quicker and these kits are designed to highlight the players’ speed.

Do you have more freedom when designing third kits? 

With home kits you have to respect tradition, and to some extent that goes for away kits too. But with third kits you can be a lot more adventurous. This is where you can produce some new and different excitement and energy. It is a blank canvas to create a new story, challenge people and spark some dialogue and debate. We enjoy surprising fans and players.

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What are the leading principles in kit design? 

There are four elements we focus on.  Performance always leads, and we first and foremost look at how we can elevate the athlete.  Second, is the style, how it looks and fits.  Next is the soul, looking for the soulful details that inspire and speak to the player and fan. And fourth, we look at the entire design through the lens of sustainability in our materials and manufacturing choices.

How do you find the inspiration for your kits? 

It is so important to connect with the actual clubs and know everything we can. We travel a lot and visit the clubs to meet with a broad range of people. We speak to die-hard fans, journalists, writers, former players, current players, youth players, the chairman, the manager, and of course, the kit man is crucial.

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