Designing the first ever kit for a brand new football club is usually reserved for the Playstation, but for the 2018 MLS season it was a reality for adidas Design Director, Inigo Turner. The team in question? Los Angeles Football Club – the new stylish kids on the block.

Inigo, what was it like to create the first ever kit for LAFC?

It was really exciting to design the first chapter. The first jersey is always going to be iconic and memorable as it would be for any club. It was important that we worked on it very closely with the club, and they were really interested to hear our ideas and creative direction. We tried to merge those two things together to create something that everyone was really happy with.

For us it was important to get in and round the club to get a feel for what they represent, and we’re confident that the kit does that in a stylish way.


There weren't any previous shirts to draw inspiration from. Does that present different challenges?

Yeah, it can do. Most of the iconic shirts are related to the success of the team at the particular time. But, when you don’t have that history to influence then it can actually become easier to start.

For adidas Football for 2018 we kicked off the whole season using our rich history of authenticity to inspire a lot of our designs. You’ve seen that with our 2018 World Cup shirts, and we wanted to expand that to our club shirts too. For LAFC it was about merging together the club’s stories about LA with authentic adidas Football stories.

LAFC are big on the cultural side of things. Was that noted when designing the kit?

When we were out in LA we spoke to the club and it’s obvious that the black and the gold is a really strong colourway for them. The colour combination works really well in LA, and it’s a really wearable colour pairing. No other MLS team has that combination on their home kit, so it’s for the club to really own.

Having these beautifully versatile colours as a home kit makes designing the kit easier. They’re very transferable to a lifestyle environment, and a wider range of club x adidas branded clothing.

So, you’re feeling the Black and Gold combo?

Definitely. It’s always a strong combination. It always looks dominating with an element of cool and class. I always think back to the Manchester United shirt from 1994 and that was the same, it looked mean, but stylish. It’s imposing and aggressive. It’s a popular alternative colouring for many away jerseys, so to adopt it as your home colours is bold, and really confident.


How does the design process of the kit play out? Do the club give you a brief?

We chat to the club and explain our creative direction for the season from an adidas point of view, and then we listen to the club’s ideas on how the kit should look. It is a real partnership, we immerse ourselves into the club before we go away and start on the designs.

With LAFC, they’re creating a visual identity so it was important to spend more time around them to truly understand their own direction and what they represent.

The home shirt is quite minimal, isn’t it?

The club didn’t want anything that was overpowering, it should be about the black and gold. We wanted the new crest to speak louder than anything else, it needs to be the biggest focal point in the club’s first season.

What’s it like creating the first piece of history for the club? This will always be the club’s first ever shirt…

It’ll be woven into the history of the club. We’re proud to begin the journey with the club. The shirt features elements that we think represent the club well. Along the neck line are the words ‘shoulder to shoulder’ to pay tribute to the stance the club has with the fans. The way the club set out to build it with the community. They really listened to the community to help build a club for them.

The club is in downtown LA, so it’s close to the people. The geographical location has served as inspiration for the graphic design on the kit. There’s a lot of art deco and architecture around that part of LA, so the graphic on the shirt is of the same style, as is the club crest.


There’s a MLS rivalry in Los Angeles now. LAFC are proud that they’re in the heart of the city. Did that play on your mind when creating the kit?

Absolutely. The club are proud that they’re in the middle of the neighbourhood and that’s where the ‘shoulder to shoulder’ slogan comes from. It’s going to be really interesting to have two clubs in LA for the upcoming season. Interesting for the fans, and clubs, but also for adidas Football. LA is a key city for us as a brand – it’s a global city – so having a genuine rivalry within the city is definitely interesting in a football sense.

MLS is developing at such pace, and the same thing is happening now in New York with NYRB and NYCFC, so there’s a really interesting fan culture being born out of American culture with an influence from what they see in European football.

How do you describe the growth of soccer in America?

There are more people not just watching, but playing as well. It’s competitive and it’s growing incredibly fast at a grass roots level too. There’s a real buzz around it and we want to be a part of that. It still fells like it’s in its infancy and that’s exciting. We can take it into really interesting territory.


Football shirts are big in culture and lifestyle circles right now. Do you think about off pitch vibes when designing?

We’ve definitely shifted towards thinking about how the jerseys are worn in lifestyle environments. It’s reflecting how we see jerseys being worn – they’re not just worn by players on the pitch, they’re worn as a symbol of identity and pride by supporters in everyday life. We have to consider how it will look in different environments with different outfits.

We’ve stepped up our approach to jersey design by thinking more on how a jersey would look with an outfit than just simply as a kit. We’ve got a lot of stuff coming up where we’ve developed that trend further.

When you look back at the history of football shirt design, adidas are always pushing the barriers and we as a brand don’t let the fact that we’re the original football brand shackle us.

Take a closer look at the LAFC adidas 2018 Home and Away shirts here.