Creative Soccer Culture

Looking Back On 5 Years Of adidas x Juventus

Juventus and adidas have been in partnership for five years now, and the relationship has developed and strengthened with every passing year, building to the crescendo that was the immense Palace crossover. But that’s far from the end of the Juve and adidas story. With the deal being extended to 2027, this partnership is only just getting started

Juventus and adidas joined forces at a point of pivot for football; a point where the stigma attached to a football shirt away from a stadium had almost completely vanished thanks to increasingly smart, tailored designs that were rapidly adopted in lifestyle, streetwear and fashion circles. The partnership rode the crest of a new era for football culture, and in something of a perfect storm, that coincided with a new era for the club; an era in which a new visual identity was created, quickly followed by the signing of one of the greatest players of all time and a general shift that once again saw the club as one of the strongest in Europe. The quality of the shirts in these formative years simply reinforced the potential power of the partnership.

Switching the Swoosh for the Three Stripes and embracing creative scenes both on and off the pitch, the first chapter in adidas and Juventus’s history together played on the tradition of the club, with the 2015/16 home shirt staying true to the classic Juventus stripes, but with a thinner execution than previous Nike kits ― six black and five white to be specific, a record number. Alongside this subtle shift, the pink away kit landed as one that has already gone down as one of the most thought provoking kits of recent times. 

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Since 1897, the year of the club foundation, until 1903 Juventus wore pink jerseys, creating a look that became iconic and an integral part of the club's history. By reinterpreting tradition, adidas created a shirt that was embraced by all kinds of industry, from fashion to music and back to football. This Three Striped master stroke not only announced the partnership between brand and club in emphatic fashion, it also kicked off a new era for Juventus, all while honouring the legacy of the club.

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And those two were backed up by an absolute belter of a third shirt, as adidas dressed out the Old Lady in resplendent black with gold detailing popping through the not only the branding and cuff detail, but also through the Jeep sponsor and club crest. It was an absolutely sublime work, and it was a shame that it was only restricted to Juve's Champions League campaign, which was cut short by Bayern in the Last 16.

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A tough act to follow and so for the 16/17 season, adidas made another move in breathing fresh presentation into the iconic wears of Juventus. With a totally new approach that broke the club's tradition of harmonic stripes, the 16/17 home shirt featured wider stripes on the legendary black and white jersey, complimented with a pin stripe finish. Taking a look into the legacy of Juve kits, the away was a solid blue, paying homage to the blue kit worn by the side during their 95/96 Champions League success. A side dish of nonchalance is well worn with the look of Juve and this away kit was yet another to tear through a wardrobe away from the pitch.

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That throwback to the 90s continued with the design of the third shirt, for which the Three Stripes were shifted from the sleeves to the side of the jersey to allow a striking zebra pattern to trot along the shoulders. The link to the 90s came as, for a brief period of time, the club’s crest was replaced with a zebra.

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17/18 was monumental for Juventus. Initially met with fervent opposition from Bianconeri fans, the club unveiled their new logo in January 2017, but this was so much more than a redesign for the team's kit. This was Juventus providing a new visual identity that would signal a new era – one that would set the standard for other clubs’ future redesigns. The simplistic look represented the very essence of Juventus: the distinctive stripes of the playing jersey, the Scudetto – the symbol of victory – and the iconic J for Juventus. But more than that it was a streamlined logo that would lend itself perfectly to the many platforms across which it would be used, including branching away from the confines of the pitch. This was a masterstroke in marketing, and it sat on 17/18 home shirt that took inspiration from classic shirts of the 1940s.

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That simple round necked button collar for the home was paired with a punching yellow and blue carnival of colour in the shape of the 17/18 away. The re-invented Juve branding popping throughout, these kits provided the ideal canvas as the club moved into a new era, targeting a new generation. The third shirt then introduced a totally new colour combination for the club, combining a military green base with Juventus' famous black and white – a look based on a Creator Studio fan design.

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Embracing the elevated status and the arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo, the 18/19 kit instalment from Turin was once more clinical. Perhaps capturing where football trends found themselves in that season, it saw all kits stripped right back in providing something incredibly wearable in a stadium at 3pm or out at a club at 3am. The 18/19 home shirt used two vertical stripes on the front with just one on the back, combined with a new collar construction that was a re-interpretation of 90s EQT adidas ranges, to complete a bold and simple design.

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Dubbed 'Pastel Sand', the colour and design of the 18/19 away shirt played on adidas's "stadium to street" mantra, with both parties embracing a fashion savvy approach to the jersey game. A new and improved silhouette across all adidas 2018/19 shirts that introduced a more street-inspired profile, finished off here with accented cuffs that feature the clubs iconic Bianconeri stripes. 

Juve then rode the Parley wave for their 18/19 third shirt, with adidas providing a stunning dark grey design with an all-over graphic pattern, and bold yellow detailing on the three stripes, adidas logo and club crest. Another fresh offering that looked as good on pitch as it did off it.

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And so we come to the current season; a season that has swept history aside as both adidas and Juventus looked forward. Taking a revolutionary approach to the design aesthetics, for the 19/20 home shirt designers were tasked with embracing the tradition of the club while implementing a fresh slice of modern movement. At the same time they also had to try to appease fans, players and club officials alike. Oh, and they had to increase the appeal of the club to a more global audience while they were at it. Simple enough then. At least that’s what you’d think, as they did the unthinkable, reimagining those iconic stripes completely. Given a final seal of pink, the home shirt is one of the best selling of all time, especially donned by Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Both the 19/20 away and third shirts were then linked by an all-over sublimated graphic, the away inspired by the surroundings of the Juventus Stadium, more specifically the urban buildings and structures in Turin, while the third was… camo. Yep, just camo. Still nice to see something different in use.

But adidas and Juventus were not done with the 2019/20 just yet. And they invited a new friend along to play. At the end of October, after months of speculation, Juventus launched their adidas x Palace collaboration, catching the footballing world off guard as they switched into their new special edition kit for a relatively low-key match against Genoa. But with no other real significant fixtures to distract attention and no real importance on the game itself, it became the perfect platform to let the collaboration be main stage. A move that gives rise to Juventus as one of the leaders of a new generation of hype clubs as we entered a new decade. Juve and adidas marching on from strength to strength.


Juve and adidas just getting started? A space to definitely watch...

Daniel Jones

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