Kit Capsule 2020: AIK’s Small Batch Behrens Edition Shirt

Stockholm’s AIK have made a habit of releasing highly sought after, retro-inspired shirts, and 2020’s “Behrens Edition” may have been the very best yet.

Since taking over from adidas in 2018, Nike have produced a series of special edition kits in ridiculously small batches, focused on the club’s history.

This year’s number took its inspiration from AIK’s founder Isidor Behrens, and the club’s original plain white shirts.

AIK, Nike, Behrens Shirt, kit
The original white sweater with its over-sized badge on which Nike’s “Behrens edition” shirt was based

Allmänna Idrottsklubben, or simply AIK were founded in 1891 as a multi-discipline sport club for the people, with the football division we know today established in 1896.

Over time, and probably to do with the habit of their men’s bandy team to take to the ice in bow-ties, the organisation became known as“Smokinglirare” or “the Tuxedo squad.”

AIK’s footballers switched to black shirts in 1911 and it’s their final, brilliant white sweaters from 1910 that Nike celebrated with their stripped-back “Behrens Edition” kit.

In tribute to the club’s foundation 129 years ago, just 129 of these shirts were made with each one delivered in a specially produced tuxedo case.

AIK, Nike, Behrens Shirt, kit
Nothing says “Sartorial Soccer” quite like a tuxedo-style carry case and hanger

Predictably enough, they sold out in minutes leading to some lucky recipients cashing in on the rarity, whilst the truly unscrupulous out there flooded the market with fake shirts to exploit demand for the design.

Some might say this shirt is just a plain white polo with a ridiculously, oversized badge and that this is purely about money, but if that was the case, why didn’t Nike produce more of them?

As well as the nod to the past, as well as the chance to do something different, this is all about generating publicity for the brand and taking the Swedes to an international market.

AIK’s 2020 Tuxedo squad

The shirts were worn in AIK’s 3-1 Svenska Cupen win over Kalmar FF and all proceeds from this year’s “1891 Behrens Edition” jersey went towards continuing the aims of their founders in making sport accessible to all.

Nike have done such a great job with their series of throwback AIK heritage shirts they have almost defined the genre of fashionable, toned-down kits which has developed across multiple clubs and brands.

We can’t wait to see what 2021 brings.

AIK, Nike, Behrens Shirt, kit
AIK’s “1891 – Behrens Edition” jersey by Nike

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