Like Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid before them, AC Milan are the latest major European football club to partner up with a fashion brand to produce a new, limited edition kit.
Milan have collaborated with Italian technical streetwear designers NemeN to create a new collection that includes both a jacket and a tracksuit as well as the Serie A club’s fourth alternate jersey for the 2021-22 season.
As well as boasting a radical take on the club’s iconic red-and-black stripes, the AC Milan x NemeN authentic jersey is made using a stretchy “ultraweave” material which, so claims manufacturer Puma, makes it the “lightest performance jersey” ever made.
“Being presented with the opportunity to design this special collaborative Fourth kit, and a premium capsule alongside was a dream opportunity,” said Leonardo Fasolo, founder of NemeN and a lifelong Milan supporter. “We gave the classic stripes a discharged twist.”
It’s certainly an eye-catching design that is almost certain to split opinion among fans. The kit is predominantly white (including the shorts and socks) with the famous Rossoneri stripes confined to a frayed band that runs around the chest.
In practice, the design gives the effect of a player who did not pay attention to a “Wet Paint” sign before leaning against a bright white wall to shield themselves from a snowstorm.
The NemeN kit was first worn by the Milan women in their 3-0 win over Empoli on Sunday, with the men’s team following suit against Bologna at the San Siro on Monday.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) April 3, 2022
Milan’s kit is just the latest in a line of off-kilter kits that have been rolled out by Serie A’s top clubs this season, with the likes of Juventus and Inter Milan also dabbling in some weird and wonderful design choices for their kits for the 2021-22 campaign.
Juve raised more than a few eyebrows when their third kit for 2021-22 first dropped back in mid-August as the Bianconeri proudly foisted their hideous, angular yellow-and-blue design upon an unsuspecting world. Cristiano Ronaldo decided to leave Turin later that very same month, which surely cannot be entirely coincidental.
Inter went big with the snake theme for 2021, releasing not one but two kits inspired by their limbless reptilian muse.
The Nerazzuri‘s white away shirt featured a large blue-and-black snake slithering all over it, while the corresponding home kit went one step further thanks to an all-over glittery snakeskin print motif.
Following the death Diego Maradona in November, his former club Napoli paid homage to their departed legend on what would have been his 61st birthday by creating a special kit design in his honour. Available in blue, white or red, the tribute shirt featured an image of the Argentine in his pomp which was superimposed over a slightly gaudy fingerprint design that was intended to reflect the everlasting imprint he made on both Neapolitan culture and on football in general.
Never missing the opportunity to pump out weird one-off strips, Napoli also ushered in the spooky season by launching a Halloween-themed kit in October which was covered in cobwebs and available in a limited batch of just 1926 shirts — a nod to the year in which the club was founded.
And as if 13 different kits from haute couture supplier Emporio Armani wasn’t already enough for one season, the Partenopei introduced yet another to their repertoire in January with the launch of a vivid “blue flames” alternate jersey.