They may well be champions of Europe, but Liverpool F.C. is still very much a club that’s about the city and the people within it. As part of the running theme for their kit designs this season, New Balance have focused on this fact, and it’s been beautifully captured in their latest lookbook.

Heading to the streets that surround Anfield, from which the graphic prints of the away and third shirts drew their influence, New Balance captured the LFC shirts in what is rapidly becoming a naturally alternative environment for the football jersey, as the lines between performance and lifestyle continue to be increasingly blurred.

For the last instalment of this short series, which has seen a focus on Porto, Celtic, Athletic Bilbao and Lille, we spoke to the team at New Balance about the inspiration behind the design process for their 2019/20 kits and the celebration of the character of each individual city that has continued as an overriding theme throughout. 


You have to follow on from a kit that Liverpool have won the Champions League in. That's a big ask. What did you want to put across with the kits for this season?

Our design ethos has been honed and developed into creating kits which have the right measure of club story, trend direction and inherant performance credentials. I believe the 2019/20 kits certainly answer this brief as they communicate a strong club story with the home jersey linked to one of the most iconic jerseys in the clubs history (pin stripes) coupled with a city link via the “Street signs of Liverpool” message portrayed in the Away and Third kit graphic prints. The visual aesthetic of the jerseys are underpinned by the quietly performing technical attributes incorporated into the fabric and trims.

How would you describe what the shirt represents to the fans of Liverpool?

The club belongs to the fans, New Balance are mere custodians of the jersey yet it gives us a huge sense of pride to be bestowed with the responsibility for designing such iconic pieces which are celebrated the world over. Liverpool FC fans are some of the most passionate, whitty and loyal fans. The shirt is their identity and is a powerful reminder of the clubs historical exploits and modern day triumphs. At New Balance we have to be mindful that the jersey represents not just the club but the global fan base and is something which people take great pride in pulling on as they make the pilgrimage to Anfield.


How much feedback and inspiration do the club give you when designing a kit?

There is a lot of dialogue between New Balance and Liverpool Football Club, from the commercial team to manager, players and fans, as we progress through the design phase. Over the past 9 years the working relationship has strengthened and the mutual respect and confidence that both New Balance and Liverpool Football Club share is testiment to how committed both parties are to creating the best product possible. We are always looking to reflect the will of the club and fans by underpinning the design with a credible and compelling club narrative. This again is strengthened by the club who facilitate fan feedback and player testing sessions to validate concepts prior to launch.

The black and gold goalkeeper shirt... you’ve hit a sweet spot there haven’t you?

There is no better colour combination than Black and Gold, obviously apart from the red pepper home kit! The Black and Gold combination speaks to the mood and direction of current trends.


Have you noticed more influence from off pitch culture come into your moodboards when designing a kit?

As a design fuction we have definitely noticed a move away from overt technical looking product and a real shift towards lifestyle trends and influences. The lines have been blurred between performance and lifestyle, so much so that we actively encourage an ethos of designing product which is at home in all scenarios and can overcome the barriers of where pieces should be worn. This can be illustrated in the current trend for wearing retro jerseys to festivals and events that you simply would not expect, evidence that the football jersey is enjoying a renaissance and is a go-to piece for influencers and fashionistas alike.  

What detail have you added to the kits that will mean a lot to the fans of the club?

We try to provide a window into the soul of the club, tell stories which resonate with fans and infuse the kit offer with detailing which adds a degree of authenticity. This can be illustrated in the 2019/20 kit offer by the use of the Bob Paisley OBE signature sign off which celebrates a true club legend and speaks to the very fabric of the club, its fans and commemorates Bob Paisley’s importance in shaping the clubs past, present and future.


How reactive do you need to be to trends when designing a kit? Obviously the process starts early the previous season but are there ever last minute changes?

Like everything in life, last minute amendments can crop up from time to time. This is part and parcel of the design process when so many moving parts are involved. The key to overcoming such occurances is constant dialogue and communication to ensure all parties involved are happy and committed to any changes. We all move forward as one!

Where do you draw inspiration? While you may nod to the past, it’s important to be progressive and move forward isn’t it?

Inspiration can come from anywhere. The main thing is to be open to ideas and the exploration of where they will take you. Liverpool FC has such a rich history from which to draw from, it is an exciting period of the process when coming up or unearthing potential inspirations. It is important to construct the story for the season in a comprehensive manner allowing us to communicate the story in a compelling and easily understandable way. Once the story is locked in we can then interpret and apply these seasonal themes through the lens of current/future trends to provide a modern progressive take on a familiar concept.


Do you ever think you’d like to go all out radical/90s and almost create something garishly brilliant?

Believe me we are always tempted, however there are so many rules and regulations (from governing bodies) to which we must adhere to. Its about striking a fine balance between creativity, desirability and exclusivity.

New Balance's time with Liverpool has seen some seriously strong kits. The training wear for the club this season is also very smart. Does this reflect the evolution of New Balance as a brand in football?

Yes...we pride ourselves on pushing boundaries and striving to be the best. We always have the user front and centre of our design process and are eager to provide creative solutions to the needs of the elite athlete, the fan and casualwear adoptors. The 2019/20 training collection showcases our ability to engineer product which creates an emotional bond with the wearer, whilst addressing the fundamental performance requirements they face day after day.


Shop the full Liverpool 2019/20 replica collection at