By Alex Bullamore
Yet another kit announcement has been and gone. All the hype, teasing and guessing has been sidelined by two new smart looking QPR shirts that our fans will hope become iconic over time.
This is why kits are so important. They’re markers for your experience of supporting a football side. Some kits become iconic because of on-field success, while some are remembered because of how awful they are. A certain well-selling but otherwise poor design from the 2018-19 season comes to mind here.
By the looks of things this season’s kit are another solid design from Francis Atkinson and Errea.
You’ll very quickly realise that I’m not fashion journalist when reading this article. In fact, football shirts are the only type of fashion I truly care about with my collection (of mostly QPR kits) now close to 60 different shirts.
What I’m gonna try and do here is point out a few things that I’m sure everyone has noticed and just give a few opinions on how shirts and kits seem to come about.
I feel that at QPR we’re lucky to have Francis Atkinson, someone who’s supported the club all his life, contributing to our kits. You don’t need to look to far back to the Nike kits in the Premier League and in the Championship to see what it’s like when a design of really phoned in by a manufacturer.
More recently we’ve had some very nice kits that will reference previous retro designs, and consequently shirts that will be remembered for a long time because of the care and attention that is now being paid to the designs.
This year we don’t see much retro influence in our kits at all. Maybe there are some minor details that I’ve not picked up on but these look like a completely fresh design for QPR. Personally. I don’t mind this. As I’ve said recently, we’ve taken influence from different retro shirts and recreated good looking modern shirts, but there needs to be something fresh eventually otherwise everything gets boring.
Having said that, clearly ideas get reused eventually as there are only so many times you can reinvent the wheel. For me the biggest influence from a past kit comes on the blue piping on the home and the gold on the away kit. This made me instantly think of the design of the 2018-19 home kit which features a blue panel down the arms.
Now you might think that this is a pretty tenuous link, however I think it highlights that ultimately the job of redesigning what is basically the same kit every year is quite challenging.
What makes this kit feel fresh for me is the little white and blue lines in between the big hoops. It’s such a simple addition, and for some reason I feel like I’ve seen it before, but it just works really well as a way of refreshing a design we’ve seen many times before.
The real winner of course is the away kit, now this is a striking design. Of course it’s impossible to not be reminded of the 2015-16 Barcelona home shirt, but they did technically copy our hooped design first so I feel like this is a long-overdue return of the favour.
This kit is however another example of creating a brand new design for QPR without referencing the past. We saw this last season as well with the black and gold away kit, colours that usually have nothing to do with QPR and yet there is a brilliant kit which for the most part saw brilliant football played whilst wearing it.
Again this season the colours don’t scream QPR straight away, you would struggle perhaps to recognise this as QPR without the badge. But it just works and the biggest complement you can give the design is that as soon as I saw it, I wanted it.
Overall this looks like another good year for Errea and a job well done. Rumours circulated that last year was the final year in the contract between Errea and QPR, and despite the good kits of last season it felt like a change would be for the better.
However with another season’s kits now released I’m not sure what we gain from moving to a new manufacturer. It seems to me that with Errea we have a good relationship with a company that’s actually willing to listen to what the club and fans want from their kits, and that feels priceless.