We all remember the waves that the 2020/21 Manchester United third shirt made, with social feeds unsure of what to make of the black and white, asymmetrical adidas design. Fast forward six months, however, and that initial unease has been replaced in many corners with acceptance that adidas hit the mark with a bold and exciting design, so much so that the infamous ‘zebra’ shirt is now inspiring concept designs (and has earned a place on our FSC Approved list).
While the current season’s third shirt is a clear source of inspiration for the black and white colour scheme of this shirt, it also calls back to the mid 2000s, when a United team featuring the likes of Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs and a youthful Cristiano Ronaldo wore a similarly hooped black and white shirt.
The lines on @IL_graphic and @ramitalts’ design are slightly more defined, but it’s an effectively simplistic style that changes the norm of United shirts similarly to how this season’s controversial third shirt has. And while the 2003 version opted for red hoops too, this concept utilises the traditional Red Devils’ colour on it’s crest, manufacturers logo and shirt sponsor, doing so to striking effect.
Changed colour schemes on club crests are often hit and miss with fans, and adidas are unlikely to change their usual branding, but one element of these red features that cannot be argued with is the revamp of the Chevrolet logo.
Since it first appeared on shirts at Old Trafford in 2014, the Chevrolet logo has been an eyesore for fans, but this concept may just have achieved the impossible by making it work, thanks to a sleek colour change. It is also worth mentioning that the realistic design of these features on the shirt – with the rubber texture clear to see – is an example of incredible attention to detail.
Away from the design theme and colour scheme, the subtler elements of the shirt are where @IL_graphic and @ramitalt get really innovative. They start by giving us a new sleeve and torso cut, with the white of the shirt slightly overhanging the black side panels. On the side of the sleeves we also get a minimalist take on the adidas three stripes, with three simple red lines used instead of the more regular side or shoulder stripes.
As if all of these kit elements were not enough, the design duo have capped-off their concept with a fully rendered model and photoshoot backdrop. Decked out in matching adidas track pants and trainers, the model looks suspiciously like David Beckham, who just so happened to be the man who leaked the 2020/21 third shirt on Instagram.
Will this season’s Manchester United third shirt become a cult classic?
When shirts begin to inspire the designs of others, then you know that they’ve got something right. @IL_graphic and @ramitalt don’t note the exact inspiration of this concept, but with the colour scheme and presence of a David Beckham-esque figure, it seems likely that the 2020/21 shirt played a role.
So will the current Manchester United third shirt go on to become a cult classic among shirt collectors? If it means we keep getting incredible concepts like this one, then we hope so!
Tell us what you think of the shirt and the Man United third concept in the comments below!
Who are @IL_graphic and @ramitalt?
@IL_graphic is a concept designer based in Argentina, and his inventive and innovative concepts have been regularly featured by FSC, including an artistic Chicago Red Stars jersey, and a beautiful black and gold Brazil shirt. His collaborator on this project, @ramitalt, is also based in Argentina, and as debut concept features go, there aren’t many better!