This year’s away kit is neither a shade of blue or golden yellow nor is it plain white, but rather a bold purple with black hoops. The reason behind such a bold statement is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Hence the kit takes on a colour that depicts royalty and is promoted as ‘The Purple Reign’ by the club. After the classic kits of last season representing Arsenal’s 125th anniversary, this year the colour chosen for the away kit is rather a modern approach and with the recent departures of Van Persie and Song, having a new colour falls perfectly in line with the ‘New Arsenal’ taking shape with this summer’s three new signings, namely, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla.
Apart from paying tribute to the Queen, the club hasn’t forgotten its historical roots and therefore pays a homage to its legendary manager, Herbert Chapman. The manager who not only reinvented Arsenal but also brought glory during his reign at the club from 1925 to 1934. The inner back neck has the club’s motto, ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’ meaning ‘Victory through Harmony’, while the outer back neck honours Chapman’s legacy with a graphic representing his introduced formation 3-4-4, more famously known as the ‘WM’ formation. The hooped pattern on the socks with a single red line seen this year, are also an invention of the same manager who brought this idea in order to help players easily identify their teammates on the field. Needless to say the idea was a sure success as many other clubs started to use his strategy and further stating the obvious they still do.
The Gunners have much to pride about the kit as not only does it connect to the past and the present but with the help of Nike, it sets a benchmark for future by being ‘the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly to date’ (as stated on the club’s official website). A single kit has reused up to thirteen recycled plastic bottles in combination with a fabric that is 23% lighter than what was used previously.
The kit was promoted through an official promotional video of the song, ‘The Demolition Man’ by the music band Rizzle Kicks. It features Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gibbs and ex-Arsenal defending midfielder, Alex Song. It was officially launched for sale to the fans on August 9th earlier this year. On the club’s official website, Nick Peel, Arsenal’s retail director states, “We have had a great reaction to the design which will really make us stand out. We know it‘s going to be particularly popular with younger fans.”
So far the kit has received mixed reactions from the fans, but though the colour maybe boldly different, the thought that has gone into its design surely makes a Gunner proud. The ‘Purple Reign’ is a reflection of a positive Arsenal that is ready to move forward yet stay true to its origins. The colour maybe of royalty but most importantly, it represents Arsenal in its truth. It portrays a team that believes in ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’.
Originally written for Football.com