Nike didn’t predict a riot when they released Kaizer Chiefs’ new shirts this summer, but their outlandish, mesmerising designs have certainly split opinion.
International football shirt connoisseurs loved this hypnotic home shirt, but many of Kaizer Chiefs’ own fans have not been so sure this number is one of their greatest hits.
Nike had hoped these retro-referencing shirts would remind supporters of the kit worn in the successful 2012-13 season when Kaizer Chiefs won a league and Nedbank Cup double.
Yet such is the modern way, many Amakhosi supporters on social media were not so thrilled, feeling that the dynamic design had been inflicted on them by the American sportswear giants and made them a laughing stock.
The mixed reception extended beyond Soweto, but the dizzying designs have been held in high esteem outside of South Africa, regularly featuring in Best Kits of 2019 rankings.
Nike never miss a beat and we love the invention and will to push the boundaries of kit design they’ve shown here.
However, we can certainly appreciate how sections of Kaizer Chiefs support will feel about them.
Wonderfully abstract designs are great to look at and appeal to international audiences craving something exotic to wear that marks them out as radical and different from their mates.
However, when those designs are foisted on your own team, and at the expense of your club’s time honoured tradition; a “Not In My Back Yard” attitude can prevail.
More daring designs are often under-appreciated in their own time but results on the field can determine how we feel about kits.
With Kaizer Chiefs currently top of the Premier Soccer League table, perhaps these hypnotic shirts will be remembered with fondness by the Amakhosi faithful?