Fresh Chicago Red Stars concept kit offers an explosion of colour

Since football’s restart around the world, one of the highlights for me has been the return of the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). One of the teams taking part in this tournament have been the Chicago Red Stars, and while Julie Ertz and her team may have struggled with only one win since their return, they seem to have caught the attention of the concept kit world. 

Last week @il_graphic dropped his take on a third kit for the Red Stars, and it certainly got fans talking. Let’s take a closer look at the design!

The design

To call this shirt eye-catching might be an understatement, but there is a method to @il_graphic’s supposed madness. The inspiration for the concept comes from Liz Reday’s painting, ‘Chicago River at night’, which depicts one of the city’s most famous landmarks in a similarly abstract and colourful style. Credit is even given to Reday and her painting on the shirt jocktag.

The Red Stars traditionally have a blue and white crest – which itself is a tribute to the Chicago River – but this concept sees the crest adopt the colours of Reday’s painting, with the pink, yellow and blue combining well and giving a certain Club América feel. The yellow outline on the blue Nike tick is another example of great attention to detail.

And finally, the four stars across the shirt’s chest are taken from the team’s traditional shirts, and it works just as well on this concept as it does on those home and away jerseys. Given the history of the old North American Soccer League (NASL) teams taking to the pitch with names and patterns directly on the shirt’s front, the four stars fit perfectly within the realm of American soccer. 

Is there more untapped potential in US concept shirts?

The start of this year saw a flurry of great takes on Inter Miami shirts ahead of their much anticipated debut in the MLS, but on the whole there seems to be a lack of concepts coming from the North American leagues. Given the preference for templates in the leagues and the history of good, bad and experimental designs, the opportunities to create some great shirts.

But for now, we’re more than happy to at least have this great Chicago Red Stars concept. If you have any favourite concepts from the NWSL and NASL then send them our way!

Who is @il_graphic?

@il_graphic is an Argentinian-based graphic designer who has produced some great design recently, opting to design for teams and nations outside of the usual choices, including a great Portland Timbers concept we covered recently. Keep up to date with his designs on Twitter and Instagram

If you’re in the mood for a new concept shirt, we have a section of our marketplace dedicated to concepts. Have a look at what’s on offer, and start turning heads.

We also recently worked with a top concept kit designer to create 24 unique concept shirts, inspired by the NBA. If you like this Chicago Red Stars concept kit, you’ll love these looks.

Matt Leslie

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