How Nike Mixes History and Progress on Liverpool's 2020/21 Away Kit

Nike’s Scott Munson talks us through the design and origins of the jersey.

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After kickstarting their partnership with the debut of the club’s home kit recently, Nike Football and Liverpool have now revealed the away kit that will be worn throughout the 2020/21 season. Building on the introduction of teal to the home jersey, the away shirt sees the color used alongside references to the club and city.

The bold print that runs across the away jersey features motifs taken from the club’s heritage, including the famous Liver Birds, which stand over the city and make up an important part of the club crest. Additionally, the Shankly Gates that stand out side Anfield are referenced through the swirling acanthus leaf pattern across the jersey.

To mark the launch of the partnership between Nike and Liverpool, HYPEBEAST recently caught up with Scott Munson, VP Football Apparel at Nike, to discuss the home and away jerseys.

HYPEBEAST: What was the process for designing the home and away kits?

Scott Munson: We went really deep into the culture of the club and the culture of the city. We got boots on the ground from our design and product teams, here in Portland, and we leveraged the local team in the U.K. to work in Liverpool for the insights. We got connected to influencers and supporters and we talked to the club, we talked to players. We always try to do our homework and then we start to find inspiration in all of those things.

We got to a sharp design really quickly for home and away, there wasn’t too much to go back and forth on. A few tweaks here and there but we felt like we landed in a great spot and the club were super supportive and made some quick decisions. It’s the most fun part of the job when you get to dig around in the heritage and the culture of a city and a club, and come up with something from scratch.

How did you bring in the history of the club and the city in the two kits?

In the home, we brought all three colours of the club’s crest and its identity. We knew that bringing in teal was pretty significant. We tried to find the right balance of traditional with a modern twist. That color was most recently used in 1993, in a more subtle way but we felt we were being a bit bolder with it. The club and the fans were ready for it.

I think more so you see it in the pattern of the away. The floral motif coming from the Shankly Gates. We also used other elements of the Shankly Gates, like the cross of St. Andrew, the thistle and the Liver Bird in our pre match jersey. You start to take those elements into the rest of the collection in various ways. That’s one thing that has been great about this club, there’s some pretty rich symbolism and we tried to hone in on it for this collection.

How do you create something new while still paying tribute to that history?

That’s the hard part. It’s easy to look back and maybe reference something from the past or celebrate a milestone, like a 25th anniversary, but how do you create the modern legacy? How do you find the right balance of tradition yet progression? That’s what we have to balance and challenge ourselves with every time, and that’s where great design comes from.

There’s two very different interpretations for the home and the away. While we felt like you had to be super respectful for the home, the away gives you more freedom and we created a bold statement. We think it’s representative of the confidence of the team, and the youth of the city.

Liverpool’s away kit is available now the Nike web store, and is set to release at more retailers on August 17. The club’s home kit is also available now.

In other sports news, take a look at Nike’s Phantom GT football boots.

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