The Rise of the Retro Football Kit

(photo: Courtesy of Sunderland AFC)

Classic football kits are more than just that, they’re a work of art and a piece of culture ingrained in football fans both young and old. Not only do they capture some of the best moments in football history, showcased by iconic players through the decades, but they’re slowly becoming high-fashion items too. 

Noticing this trend has been on the up over the past few years, we wanted to uncover why. Is this simply a case of nostalgia? Or is it that modern day kits are lacking something that only retro ones can provide? 

During the nineties, kits stood out on the pitch with striking designs, bold colourways and unusual motifs. In more recent times, the evolution of the football shirt has seemed to level out somewhat, with plain colours favoured over eye-catching patterns. 

In the most recent kit reveal for the football season 2020/2021 however, we’ve seen a resurgence in this style among professional clubs. Arsenal have taken on a marbled design for their away kit, Chelsea a terrazzo style for theirs, the new Man City home kit features a geometric pattern and Wolves’ away kit a striking tie-dye. It’s clear we’re seeing a more playful, fun side to kit design coming back through. 

But what has caused these styles to make a comeback?

Classic Football Kits as Streetwear

Well, it’s no secret that classic football shirts made their way off the pitch around the early to mid 2000’s and onto the street instead. Football fans of all ages have sought after classic kits to welcome into their wardrobes, both as a fashion statement and a testament to the rich football-fuelled culture of the 90s. 

Vintage fashion in general has become ever more popular, and while football lovers well into adulthood enjoy the older kits for the memories, younger supporters are discovering fashion staples that are so different to what you see in football grounds today. This is an exciting new concept that creates the appeal.  

Seeking style, substance, craftsmanship and mostly, something unique, it’s no wonder that retro kits sell just as well as the new, hot-off-the-press styles among today’s market.

Is Value for Money a Factor? 

When purchasing a retro shirt, you’re getting so much more than just an item of clothing. It has style, memories and culture attached and a uniqueness that very few others possess.

With this in mind, could fans be feeling that they get more for their money with a retro top? Classic shirts are becoming more readily available too, with a number of online retailers specialising in selling classic kits and this level of accessibility has certainly played its part in the retro revival. 

The football shirt is an iconic piece of the kit that is designed not just for the players but for the fans to get behind in support of their beloved club. 

When you think of every classic England heart-wrenching moment, what do you think of? You think of Gazza's famous 'Dentist Chair' celebration against Scotland, you think of Alan Shearer’s Euro 96 goal against Holland to send England through or the moments that got every England fan's blood pumping, the dreaded 'penalty shootout'. Two words no England fan wants to hear.

This is what fans want each year, they want new and iconic designs to feel a part of these moments. They want to wear a football kit they are proud to represent that gets them excited to associate themselves with the club they support.

Bringing Retro Back to Avec Sport

At Avec Sport, we’ve always prided ourselves on unique kit launches year after year. We like to keep things fresh, introducing striking patterns and brilliant new colourways to suit the needs of all clubs, whether amateur, grassroots or professional.

Looking back to our roots, we found ourselves reminiscing about the iconic Sunderland AFC kit of the 1996/1997 season, their final at Roker Park. The bold block vertical stripes gave off a varsity feel that invoked a spirit of inspiration in us.  

That is why this year, we’ve listened to demand and have decided to back the retro revival, launching two unique kits that cast your mind back to the late nineties, early 2000s. Combining vintage styles with a modern take, we’ve set out to bring a collection of kits that are reminiscent of the past but that stand up to today’s standards when it comes to performance on the pitch.

Retro Football Kit

The ‘Retro’ kit by Avec Sport is sleek and subtle, but certainly isn’t lacking in design. Available in four distinctive colourways - Black, Claret Red, Navy Blue and Royal Blue, each shirt features a contrasting lined graphic and the return of retro taping on the sleeves. 


Retro Fade Football Kit

The ‘Retro Fade’ kit by Avec Sport is perfect for those looking for something bright and brilliant to help their team stand out on match days. Featuring a two tone block panel effect and signature Avec Sport retro taping to the sleeve, this energetic kit comes in five eye-catching colours; Orange, Purple, Royal Blue, Sky Blue and Turquoise.