Le Coq Sportif has been Fiorentina’s kit maker for the past 4 seasons. Since taking over from Joma, the French clothing company has received somewhat mixed reviews: their first set of uniforms in 2015-2016 were an exercise in restrained elegance, forgoing the gold trim and pointless piping that defined the previous year in favor of clean lines and classic colors. With a classic purple shirt, a white away shirt, and an all-black third strip, it seemed like a pretty dang good setup. They changed it up a bit the following year, adding a collar and an orange-ish alternate that was fine.
The following season, though, LQS really hit on something special. The home kit ditched the collar again in favor of a more streamlined look, but it was the away kit, or rather kits, that really caught the eye. Taking a cue from the uniquely Florentine calcio storico, Le Coq Sportif created four different jerseys, corresponding to the four districts of the city from which the calcio storico teams are drawn: the blues of Santa Croce, the reds of Santa Maria Novella, the whites of Santo Spirito, and the greens of San Giovanni. It was a brilliant way for the club to put its motto of “Quattro quartiere, uno cuore” (four quarters, one heart) into action.
It’s felt like LQS has been coasting since then, running out the same scheme for the past couple of seasons without really changing anything, as well as adding black shorts to the purple shirt, which is pure heresy (show me where on the crest there’s anything black, you philistines). Too, they’ve been criticized both here and elsewhere for their insanely expensive shirts, odd fitting sizes, and paper-thin materials. It feels like it’s about time for everybody to move on.
Enter Kappa. The Turin-based manufacturer has an extensive list of deals in Italy, including Napoli, Sassuolo, Genoa, Palermo, and Benevento. They also outfit notable outfits outside the country such as Astone Villa, Leeds United, Monaco, Real Betis, and Panathinaikos. Here are some of their more notable efforts so you can judge for yourself.
- A little too busy for my taste. Photo by Franco Romano/NurPhoto via Getty Images
- Too busy, and also why the obsession with camouflage? Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images
- Classic but still fresh Photo by Alessandro Sabattini/Getty Images
- Very good Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images
- Resurrecting a classic. Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images
- Not bad, but maybe a bit bland, and that sponsor is too big. Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images
- Great color combo, and the subtle divide between the right and left halves of the shirt is a nice touch Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images
- Not crazy about the sponsor, but that’s pretty cool otherwise Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images
- Pretty slick Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images
With the exception of Napoli, it seems like Kappa focuses on a club’s classic uniform, keeping patterns to a minimum in favor of a sleek, minimalist look. Given Fiorentina’s iconic color scheme, that should look might fine.
There is, of course, the minor hitch that Kappa also outfit the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team, which is owned by the Elkann family, who also own a majority stake in Juventus. It’s not surprising either that the Turin-based clothier has also made kits for the Bianconeri, most recently in 2000.
The only real bummer here is that Le Coq Sportif has been shelling out about €2.8 million annually to get their logo on Fiorentina’s kit, and, per the rumor, Kappa would slash that to €2.5 million. It’s also unclear if they’d cut the prices on replica jerseys, although given that Fiorentina’s are the most expensive in Serie A, that seems likely. A match shirt from Napoli’s website will run you anywhere between €71 and €89, although the replicas go as low as €31. Either way, though, we’re expecting some pretty fine jerseys out of it, and that’s the most important thing.