As many people are pointing out, Joma didn't take many risks in the design of this year's Fiorentina jerseys. But did we want them to? I certainly didn't. With bigger expectations and European matches to be played, the last thing I wanted was a trendy or experimental "statement" (see the Liverpool third kit), especially with colors as beautiful as Fiorentina's. The jerseys needed to be simple, rooted in tradition, and something that announced that a historic club was back at the top level to stay. I very much liked last year's graceful and modern jersey, but by improving the construction, cleaning up a bit of stylistic extravagance, and continuing to commit to the history of the jersey, Joma has made a winner.
Few things have changed in these new duds, but the changes are important and well done. The gigli on the shoulders remain, but are much smaller and more tasteful. The badge has returned to its traditional place, over the "heart." The lettering of the name and numbers has changed too, and is (I think) far superior to last years, although that's a pretty subjective call on my part. The biggest additions in terms of construction appear to be the small and actually quite well done collars. I normally hate collars on soccer jerseys, because they flop around looking dumb and can be distracting or uncomfortable to players. But I am quite fond of these, and now we get to look forward to Pepito letting even more of his New Jersey side show by popping his collar at every opportunity.
The kits are generally designed to be monochromatic, though I always prefer when the away kit has purple shorts (like here), which happened a couple times last year, and will likely happen again on occasion this season. The Mazda logo is still too big, but there is nothing that we or Joma can do about that. The biggest design change is the new terza maglia or third jersey, which is a very suave grey/silver, and is supposedly modeled on the famous one worn by legends like Manuel Rui Costa in our last Coppa Italia winning season of 1999-2000. The goalkeeper jerseys - especially the dark one - are also quite nice in my opinion.
The presentation itself was small and classy, with Compper, new signing Iakovenko, and Madrigali modeling the new jerseys. The 18 year old Tuscan defender Madrigali is a staple of the youth team and will be traveling with the first team to start training next week, but still seemed like an odd choice until I saw his bewitching eyes. Prade was his usual efficient and dignified self as master of ceremonies, and even answered some questions about the transfer market at the end. Much was initially made of him saying that Mario Gomez might be beyond our financial means, until everyone remembered that he had said exactly the same thing about Giuseppe Rossi six months ago.
My personal highlight of the presentation is the way in which Joma demonstrated its continued attention to detail and commitment to club tradition. They commissioned a really fantastic message for the inside lining of the trim (which Compper reveals momentarily in the video below). It reads "Maglia viola lotta con vigore, per esser di Firenze vanto e gloria" which translates roughly to "Fight ferociously purple jerseys, because to be from Florence is its own pride and glory." Let's hope we do on all fronts this coming season. Forza viola!
Here is the full video of the jersey presentation (only available in Italian for now, apologies):
04-07-13 Presentazione Nuova Maglia 2013-2014.mp4 (via ViolaChannel)