The international tournaments are done, the mercato is in full swing, and Tuttosport is running any number of ridiculous stories about transfers because… well, because they can. Amidst all this talk of “top-player” hunting by Juve, one thing of equal, if not greater importance is being pushed to the back-burner, and pertains to Juve’s clothing attire for the upcoming season. Yes, it’s THAT time of year again.
For now, right now, I am happy to present to you this year’s…
…(or FTAOSAEOTUOSKR). While other teams may choose to jump the gun, showing what some of their players will not be looking like next year, Juventus typically awaits til the middle of the summer to unveil their new threads.
But before we look to the future, it’s only reasonable – especially at a club as storied as the Old Lady – to look at the past. The immediate past.
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Last year was, well… if I may speak frankly, just okay (sorry Lars). I mean, don’t get me wrong, I bought one, but it was more out of principle that genuine aesthetic pleasure.
“I want this club to spend money and I want to actually support them, so I absolutely need to drop € 80 plus ridiculous international shipping fees that are also calculated in Euros which, by the way, contrary to my Americentric, jingoistic tendencies, is somehow more expensive than the almighty, all-knowing all-seeing, USD, just so I can order directly from the club and maximize profits from them“… I would mutter to myself. Not that I thought about it a lot, or am bitter, or anything like that. No. But I
do complain a lot digress.
I actually liked last year’s design at first glance, especially seeing the shirt being worn by somebody. The black stripes seemed to be shadowed by a greyish hue. Upon closer inspection however, I became disenchanted. I liked the idea of the horizontal zebra-stripes extending out of the thick vertical ones, but it reminded me all too much of post-treble merda. My final conclusion was thus that the 2011-12 kits were the calcio-fashion equivalent of Sarah Jessica Parker: looks better from afar than up close.
As for the away kit, I’m not absolutely always against pink… I just didn’t like that pink. But, like Marco Borriello, Juventus inexplicably insisted on using it way more than they needed.
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But wait then! What do we have in store for 2012-13? Something a bit…different? Or more of the same? What’s this?? Notts County-style, Black & White alternating, solid bar stripes of equal width? With no distracting accent colors and numbers which stand out against a solid background? My God! It’s so crazy that it just might work!
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, the brand-spanking-new uniforms, or as my mates across the pond would call them, unis.
This year’s HOME model is a classic, no-frills, back-to-basics look. The Black & White bars are solid, clean, and crisp, perfectly adorning our Old Lady.
During the video presentation above, Nike Italia general manager Andrea Rossi commented that the Agnelli family took over the club in 1923 and built it around 4 main values: family, union, loyalty, and honor. These 4 values are represented through the 4 black stripes in the front of the shirt. Moreover, Giampiero Boniperti’s famous phrase “Vincere non è importante, è l’unica cosa che conta” (“winning isn’t important, it’s the only thing that counts) is stamped on the inside of the shirt just around the neck. (EDITOR’S NOTE: now if *that* doesn’t make you swoon, I don’t know what will!)
The “Jeep” on the front represents an homage to the new strategic partnerships between the two nationalities which form my identity, and further doubles as a satisfaction of the aforementioned jingoism I happily wear on my sleeve. Meanwhile Mr. Rossi helpfully reminds us the shirt is 100% made from recycled PET and is 20-23% lighter than last year’s (hooray!)
While the most important name remains in the front (no, not Jeep), player names and numbers on the back of the shirt no longer are in un-Juve-like red or tough-to-read yellow colors. Instead, the retro theme continues: black names across a plain white background for the yin, white numbers across a black background for the yang. Yes, feel free to call it fashion-Feng shui.
As for the battle-garb for when our mighty warriors march into enemy territory (more
commonly boringly known as the AWAY shirt), they’ll be doing so in a style fitting of the pending fate of our rivals: “Black Death”. From the mouth of Mr. Rossi, the inspiration for the “Total-Black Look” look arises from Juve’s grinta, determination, and aggression.
Some away-match purists may insist on nothing but blue & yellow for symbolic and sentimental purposes, but these elegant, stylish shirts are highly becoming of its outfitters.
And, lest not we forget the most important part of the new shirts:
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Of course, I would be remiss if I made no mention of the one gaping hole on these shirts: the STARS, or lack thereof. Always the definition of “victorious” (I’d spare you all the brief history lesson, but I don’t want to), Umberto Agnelli first came up with the idea of adding a star to the shirt to symbolize the winning ten league trophies because, well, Juventus were the first team to do so. That trend continued, as they became the first to stitch the second upon their 20th. And although it took longer than expected, as far as anyone with any modicum of objectivity, sense of reality, or soul in their body is concerned, Juve won their 30th on a rainy pitch last May.
So where is this third star?
After being teased that the team would add it, FIGC-be-damned, Andrea Agnelli would later renege on this promise and take the high road in the face of
Juve’s persecutors, Inter, the FIGC, all of the above, despite whatever hopes us tifosi had built up or opinions we’ve long formed. Instead of the third star this year’s on-field shirts feature none at all, with the words “30 SUL CAMPO” – 30 on the pitch – underneath the insignia.
But if you really had your heart set on three stars, you can order one of your own, but ONLY from the official online shop for a mere € 80!!!
Well, Andrea Agnelli may have a bit to learn about public relations, between this and his whole “oh yea, by the way, this is going to be our iconic captain’s last season” press conference debacle. As annoying as that is, I am forced to come to the inevitable conclusion that these jerseys are still pretty effing sweet.
And as easy as it is to feel slightly disappointed right now, just think of how much worse it could be elsewhere.