Adidas revives iconic "bruised banana" shirt for Arsenal away kit

Adidas has reinterpreted Arsenal's classic early-1990s yellow and blue shirt as the football team's away kit for the 2019/20 season.

The predominantly yellow kit, which will be wore by Arsenal's men's and women's football teams at away games this season, is covered with a shaded zigzag pattern.

Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
The latest away kit is based on the 1990s bruised banana shirt, worn by footballer Ian Wright

Adidas designed the distinctive pattern as a "modern twist" on the kit worn by Arsenal between 1991 and 1993, known as the bruised banana due to its colouring.

"I think it was screaming out to be brought back and refreshed," said Inigo Turner, design director at Adidas. "It is a much loved and talked about football shirt, it is one of the most iconic shirts of all time and a symbol of Arsenal," he told Dezeen.

Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
The reinterpretation of the 1990s kit is yellow with a shaded zigzag pattern

The shirt is complete with a crew neck collar, along with Adidas' three stripes on the shoulders and a logo all in navy blue.

Although the shirt is a reinterpretation of an existing kit, Adidas was keen to make sure that the shirt also had a modern look.

Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
The kit will be worn during the 2019/2020 football season

"James Webb who designed it put a lot of thought and research into creating something that has meaning and still has the spirit of that icon," explained Turner.

"Rather than try to create a 1:1 throwback jersey we wanted to try and offer a different take on the iconic pattern."

Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
The shirt is designed to be a "different take on the iconic pattern"

Along with the 1990s shirt, the graphic also incorporates other visual elements from the club's history.

"After a lot of research and exploration we arrived at a graphic that resonates with the spirit of 91/92 as well as other elements such as the lightning bolt taken from the crest displayed on the facade of the Royal Arsenal Gatehouse," said Turner.

"We simply didn't want to take something that had come before and redraw it, we wanted to reference important and deliberate detailing from the club and bring that into our process," he continued.

"The graphic borrows from this research and the richness of the product is down to a need for textured and layered story telling."

Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
The graphic also incorporates other visual elements from Arsenal's history

Adidas could not actually have reissued the original bruised banana kit as European football's governing body UEFA's regulations would not allow this kit to be worn by a team today.

"UEFA has a huge book of detailed regulations and we have to design within them. I don't think all fans are necessarily aware of those types of things, but they play a big role," he explained.

"What that means is to do the bruised banana the same way as the original would not work. We cannot go to that level of colour contrast and graphic size proportion to the base colour, as it is not clearly one colour or shade."

Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
UEFA regulations mean that the original bruised banana shirt couldn't be worn by teams today

The design forms part of an approach that Adidas calls "authenticity to progression" explained Turner.

"When we build products we often look to something from an authentic story point in the club and then try to bring it to life in a new and compelling way," he said.

"That is where we bring in progression, we don't want to simply do the same thing that has already been done, that wouldn't be moving the look forward and creating new future classics," he added.

Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
NBA player James Harden models the football shirt

Alongside its primary purpose as a playing kit for the Arsenal players the shirt has been created to be a fashionable item of clothing.

"The design embraces our ethos of 'stadium to the street', where we can design something that looks equally good in any environment but is still the highest level of performance in terms of fabrics, cut and application," said Turner.

Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
The shirt is designed to be worn on the street as well as on the pitch

Adidas designs football shirts for numerous club and national teams.

Last year the brand collaborated with with environmental initiative Parley for the Oceans to create a recycled plastic shirt for Manchester United, while eight teams at the FIFA World Cup 2018 played in kits designed by the sportswear brand.

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Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season
Bruised banana – Arsenal away kit for 2019/20 season