With a handful of striking shirts based on each country’s natural landscape, adidas has turned heads with its 2023 World Cup kit lineup. We take a look at how the brand has revitalized its kit design after a brief down period.
adidas has defied expectations with its latest release of away kits for the Women’s World Cup. The global brand is showing a combination of innovative and creative design while still sticking to each country’s individual characteristics by integrating aspects of their natural landscapes into each jersey’s creation.
From the beautiful sunset over Mount Fuji in Southeast Asia, the coral reefs along the Spanish coast, or the many hues of river Caño Cristales in Argentina, clearly a lot of thought went into the designs of this year’s new kits to be worn at the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The nature aspect is not only visible but is also integrated in the fabrics. adidas once again teamed up with Parley to integrate upcycled ocean plastic waste into the original and replica shirts. Fifty percent of each shirt consists of Parley ocean plastic, while the other half consists of recycled polyester.
The two brands have worked together since 2015 and collaboratively created all sorts of teamwear, including the launch of the first soccer boot pack designed to reduce plastic waste earlier this year.
Compared to adidas’ often more classical approach to kit design, the brand’s 2023 World Cup kit lineup is a clear statement of not only the company’s ambitions in the present but also their vision for the future. It dares to try a new approach in showing more color, and does so successfully.
The maybe flashiest adidas kits up to date have left an overwhelmingly positive first impression among fans, and represents a brand that has revitalized its jersey design after a period of largely forgettable releases.
The recent adidas 2023 World Cup kit launch is highlighted by a sextet of all-new nature-inspired shirts, in addition to entries from Jamaica and Italy that are shared with their respective men’s teams. The Jamaican and Italian shirts do not follow the nature theme, and instead are part of an entirely separate capsule collection from each nation. Further, kits for the Philippines and Panama are yet to be revealed. Let’s take a dive into the details of each newly released shirt.
The German kit reminds many of the vast forests that equate to one-third of the country’s land mass. Iconic woodlands like the Black Forest and the Zauberwald are important to German folklore, culture, and tourism.
A fir-leaf pattern is prevalent through the shirt’s body, with gold details and accents popping out to make an instant favorite amongst fans and kit collectors alike.
Another memorable entry from the drop comes from Japan. Ironically, the Land of the Rising Sun’s away kit — draped in hues of soft pink and smooth purple — is inspired by a sunset, specifically the picturesque ones that set the backdrop for the iconic Mount Fuji.
Another aspect that quickly comes to mind with the pink colorway is the famous Japanese cherry blossom which welcomes in the springtime every year. Maybe it is time for the Nadeshiko Japan to bloom to greatness once more this summer after the 2011 World Cup triumph.
Staying in the mountains, Argentina’s 2023 away kit takes inspiration from the Serranía de Hornocal, a range of mountains that peak at 4,761 meters above sea level. The red earthy tones paired with turquoise wave-like stripes depicts the transition of where the mountains meet the sea. The balance between heights and coasts is what characterizes Argentina’s landscape.
The most striking colors of this year’s adidas release were integrated into Colombia’s away kit. A mixture of pinks and purples combined with darker shades make for an incredible visual. The pattern pays homage to the many different hues of river Caño Cristales, also called the “River of Five Colors” or the “Liquid Rainbow.” This phenomenon is caused by the many different plants growing in the riverbed as well as the reflection of light against the crystal clear water.
The sea is the theme of this year’s Sweden away kit. The lighter shades of blue represent ice caps floating on the ocean surface. This is contrasted by the iconic yellow together with the blue complementing the colors of the Swedish flag.
On the other hand, this kit may very well be a representation of the impacts that climate change has on the northern countries, melting glaciers and rising sea levels in particular.
The ocean — albeit in much warmer temperatures — is also the main character of Spain’s kit depicting purple and blue sea anemones in front of a light blue backdrop taking inspiration from the coral reefs around the country’s coastlines.
Thinking about beautiful reefs, one of the first things that comes to mind is Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, which has been fairly affected by climate change resulting in a mass coral bleaching of half of the reef between 2015 and 2017.
Dejo esto por acá. pic.twitter.com/CGaXmIKZ7J
— Gustavo Psonkevich ⭐⭐⭐ (@GusCamisetas) March 29, 2023
Not only do the kits themselves encapsulate the nature aspect and creativity, but the way the photoshoot came together as seen in a video shared on social media does as well. Even though there was clearly some touching-up necessary in post production, the efforts the photographers went through should be acknowledged as they took photos underwater and at high altitudes.
The full adidas lineup stands out even more when putting it against the recently released Nike 2023 World Cup kits. The Swoosh opted for a more simplistic and templated look reminiscent of the early aughts for its designs, and while some of them work, many of them come across as plain, especially in comparison to their adidas counterparts.
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However, the Nike kits are made up of at least 80% recycled material — 30% more compared to adidas’ Parley involvement. In addition, for the first time Nike excluded white shorts for all kits and additionally will feature a new leak protection to ease any concerns for women on their period during performance.
While the adidas kits for sure are more daring this year, Nike may have introduced the better new technologies for this year’s kit battle.
The adidas kits for the 2023 Women’s World Cup show the great diversity of landscapes and natural phenomena on earth in an innovative way interwoven into the fabrics. The reality, however, does not always look that bright. As the company is using recycled ocean plastics in the creation, this should only be the start of a more sustainable way of thinking for the whole product range in the future.