Creative Soccer Culture

New Balance Talk FC Porto Kits In 19/20 Lookbook

New Balance are gearing up for the 2019/20 season by showcasing their replica work for some of their leading European clubs. The brand are celebrating the DNA of each club by creating unique and individual kits that speak of the very story at the heart of the cities that they represent. Cities such as Porto.

FC Porto have been supplied with three shirt designs by New Balance, and they all arrive under the ‘Dragon’s Together’ campaign, which connects fans around the world with the Portuguese giants. The coastal city itself is one of the oldest in Europe and it boasts a blend of deep heritage and unrivalled character, from the narrow cobbled streets, which is home to beautiful plazas, churches and houses with colourfully tiled façades, to the more cosmopolitan seaside suburbs. The perfect backdrop to display the new kit designs.

In the first of a short series, we speak to the design team at New Balance to talk about the inspiration behind the design process for their 2019/20 kits, which has seen a celebration of the character of each individual city as an overriding theme. First up, we settled in to discuss FC Porto.

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Tell us about the mindset when the design team are tasked with designing new kits. Where does the inspiration come from?

With FC Porto being such a successful club with such a big and passionate fan base, it’s important that we respect the heritage of the team and place the traditional club look that has given them success at the forefront of our design process.

What’s it like to work with the club?

It’s brilliant working with all involved at Estádio do Dragão. They’re proper football people, they know their stuff. It’s a pleasure to talk designs, briefs and swap ideas with the club regularly and there’s a great mutual understanding that only benefits New Balance and FC Porto.

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Does the team learn a lot about the city in the process of designing their kits?

Porto is considered the capital of the North of Portugal. It’s a city full of hard-working and fiercely proud people. FC Porto embodies this hard-working culture. The FC Porto crest contains the word “Invicta”, meaning undefeated, which is in the motto of the city. In the 1830s, Porto successfully withstood a Siege of 18 months from King Miguel’s absolutist reign who opposed the liberal constitution. Porto shone as a beacon of hope to the whole of Portugal in this time. It’s therefore a fitting word to have in the crest of the football club that has known so much success over the years.

With New Balance designing the kits for a few seasons now, what has changed in that time? Have any new trends emerged in the industry as a whole?

Each year has to be bigger and better than the rest. There’s definitely a trend emerging of jerseys being worn away from the pitch. Anyone can express their love for the game or a team through a jersey and we want to design jerseys that look fresh in the stadium or the street. It’s great working with FC Porto who are in tune with this trend as well.

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The goalkeeper shirts are notably quite striking. Are we close to seeing more interest from fans in picking a goalkeeper shirt up in the contemporary game simply because they just look better off pitch?

Absolutely. For the fans, the goalkeeper jersey is another way to express their support for their team and gives us a great chance to design something that might not align to club’s orthodox stories or designs. We’ve already seen a shift from the long-sleeved silhouette to the more wearable short-sleeve type and we expect that the keeper jerseys will be in the spotlight more and more heading forward as fans chose to show their colours in new ways.

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The third kit is often a chance to get a little more experimental isn't it?

We believe so! We wanted to embody the nickname of “Os Dragões/The Dragons” into the 3rd jersey. The graphic is an abstract representation of dragon scales and is my personal favourite for the 19/20 season for FC Porto. I’m looking forward to more experimentation in the near future!

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Pick up all 2019/20 FC Porto kits at

Daniel Jones

The Creative Soccer Culture Brief

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