Arsenal - Purple Reign
This year’s Arsenal 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 shirt 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 Gunner’s 125th anniversary, this season the colour chosen for the away jersey is a modern approach and with the recent departures of Robin Van Persie and Alex Song, having a new colour falls perfectly in line with the ‘New Arsenal’ taking shape.
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 who not only reinvented Arsenal but also brought glory during his reign at the club from 1925 to 1934.
Written on the inner back neck of the shirt is the club’s motto, ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’ meaning ‘Victory through Harmony’, while the outer back neck honours Chapman’s legacy with a graphic representing 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 which they still do to this day.
The Gunners have a great deal of pride invested in this kit as not only does it connect to the past and present but with the help of Nike, it sets a benchmark for future by being ‘the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly uniform 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 video of the song, ‘The Demolition Man’ by the music band Rizzle Kicks. It features Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Kieran 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. 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’.
Picture courtesy nikeinc.com