Here’s a football shirt so cool it wouldn’t look out of place on the set of The Talented Mr Ripley.
You can just imagine Matt Damon bobbing across the lagoon in a speedboat wearing this smart, polo-collared Venezia away shirt, before stopping off somewhere quiet to cave in someone’s head with an oar.
OK, just us then.
Since taking on the mantle of producing the Serie B side’s kits, Nike have built a stylish brand around the club and their distinctive Arancioneroverdi (orange, black and green) colours.
For their 2020-21 kit, they turned their familiar stripes around by 90 degrees to give the Leoni Alati (The Winged Lions) a hooped look which looks great on the home jersey, and utterly captivating across the smart polo-cut of the white away shirt.
As is the case with many of the most individual kits in Italian football, Venezia’s colour combination came about through compromise.
Football in Venice has survived despite a number of bankruptcies and mergers, with the current version of the city’s main club only re-formed in 2005.
When a former iteration of the club merged with Associazione Calcio Mestre in 1987, the new team combined the orange and black colours of the side from the mainland, with Venezia’s familiar green and black stripes.
Thankfully they had the good sense to retain the black between the orange and green and thus a unique and attractive colourway was born.
The part about this year’s kits that really works for us is the absence of a sponsor and the placement of “Venezia Football Club” across the central black band.
The typography is classically done and all in all, it’s a move that makes this shirt look as much at home on a boat as on a pitch.
Which is really quite handy when you live in the middle of a lagoon.
You might say it’s easy to market stylish football shirts when you have the backdrop of Venice to fall back on, but Nike have transformed what may otherwise be functional sportswear, into fashion items that don’t actually have to be worn as a football shirts.
Before Nike’s arrival at the Stadio Pierluigi Penzo (probably by boat), Venezia football shirts did not feature in polls of the best football shirts of the year.
The fact that these are being sold to an international audience without a particularly successful team to wear them, says as much about the marketing pull of Nike as it does about their status as the best looking kit firm on the block at the moment.