If this season’s red home shirt is wonderfully retro, the recently released FC Bayern München Auswärtstrikot is a little, well, bizarre. A rather alien combination of colours that one would not necessarily associate with Die Roten. Here is my take.
In the (not that distant) days of footballing yore, one could get a good two or three years out of every club kit. By the time a new shirt came out, the old one was well worn. Bobbles. Pulled threads. The felt sponsor logo slowly peeling away, the victim of countless washes.
Today, it is a completely different world. As soon as we see a new kit design, the gossip immediately starts up about the next one. This is compounded by there being not just one new design every season, but at least three. Snoops all over the world are predicting new ones, and “kit leaks” on the internet have become part of the constant ritual.
With so many new kits being produced, the onus has always been on the designers to stick to the basics. Refer to historical items. Keep the core club colours. Try to be different, but stay the same. Sometimes, however, they end up doing just the opposite. Designs, layouts and colour combinations so “out there” that people will immediately start talking about it.
FC Bayern have had some “different” colours in the past. The white away shirt with orange flourescent trim, that looked like a Dutch away kit designed by Stabilo Boss (as opposed to Hugo). The rather bizarre three-tone grey design (again with orange trim) that looked like something that might have been sported in the MLS. The black/blue/grey vertical stripe design that looked like 1970s pyjamas.
All, to some degree, a little strange.
Simple, but odd
Football shirts are such big business today, that it is no longer about what we see being worn on the pitch. Traditional club colours, repeated three times every season, can get tired very quickly. They are not just symbols of a football club, but have become fashionable garments.
This is the path that the designers have taken with FC Bayern’s new Auswärtstrikot. A pastel mint green colour, with dark lilac trim. You actually have to look very hard to be sure that it is an FC Bayern design, and not an Anderlecht away shirt that has been accidentally thrown in the washing machine with your girlfriend’s bright green swimming costume.
— FC Bayern München (@FCBayern) July 19, 2018
The essential design cues are bang on point. The old school round “polo” neck with button. The famous Adidas three stripes on the shoulders. That fantastic symmetry and perfect simplicity. But the colour is just, well, odd.
Minty Fresh Princes of Bavaria
Usually, there would be a nod to the past, a reference to a kit from a bygone age. But this time, the designers have gone fully for the fashion angle. According to the blurb on the official club website,
The mint-green shirt with lilac stripes affords the club, so rich in tradition, a modern streetwear look. With its enhanced performance silhouette, the jersey combines functionality with style: an elegant polo neck and stitched armbands on the sleeves round off a very special look in pastel tones, perfectly at home in the stadium and on the street.
I actually do not mind this new shirt. The colour will take a little getting used to, and it is a neat, crisp and clean design. Crisp and clean, just like a fresh minty toothpaste. But is it “Bayern”? This is the question. Some old-school fans have complained about the dark blue home shorts. One has to wonder what they are going to say about this colour combo.
Teaming their new Auswärtstrikot with dark lilac shorts and mint green socks, this Bayern team are certainly going to look different. One could say that they are looking to be the Minty Fresh Princes of Bavaria.