The extensive array of federations donning the Swoosh each have unique histories and cultures. In 2020, their distinctive attributes are celebrated with highly differentiated collections. Building upon the learnings from the successful 2018 Nigeria Collection, Nike undertook deep cultural immersions and collaborated with each federation to ensure the designs truly resonated. From hand-drawn prints to custom fonts, each team’s look will be its own. Counter to templatization, Nike designers had 65 chassis options available to them across varying necklines, sleeves, cuffs, badge placement, etc.
In addition to the art of designing football kits, science is always at the forefront of the process. It all starts in the lab, where Nike captured data on more than 300 footballers and football-specific movements. The design team leveraged 4D visualization tools to bring the product to life before creating samples. This process helps Nike analyze how the kits will perform on body with regard to stretching, draping and fit. Using generative design, Nike then knitted kits that are 55 percent faster wicking, 13 percent more breathable and with 10 percent more stretch than Nike’s previous kits. The precision knitting is reinforced where needed and vented in areas prone to heat. The results, upon close inspection, reveal a highly intricate knitting structure, while not distracting from the national pride artistry from afar.
Three teams were revealed today with the remaining federations being launched in country during the next few months.
For the first time, U.S. Soccer will self-reference as the “States” with their 2020 kits. From the outer pride element on the back of the away jersey (and the back of the socks) to the chest of the anthem jacket and the back of the training tops, “States” will be prominently featured.
The refined home kit is white, elevated by details. A blue collar transitions to flag-inspired red-and-white stripes on the back of the neck. The side stripe design pulls from the lab data on how the side appearance of the jersey is altered by a powerful kicking motion. While the stripe looks jagged when standing still, it aligns with a full swing of the leg. Nike’s Futura logo appears on the left chest and on the socks; the US is the only federation that will receive this version of the Nike logo on their 2020 kits.
The away kit is a deep obsidian with pops of brighter blue and red accents. The abstract pattern on the jersey was hand drawn by Nike’s design team and pulls from the infiltration of camo-esque elements in high fashion. In response to player feedback about the importance of a substantive crest, this and all 2020 federation crests will return to their tactile origins with raised embroidery for more dimension and shine (the crest and Futura logo will not appear on the kits worn in Tokyo, per guidelines).
U.S. Soccer’s full collection is loaded with nods to the country’s love of multiple sports and the curation of cool. As with the performance items, “States” will be prominently featured on the sportswear pieces.
Korea receives a major redesign emblematic of their vibrant culture and Hallyu. The Korean Wave is represented on the home kit with a wavy pattern comprised of the trigrams from the national flag. The trigrams also appear within the names and numbers on the back of the kit. Vibrant pink on the upper body transitions into the new red of the federation through the torso and the shorts. The crest on the 2020 kits is also new, featuring a geometrical white tiger. The collar and sleeve trim are black with black side stripes that tonally read “Daehan Minguk” in Korean characters and “Korea” in English. “Korea” also appears on the socks.
The away kit makes a bold statement on and off the pitch with a striking white tiger print on the jersey and socks. All of the stripes in the print were originally hand-painted by Nike’s design team. A sacred creature believed to be a guardian animal in Korean mythology, the white tiger symbolizes courage and power. Complemented by metallic gold Swoosh and crest applications, the kit is intended to feel a bit luxurious.
Korea’s extended collection will include unique items, such as overalls and sunglasses, as well as significantly more women’s apparel than previous years.
In 2018, Naija changed the game with a collection for the ages that set a new standard for how Nike approaches federation design. In 2020, Nigeria picks up right where they left off with a home kit that fuses the traditional aesthetic of an agbada robe with modern football design. The kit’s pattern was hand drawn and is highly symbolic of Nigerian heritage with nods to nobility and family. Nigeria’s crest is placed centrally on the chest with a Swoosh underneath it. The player names and numbers integrate the eagle feather into the application. “Naija” appears inside the neck of jersey and on the back of the socks in a new typeface.
The away kit is inspired by Onaism, a traditional artistic movement central to Nigerian design and craft represented in the trim details. An eagle feather aesthetic, creatively distorted, continuously repeats in ascending size to create a visual impact. The collar has a slight V overlap with a thicker overlap in the back. Both the collar and the sleeves feature a slight nick at the mid-point.
The broader Naija collection will feature an extensive array of Super Eagles apparel including a poncho, vest, dress and more.