Welcome to our round-up of the new shirts that will be gracing Serie A in the 2021/22 season. Join us as we explore the good, the bad and the ugly of Italy’s top tier…
I rossonero have tackled head-on the perennial challenge of re-inventing their striped design; though the result won’t be to everyone’s liking. Milan went early and debuted the shirt at the end of the 2020/21 season. The broad central stripe and tapering widths evoke memories of their 2014-15 home shirt (the not-so golden era of Cerci, Destro and Montolivo). The side panels make for a rather congested look. The minimalist collar design of the authentic shirt is replaced by a chunky red v-design on the replica shirts. The cartoonist from La Gazzetta rather uncharitably compared it to a barcode.
6/10 – a valiant effort
La Dea have chosen to mark the incredible results achieved over recent seasons with the addition of golden pinstripes between the traditional blue and black. The new season also sees a move away from the narrow stripes of last year and the inclusion of black detailing on the collar, running perpendicular to the stripe in the shirt. The launch video shuns the now-conventional use of po-faced models in edgy urban settings, instead focussing on the multi-generational appeal of their new shirt. The away shirt, a tribute to the celebrated shirts of the 1980s, is also worthy of a mention.
6/10 – gold pinstripes maybe a bridge too far?
I rossoblu have supplemented their traditional broad stripes with an irregular sublimated brickwork design. This is said to be a gesture toward the city’s architecture and, in particular, the magnificent portico that leads from the stadium to the hilltop San Luca Basilica. The pattern also provides a somewhat less profound link to the club’s main sponsor, who are in the construction business. The large round collar is reminiscent of a 1970s shirt, with the white-red-blue design replicated on the cuffs. The home and away shirts are manufactured from recycled plastic, with each shirt comprised of 13 plastic bottles.
7/10 – modernising a classic
After a dalliance with white sleeves last season, Cagliari launched their new shirt with a “back to basics” tagline. The return of red and blue halves will be welcome amongst fans, though the inclusion of honeycomb detailing and wavey contours depicting the sea contribute to a not entirely traditional look. The shirt was launched with the help of internationally-renowned violinist Anna Tifu who hails from the city. The Sardinians have also released a pale blue third shirt as a tribute to the clubs strong connection to Uruguay. From Enzo Francescoli and Daniel Fonseca in the 1980s and 1990s through to Diego Godin and Nahitan Nandez in the present day, a wealth of talent from the South American country has represented the club with distinction.
7/10 – commendable customisation of traditional design
At first glance the new Empoli shirt looks very similar to last season’s. And then you see it; a large sublimated lion looking back at you! Coming from the same Kappa stable as the Napoli ‘panther’ design in 2019/20, the lion is a tribute to the historic Piazza degli Uberti, also known locally as Piazza Leoni and is deployed consistently across the home, away and third shirts. Although not immediately evident from promotional photos, the lion features on both the front and back of the shirt. The shirt is also graced with a new club crest and an updated logo for their primary sponsor, Computer Gross. The presence of Sammontana’s logo (an 80s style cartoon ice cream with a face) does, however, detract from the menacing gaze of the lion.
9/10 – showing the bigger clubs how to do it
La Viola have looked to the past for inspiration this year with a 1980s tribute. The large white band across the chest and return of the Pontello lily club crest is a clear nod to the 1983-85 NR jersey worn by Socrates. and his colleagues. The deployment of red trim on a purple shirt seems as unconventional now as it did thirty years ago, but somehow still works. The same template is used in different colour ways for away, third and fourth jerseys; the latter being less self-indulgent than it sounds by doubling as a goalkeeper’s top.
9/10 – stellar showing
Genoa have sustained a relatively consistent-but-unspectacular look in recent seasons in partnership with manufacturer Kappa. However, they have stepped outside of the comfort zone with the 2021/22 design. It features a fantastic (and quite detailed) map of the port city sublimated into the red and blue halves. The two-tone round collar is another area of innovation (featured across the Kappa range) that works particularly well on the Genoa shirt and needs to be chalked up in the “W” column.
8/10 – who doesn’t love a map on a shirt?
This is a shirt brimming with civic symbolism. It takes inspiration from The Arche Scaligere, a Gothic mausoleum dedicated to the Della Scala family; the sublimated patterning (front and back) mirrors that from the monument’s ironwork. The inside of the neck contains an effigy of the poet Dante who was exiled in the city in the 14th century. Printed on the inside of the shirt is the line ch’in te avrà sì benigno riguardo; taken from Dante’s Paradiso, a tribute to the city and its ruling family.
7/10 – concept slightly better than execution
“The New Skin of Milan” was the slogan used to launch this revolutionary new design for Inter. The snakeskin patterning is, of course, a nod to the Biscione, a symbol of the city of Milan which was adopted by Inter (and Alfa Romeo). This is not one for the traditionalists; perhaps they could have coped with the loss of long-time sponsor Pirelli if it had not also been for the new crest and the decisive move away from a striped design. In fact, it’s difficult to spot any black on the nerazzurri’s shirt at all. The addition of the clumsy Socios sponsor takes the shirt down a further notch.
5/10 – first they came for the badge, then they came for the stripes
After a couple of rogue years, Juventus have returned to something approaching tradition with their 2021/22 design. The shirt has a certain chromatic consistency with the Jeep sponsor fitting in better than in previous attempts. To mark 10 years at the Allianz Stadium, the shirt contains a sublimated depiction of the “Cammino delle Stelle” (a Hollywood-style Walk of Fame at the stadium) and an insignia inside the collar reading “10 Years At Home”.
6/10 – back on track
I Biancocelesti sparked temporary outrage when several national newspapers reported that their new home shirt for the new season would be ‘green’. In a moment of great relief for tifosi, the club clarified that this referred to the shirt’s environmental credentials rather than the hue. The shirt uses the same Eco-Softlock fabric as seen in the Bologna jersey. This unfussy design with substantial white v-neck collar has a distinctively 1970s feel, brought to life by a sublimated double pinstripe. The addition of a sponsor could be the making of this shirt.
6/10 – smart, but unspectacular
The new Napoli shirt was eagerly anticipated when it dropped on the eve of the season. It was, after all, the debut of fashion house Emporio Armani in the world of football shirts. However, the feeling is that EA7 have failed to live up to expectations with a very sober design. There are few design features to speak of and the navy panels and collar design appear to ‘borrow’ from Napoli home shirts produced under Kappa. The new away shirt also bears more than a passing resemblance to the 2015/16 away shirt.
3/10 – all very disappointing
Roma had been spoiled in recent seasons with Nike providing a suite of bespoke shirt designs which hit the high notes. This summer they switched to New Balance and came back down to earth with something of a bump. Perhaps playing it safe for their first foray into the Italian market, New Balance have offered up a rather insipid design comprising of a broad v-neck, sparse pinstripes and yellow-gold trim. At least the sponsor ties in.
6/10 – who here misses Nike?
Serie A newcomers Salernitana launched their new shirt with the tagline ”timeless elegance’ . They’ve opted for maximum exposure of the club’s famous granata colours, dropping the white and pale blue trim seen in recent seasons. The design features a sublimated pattern on the front (which, at first glance, vaguely resembles the London 2012 logo) and sparing use of black compression taping on the shoulders and side panels. The unfussy design means that there is considerable scope to add a sponsor’s logo without undermining the overall aesthetic of the shirt. A similar design (in white with red sleeves) is used for the away shirt.
6/10 – a steady return to Serie A
The Blucerchiati have opted for simplicity in the second year of their partnership with Macron. The simple round collar and absence of white panelling or any sublimated detail provides Samp with a very stripped back look for 2021/22. Much like Juventus, the innovation this year comes in the form of a return to tradition. The positioning of the famous bands suggests that a further primary sponsor to be placed above is still to come. The new away shirt once again sees the club’s unmistakable colours turned into a sash.
7/10 – back to basics…and it works
Perhaps taking the chance while they still can, Sassuolo have gone for a predominantly green shirt for 21/22. They have taken a novel slant on the traditional stripe; broad green bands are interrupted by thinner, two-tone black stripes. On closer inspection the paler black stripe is achieved by the same type of graded effect deployed on the away and third shirts. Black shoulder panels and a simple v-neck round things off.
5/10 – perhaps guilty of over-complicating things
Spezia defied the odds to survive in Serie A last term and will be hoping to repeat that feat in their new ensemble. The shirt features two vertical bands aligned with the club crest; it takes inspiration from the designs of the 1970s and they called on the services of their record appearance maker from that era, Osvaldo Motto, to help with the launch video. The shirt has a certain monochrome Escape To Victory aesthetic and an otherwise simplistic design is elevated by the prominence of the now-familiar wartime scudetto on the chest.
8/10 – one of the stand-out shirts this season
Torino shirts have felt a little low on innovation in recent seasons; even a shift from Kappa to Joma a couple of years ago failed to shake things up. However, they’ve successfully mixed things up for 2021/22 with some bold sublimation, incorporating the repeated pattern of a traditional club crest and key dates from the club’s history. The accompanying ‘sash’ away shirt celebrates an eternal friendship with Argentinian club, River Plate.
6/10 – back in the game
For the first time since 2018/19, Le Zebrette have reverted to a more traditional striped design for the new season. The obligatory modern twist is delivered by a pinstripe incorporated into the black verticals. However, the real star of this design comes on the rear; a black box to accommodates the player’s number strongly evokes the spirit of the designs from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Another significant aesthetic change from previous seasons comes in the form of a new logo for their primary sponsor, Dacia – though the jury remains out on whether the pale hue works on a black and white background. The combination of a polo collar and triangular insert in the neckline makes for a rather congested look up top.
7/10 – respect for the revival of number boxes
Venezia won critical acclaim last season with a bold use of the club’s colourway. After achieving promotion to Serie A and moving from Nike to Kappa, expectations were impossibly high for 21/22. The new shirt takes inspiration from its surrounds; the gold gilding is a nod to the their majestic hurches and monuments, the “dusted” effect recreating Venetian masonry and the arrangement of stars in a V-shape recalling the Basilica di San Marco. Venezia fans seemed largely content, bemoaning only the imbalance of the tripartite colour palette the tells the story of the club. They had a nightmare with the away shirt, mind.
9/10 – living up to the hype
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