After seeing Fiorentina narrowly miss out on its first trophy since 2001 in the Coppa Italia against Inter Milan, the Viola brass have done the fans a massive service by giving them another major talking point on Friday morning. Rather than dwelling on what might have been, the Fiorentina Discourse™ has been on the club’s new uniform.
Yes, you read that right. Unlike in years past, when the kits don’t drop until deep into the summer, the marketing department has sped that process up considerably. Here’s the teaser video, which looks like someone trying and failing to imitate Paul Greengrass’ mid-2000s shaky-cam style (think The Bourne Identity).
We call it Giglio, but is our DNA ⚜️— ACF Fiorentina English (@ACFFiorentinaEN) May 26, 2023
We’re proud to present our new home Kombat 2023/24 #forzaviola #fiorentina #kappasport pic.twitter.com/fpM852WSPC
We’ll ignore the silliness inherent to branding exercises like this—“They are the petals of our homeland, forged by conquest and innovation” demonstrates a breathless ignorance of the most basic principles of botany—and stick to the shirts themselves. They’re a bit tough to make out in the video, but the club’s been kind enough to give us some still shots as well.
The two most obvious things about this newest edition are the return of the collar and the pattern on the shirt. Collars are about as divisive among kit connoisseurs as anything, and these are sure to generate some heated debate, although they may irritate the players, if Toni Kroos is any example. This is the first time the Viola have had one since 2018-2019, which brings back unpleasant memories of GIOCA GIOCA GIOCA.
The other talking point, of course, is the pattern on the front. Fiorentina haven’t had the most success with strange stripey patterns in the past. The last time the club had actual stripes across the full body was 1997-1998, and even those were comparatively subtle, especially for a 1990s shirt; really, this isn’t a club you associate with stripy shirts. The current ones aren’t subtle, and look like rock crystals or water coming out of a faucet, although they’re likely inspired by a lily.
Aside from these two major departures, there will be the usual grumblings about the badge’s positioning and the extra Kappa logos on the sleeves. At least the return of the purple shorts will doubtless make some people happy, although white shorts are still the best look, for my money.
It’s obviously way too early to judge these. Remember last year when we criticized the current season’s kits for looking too much like Brescia? It seems that the consensus has shifted at least to the point of tolerance, if not outright admiration. I remain convinced that the best way to make a uniform popular is to win in it, and that the aesthetics don’t actually matter, but I’m also one not very sartorially inclined.
What’s your grade for this year’s shirt?