We all have our favourite brands. Perhaps it’s Nike, the giants of world football who are leading the charge in the modern game in the eyes of many people. Maybe you’re an adidas fanboy who longs for a return to the glory days of the 90s. If you’re a Puma enthusiast, you’re probably keeping your head down this year for obvious reasons…
Whoever you favour, the scene has rarely been as competitive as it is at the moment. Outside of the aforementioned big 3, several ‘smaller’ brands boast a potent combination of a vast portfolio backed up by a storied history, whilst others have burst onto the scene out of nowhere to command our attention.
Today, I want to focus on a manufacturer with a 33 year legacy who have consistently positioned themselves as one of the leading contenders when it comes to football shirts.
Italian company Erreà are a familiar name in the industry, but their work in 2021/22 represents something of a peak in the brand’s impressive history.
Parma 2021-22 home, away and GK shirts
When you think of Erreà you think of Parma.
Erreà themselves are based in the province of Parma, and since 2006 the region’s famous club of the same name have had their kits made by Erreà. Throughout Parma’s turbulent redemption arc Erreà remained loyal, and that loyalty is paying off big time for both parties in 2021.
Despite relegation from Serie A last season, Parma’s kits this year are some of the most pleasingly nostalgic you’ll see across any team in any league.
Shirts inspired by designs of the past can sometimes fall flat, but there’s nothing flat about Errea’s work with Parma. Taking direct inspiration from Parma’s 1998 kits (made by Lotto), the 2021 vintage builds on the ideas of the 90s with some subtle but important developments.
The yellow and blue hooped away, a personal highlight, freshens up Parma’s iconic aesthetic with a wonderful textured pattern featuring yellow flecks within the blue hoops; an area of the shirt which was simpler on the 1998 home. Sometimes less is more in design, but in this case I love the busier, more intricate addition especially in combination with the plainer yellow hoops.
What I love even more is the way the white and black home shirt ties into the away. Within a giant cross on the front are the same flecks of colour as seen in the hoops of the away. Home and away shirts which share design features are something of a lost art in football, but Erreà have shown a deftness of touch here on top of the romantic, 90s link.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg, however. At the risk of this turning into a Parma-only blog I’ll have to move us on, but not before mentioning two goalkeeper shirts. Club legend and Italian hero Gianluigi Buffon made an emotional return to the Stadio Ennio Tardini this season, and the goalkeeper is playing in a wonderful red and blue hooped kit much like the one he wore during his first spell with the club.
We were even treated to a special anniversary goalkeeper kit, which delved into the 90s even further with a beautiful recreation of the GK kit which Buffon wore in 1995. There’s simply too much to consume from a shirt perspective in just one sitting, but Erreà deserve all the credit in the world for treating Parma with the respect the club deserves.
Pescara 2021-22 home shirt
What of Erreà’s work outside of Parma, though? I’m happy to report that there’s no drop-off in quality.
Staying in Italy, the 2021 Pescara home is an underrated gem which expertly balances traditional and fresh design ideas. Like Parma, Pescara suffered relegation in the 2020/21 season, but their 2021/22 home shirt is deserving of a higher standing.
One feature that immediately draws the eye is the repeated Erreà logo on the sleeves of the shirt. I don’t care which brand does it, repeating logos on sleeves will always look good in my eyes. Erreà’s logo lends itself particularly well though, and it’s something you’d never see in the big competitions due to branding restrictions.
Elsewhere you’ll find a geometric pattern within the blue stripes of the shirt. This sort of pattern is exactly the sort of thing you like to see on a home shirt, providing enough interest without sacrificing a team’s home look.
And of course, any conversation about Pescara has to include the club crest. Though not a feature relating specifically to Erreà, I want to talk about the beautiful dolphin emblem which is easily one of the best in football.
Lincoln City 2021-22 away shirt
Moving outside Italy, Erreà have been particularly good with one English club, Lincoln City.
Plying their trade in League One, The Imps have seemingly formed a strong bond with their kit manufacturer, producing several excellent designs since the start of the partnership back in 2015.
I want to highlight this year’s away shirt, which serves as an example that Erreà are more than just nostalgia merchants. Lincoln have used blue as an away colour for various kits throughout their history, but the 2021 away is a largely new approach with a navy base complemented with a dizzying assortment of patterns.
A repeating circle graphic in a slightly lighter shade of navy is overlaid with interlocking navy and light blue lines that produce an aesthetic that’s a cross between a spider’s web and a London Underground map. It would be easy for this sort of design to become overwhelming, but the choice of colours for the various elements helps keep proceedings grounded, not to mention the simple light blue crew neck and cuffs which allow the body of the shirt to do the talking.
Again, this is a textbook example of a brand bringing something fresh to the table outside of the comfort of an old kit. Yes, Erreà are very good at reviving classics, but they’re not just a one trick pony.