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How adidas’s 2022 World Cup kits celebrate national identity

17:13 BST 30/08/2022
Argentina World Cup 2022 away
All of the kits contain cultural references, nods to footballing history, and more allusions to the teams wearing them

adidas has unveiled its federation kits for the 2022 World Cup, revealing the away kits for Argentina and Mexico alongside both home and away designs for Germany, Japan and Spain. All of the kits mix two very different requirements, meeting the needs of the players wearing them and the fans at home.

“Every time we create a football jersey, we have two main priorities,” Mateo Kossmann, a senior product manager at adidas Global Football tells GOAL. “First is to celebrate the culture of a nation by creating a shared identity that allows players and fans to connect and unite under one idea. The second is to provide the best for the athlete and the player to perform, not only from a performance perspective but also doing it in a sustainable way.”

All of the now unveiled kits are inspired by the countries that will be wearing them, whether that’s through cultural references or nods to their footballing history. This includes graphics taken from national crests or flags, as well as patterns that highlight the country’s history – both on and off the field.

Speaking about the kits, Kossmann draws attention to the Japanese home kit, which has been given an all-over pattern. “The inspiration for the graphic on the kit is a three-legged origami crow, such as the crow in the crest of the federation,” he explains. “If you create 1000 origamis, you get a wish granted. The wish we have for Japan in this World Cup is to go further than ever before.” adidas hopes that the repetition of the crow, which makes up a pattern on the front and sleeves, is enough to get this wish granted.

Other references that run throughout adidas’ 2022 World Cup lineup include a graphic based on the Sol de Mayo from Argentina’s flag, an undulating pattern taken from Spain’s 1982 logo – the last time it hosted the World Cup – and an all-over pattern on the Mexico away shirt, which is inspired by the art of its ancient civilizations.

For the German home kit, adidas have looked into the country’s footballing history to create a new design. The stand-out feature of the shirt is its large central stripe, which hosts a gold crest and adidas logo. “The vertical bar on the front is a very familiar element for the German federation because it was used on the very first German national kit in 1908,” explains Lisa Datz, an adidas Global Football senior product manager who worked on the design of the new Germany kit. “We’ve used that element already on some kits, including the away kits in 2008 and 2016. Here we just bought it even further to really capture the DNA and to bring the nation together.”

As well as attempting to capture the spirit of each nation, adidas also ensured that their 2022 World Cup kits are also packed with their latest technologies to help players perform. This includes the use of lightweight heat-applied details and adidas’ HEAT.RDY technology across the kits for all five federations. “The technology used means perfect moisture management and breathability,” Datz continues. “We want to make sure that our athletes can perform in the best way, using the best technology we have within adidas to make players feel comfortable and to keep them cool.”

The commitment to performance capabilities is matched by adidas’ commitment to sustainability, something that the brand announced was a priority for the 2022 World Cup. All of the kits are produced using 100% recycled polyester, while adidas has also upgraded its HEAT.RDY technology in line with its environmental focus. “For the first time now the HEAT.RDY fabric is made using Parley Ocean Plastic, plastic that has been diverted from coastal towns and regions and prevented from going into the ocean,” says Andrew Dolan, senior product manager for apparel in adidas’ Global Football team. “So not only are these the best performing jerseys we’ve ever had, but the most sustainable as well.”