Italy has a long, storied history when it comes to iconic kits. Though never particularly daring, the Azzurri have leaned on kitmakers like Kappa and Diadora to produce at least one classic, well-thought-out kit per decade. Their earlier designs — through the 1970s, ’80s and into the ’90s, feel almost like formalwear for the field, simple blue-and-white polos that feel aligned with the country’s rich design and fashion history.
And then there’s this 2022 abomination. The federation’s English-language Twitter account rolled out Italy’s latest away kit in a post that feels almost like a meme.
I can’t speak to whether this kit is a celebration of Italy itself, but it most certainly is not a celebration of design. Entirely devoid of flair or character, the shirt is a DALL-E Mini design come to life, something an AI bot generated when fed the keywords “ITALY,” “SOCCER SHIRT” and “INOFFENSIVE.”
Adidas, frankly, has trampled all of these Puma kits this year and it has me feeling thankful that this 2022 Italy number will be Italy’s last before they transition to the Three Stripes in 2023.
On the bright side, as Brooks pointed out earlier, at least we won’t have to see Italy in this one at a World Cup.