Set to be worn during the 2020/21 season, the Manchester United third kit features a black and white pattern that resembles dazzle camouflage – an arrangement of contrasting geometric shapes painted on warships during world war one to make range finding difficult.
However, although the shirt's pattern has similarities with the 20th-century naval camouflage, Adidas did not look to the dazzle painting when designing the shirt.
"We call it dazzle because, obviously, it has a clear visual connection to it," said Inigo Turner, design director at Adidas. "But, it wasn't really part of our process in terms of the creation."
"We looked at hacking culture, building things that are different from a collection of things which already exist, and then putting them together as an interesting combination," he told Dezeen.
"I think, due to the black and white colour it ended up looking a lot more like dazzle than it had done before we went to the monochromatic colour palette."
To create the shirt's striking look Adidas looked back at some of Manchester United's previous shirts and the history of Old Trafford stadium, which is celebrating its 110th anniversary this year.
Although the football club is not known for wearing stripes, the design team discovered that the club had worn them several times in its history.
"We came across a really interesting fact that 110 years ago at Old Trafford, Manchester United played with an alternative striped kit," said Christiaan Barnard, global product manager at Adidas.
"And we thought, you know, that's quite interesting considering that in modern-day football when somebody plays with an alternative kit, it's never at the home stadium. It's always on the road," he told Dezeen.
"We soon came to realise that Manchester United had a few different striped variations throughout its history."
The dazzle kit was created as an abstraction of the stripes found on the dark red hooped shirt used in 1900, the blue and white striped third kit worn 1994-96 and the three lines on the Manchester coat of arms, which represent the three rivers that run through the city.
The designers at Adidas wanted to use the stripes as the basis for a more adventurous shirt design.
"We didn't want to do another striped shirt," said Turner. "There are loads of striped shirts out there. Obviously everybody wears stripes, not just on football shirts."
"We definitely didn't want to just do something which would be easy or something kind of rather more predictable. So we really, really wanted to do something which redefined the way things can look," he continued.
"We went into it with our eyes open and we know that it will divide opinion. I think it's one of those kits which will grow on people and be looked back on in years to come."
The abstracted black stripes cover the shirt's front and sleeves as well as wrapping over the shoulders, while the rest of the back is plain white.
The shirts accents, including the player name and number, club logo, Adidas logo, and shoulder stripes are coloured red – the colour most associated with the club.
When Manchester United play in the kit it will be combined with white shorts and socks. Adidas has also created socks and shorts that are patterned with the dazzle effect for fans that want to complete the look.
Windbreakers and hats with different versions of the pattern will also be on sale.
Adidas hopes that the distinctive shirt will be remembered alongside previous bold shirts like Manchester United's 1990-92 snowflake shirt or Germany's 1990 World Cup shirt.
"I think it's quite safe and straightforward to do a red home jersey a white away kit and a black third jersey every single season, and it's fairly expected," said Barnard.
"But what is a bit more interesting is taking fans on a bit of an immersion into what the club's past. And it should be a journey. It should be something exciting it should it be something that fans look forward to every year – what's the kit going to be, instead of kind of replicating the same thing every single season?"
"We were in the icon making business if we can achieve that then we're happy," said Turner.
"The proof will be in the test of time, that people will look back on it. I think like, something as iconic as this will be remembered."
Adidas also looked back to history for its design of Arsenal's 2020/2021 home shirt, which takes its form from the club's 1930s art deco crest. While the sportswear company's shirt for German club Bayern Munich pays homage to it Herzog & de Meuron-designed stadium.