Amongst Brazil’s 1970 World Cup winners, Michels’ and Cruyff’s Ajax of the 70s and Guardiola’s all conquering Barcelona, the AC Milan squad of the late 80s and early 90s, managed by the revolutionary Arrigo Sacchi, are always in the conversation of the greatest teams of all time.
And deservedly so; they followed a Serie A title in 1988 with back-to-back European Cup successes and played a new brand of football which altered how teams pressed and defended forever. Amongst the greats of that team were three pivotal Dutchmen, Frank Rijkaard, Rudd Gullit and Marco Van Basten, and in his latest concept kit, @CatDeCamisetas pays tribute to three of Milan’s greatest ever players with a series of fresh AC Milan concept kits.
As is always the case with Milan home shirts the stripes are the hardest thing to get right. In the past they have been thick, thin, faded, but always the classic red and black that gives the team it’s Rossoneri nickname.
This concept opts for a mixture of the thick and faded styles, as its large, dominating, black stripes are layered with grainy red stripes that fade throughout. Reminiscent of this year’s Juventus home shirt, the design looks much better when fewer and thicker stripes are used.
HOME: La camiseta rinde homenaje a los dos campeonatos europeos conseguidos de manera consecutiva. Las franjas de la camiseta se hicieron a partir de una conocida foto de sus tres figuras en ese momento: Marco Van Basten, Ruud Gullit y Frank Rijkaard. pic.twitter.com/PtEnKpFy4d— Catador de Camisetas (@CatDeCamisetas) August 13, 2020
But as is always the case with great concepts, it is the inspiration behind the design that really draws me in. The three faded stripes on the shirt is a reference to a famous photo of the three Dutch maestros, who between them provided all five goals scored by Milan in their 1989 and 1990 European Cup finals. While that reference might be obscure, the final touch of text reading ‘Back-to-back ‘88-’89 ‘89-’90’ circling the club crest finishes off this home shirt.
THIRD: homenaje al Trío Holandés que supo darle muchas alegrías al Milan. El pattern fue creado a partir del afiche oficial de la final entre Milan y Benfica en 1990, en Austria. Además, intenté recrear un pattern que recordara a aquella camiseta holandesa de 1988. pic.twitter.com/HZktWuvSXI— Catador de Camisetas (@CatDeCamisetas) August 13, 2020
But the references do not finish there, as @CatDeCamisetas alludes quite strongly to the origins of Milan’s Dutch legends in his third shirt concept. We have never seen Milan appear in an orange shirt, but given their strong Dutch connection it fits perfectly as a third shirt option, much in the way Barcelona have used orange alternative shirts in the past.
Beyond just the orange base colour of the shirt, its pattern is a nod to the infamous blocked design worn by The Netherlands at Euro 1988, but with an added inspiration from the poster used for the 1990 European Cup final in which Milan were victorious. To cap the design, a simplistic and stripped back version of the club crest allows the shirts base design to truly take centre stage.
The best concepts are well planned and presented
The design and idea behind these concepts by @CatDeCamisetas are great, but what really excels the whole project is the layout of his work. Alongside the shirts there are pictures and references to the inspiration behind the designs, which tell the viewer a story, and also draw more people into the concept. These little differences are always exciting to see and can really boost overall output of designs.
Are there any similarly designed concepts you have come across recently? Tell us in the comments below!
Who is @CatDeCamisetas?
A quick look through this designer’s social feeds will tell you that he is an avid football kit lover, and judging by these concepts, a talented designer too. Check him out on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with his latest output.