Dezeen Magazine

Nike unveils World Cup 2018 kits for England and Nigeria

Nike has revealed the football kits for the Nigeria and England teams at this year's World Cup in Russia, which both combine designs from old strips with elements inspired by youth culture.

The kits were unveiled at an event in London earlier this week, where footballers from both teams – including Nigeria's Kelechi Iheanacho and England's Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – were on-hand to model the pieces.

Firstly, Nike presented England's home and away kits, as well as a collection of matching tracksuits.

While the shirts feature colours and motifs historically seen on England kits, the designers were keen to update the elements to give them a "modern approach" – doing so through material innovations and the slimline cut of the garment.

Both kits feature the Saint George's cross on the outer back neck, while a rosette is located on the inside.

A custom typeface based on Johnston and Gil Sans fonts was designed for player names, and numbers have been moved from the centre of the shirt to below the crest to make the fabric more breathable.

The home kit follows a classic look, pairing a white shirt with blue shorts – both accented by red trimming.

"The home kit is more traditional, to give the fans what they want, but there was definitely a modern approach to that through the material innovation and the cut of the garment," Hoppins told Dezeen. "It still looks fresh and modern, but it's still traditional."

The away kit features a two-tone red graphic depicting the Saint George's Cross, and the pre-match shirt features a blue and red pattern designed as an ode to the team's 1982 look.

All designs are rooted in Nike's interest in England's youth culture, with the brand aiming to make the kits relevant both on and off the pitch.

"The youth culture movement happening in the UK right now is really connected with fashion, music and football," senior design director Pete Hoppins told Dezeen.

"Football players are also style influencers as well," he added. "As we're designing these kits and collections, we're thinking about how people are going to wear this both on and off the pitch."

Nike chose to also unveil Nigeria's kit during the event, based on a resurgence of interest in the country's music scene in the UK.

The designers looked to the country's alternative name, Naija, for inspiration – noting that it translates to "the new Nigeria".

"With Nigeria, we wanted to tap into the attitude of the nation," said Dan Farron, Nike's football design director."We built this kit and collection based on the players' full identities."

"We started to see trends in attitude and energy connecting the athletes to music, fashion and more," he added. "They are part of a resoundingly cool culture."

The home kit is based on the shirt worn by Nigeria first team to qualify for the competition in 1994. Feather-inspired patterns feature across the whole shirt – black and white for the sleeves, and green and white for the torso.

This pattern is also seen on Nigeria's pre-match shirt and training apparel. Super Eagles, the team's nickname, is stretched across the shoulders.

The away kit offers a stripped-back version of its home counterpart and is made from a dark green fabric fearing a bright green crest.

"Overall, the two uniforms form the perfect yin/yang of kits," said Farron. "We counterbalanced the energy of the home with a super-dark deep green away look," explained Farron. "Then we recoloured the crest to be a single colour but lifted it in a really bright green. This gives us a really clean aesthetic."

Both kits were unveiled months ahead of the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup 2018 tournament, taking place June.

Adidas, the tournament's official sponsor, revealed eight of its team kits last year. Inspired by memorable designs of the past, they included designs for Germany, Spain and Argentina.