New Fulham away shirt featuring exclusive “underwiring” technology

This is annoying.  The new “Back in Black” kit seems to have been found, and again seems like a missed opportunity.

Fulham have been selling this year’s kit at a discount for a large part of the season.  This is presumably because sales have been slow.

They shouldn’t have been, the kit being a nice classic white with a black v-neck.  It should have been a top seller.

But it wasn’t because of certain fundamental issues:

Sizing: nobody knows what size to buy.  Vague ideas about it being ‘tight’ and therefore “aim a size higher” is no use to people these days.  If you buy a football shirt and it’s too tight it’s no use to you.   If you were going to get the shirt printed then you need to get the size right.   Rule 1, then:  make shirts in sizes people will be able to understand.

Fit:  most of us aren’t all that up for skin tight clothing.  So if you make your kit like this, don’t expect fans to buy it in vast numbers.   This is not unrelated to point one, in that people will then think “hmmm, I don’t want a skin-tight shirt.  Should I get a size bigger?  Does that mean two sizes bigger then, or just one?  Oh, feck it, I’ll leave it.”   Rule 2:  sell shirts in sizes people will want to wear.

Design:   While the home shirt this year was pretty nice, it also looked quite cheap.   This is partly the red of the sponsor’s logo, so prominently placed, and partly I think the Kappa people on the shoulders.   Also the fabric, which felt cheap, too.    The away shirt was in some ways bold, in others a poor choice.  The graphite looks good, but they’ve managed to lose the good of that with a strange red pattern.   The third shirt divides people, but again seems to me like a good(ish) idea badly executed.   In the past a number of clubs have offered fans three designs to choose from, and the popular vote has dictated choice.  Having suffered (we assume) such poor sales this time around I’m quite surprised the club haven’t gone down this road for the 11/12 season.   Doing this market research would – one would assume – get a shirt the fans like most, and – one would assume – then result in higher sales.   To blunder on with a “we’re designers, we know best approach” leads you into the same position we’re in now:  shirts people don’t want to buy.

Which brings us to the “Back in Black” shirt.   I like the concept, I hate the design.   The skin tight material looks like a wetsuit, the high neck looks like I don’t know what, a sporting undershirt I guess, the red Kappa people on the shoulders look weird, and as for the stitching on the front…. what on earth is that about?  It looks like some kind of underwiring.

It might look genuinely excellent in real life (this is actually quite a big “but” – the players might look tremendous in this, in which case fair enough), but again it seems to be a decent idea carried out badly.  One only has to look at the simple designs John Cummins puts up on Friends of Fulham to see how well these things can be done, but sadly Fulham seem set on releasing shirts that are mad, bad and dangerous to own.   A simple black shirt could have been a winner, but again, it looks like a missed opportunity.

16 thoughts on “New Fulham away shirt featuring exclusive “underwiring” technology

  1. Agreed, I’m not a big fan of any shirt that Kappa designs as their logo makes it look way too busy. I thought that last season’s home kit was very sharp and a step in the right direction.

    Looks like another year of not updating my collection.

  2. I seem to remember us getting a fairly good deal out of FxPro, but still, that logo is hideously out of proportion.

    ‘orrible! Much prefer the green 3rd kit.

  3. So is the idea that we’ll be wearing this tomorrow? I’m going by the “B.I.B” date, and (completely irrationally) by the fact we did the same against Arsenal in 2004 when EVDS made that balls-up.

    1. Exactly what I was expecting. Seemed like a. Missed opportunity to me. Why make such a big fuss about BiB then do nothing about it.

  4. The design and construction of this shirt would probably look really hot on a chesty lass, but ridiculous on everyone else (athletes included).

    What a let down!

  5. I actually quite like Kappa kits… I agree with the busy sentiments though. I think the one thing they correctly did fix was the subscript under the FxPro on the new shirt. The little “Trade Forex Like A Pro” was a straw too far to grasp.

    I was excited when Fulham signed on with Kappa. One of my favorite shirts simply in terms of look is a Wales homes strip by Kappa that I purchased. I always thought Kappa shirts had a good look to them. FC Copenhagen have had some very nice Kappa shirts over the years. Feyenoord did too.

    But I just couldn’t quite convince myself to buy a shirt that had a sponsor badge and an advertising slogan on the chest.

  6. I have always hated the Kappa people on the shoulders. Really tacky and distracting and kept me from buying. FxPro on this kit is way too large. And I agree on the size issue. Let’s go back to something simple.

  7. I am not a huge fan of Kappa’s designs, but I think this is a huge upgrade over last year’s away shirt. Plus, as mentioned above, I am happy to see FxPro’s slogan was removed from the front.

    Also, I have learned over the last few years to not fully judge it until you see guys running around on the field with them on.

  8. The loss of the additional tag-line under the logo is a good move. I don’t get your sizing arguments though. Why not do what women do and go into a shop to try on the shirt before buying, and in that way find the size which fits you best? I know, sounds mad!

    Generally people appeared to look fine in the ‘skin tight’ shirt last year.

  9. Completely agree with Rich on this one.

    The smart thing jersey mfg’s in the States do is make an “official” version, which is indentical to the one the players wear and usually a little pricier. Then they do a slightly lower priced “replica” shirt, which is often only one or two materials, doesn’t include all the streamlining and venting elements and generally is fitted like a t-shirt (they usually run a little larger though). I noticed that Adidas does this with Liverpool kits; I have no idea why Kappa wouldn’t do the same. Nike didn’t either, but then it pretty much fit like a t-shirt anyway, so there was little need.

    I still won’t buy anything with the Kappa kids logo on it, especially the giant shoulder variety. But at least doing this would make the shirt more accessible to those who wish to purchase it.

    And for those of us in the States, we’re limited to purchasing online so trying them on first isn’t an option unless we’re able to make a trip across the pond.

  10. Nobody sees the rugby connection. Most CCC rugby kits have that “underwiring.” I don’t have a real issue with the shirt other than the fact that I won’t buy one. Kappa shirts aren’t real flattering on me.

  11. Boring, ugly, not unique. Poor execution, as seems standard of late.

    The last good away shirt was the black & red 50/50 panel one IMO.
    The home kit isn’t selling well this year because it’s not as good as the clean simple Nike LG one from a couple years ago.

  12. I am pretty disappointed by this.

    I wonder how the conversation with FXPro went:
    * Our fans really don’t like the tagline
    – Ah that’s not a problem, we can get rid of the tagline for you.
    * Really that’d be great!
    – Of course, we will have to make the actual logo 50% bigger instead.

    Ugh. The red on the shoulders is ugly too. I don’t know how tight the shirt will be until you actually see it on the players. I thought this season’s shirt wasn’t too tight at all – but then I use it for cycling and going to the gym, and not just hanging around the pub or anything.

    I really wish we could get Umbro as a sponsor – they’ve done some amazing kits in the last few seasons. Look at all three of Manchester City’s kits for the season that just ended – simple, classic designs with clean lines that make the shirt look timeless. That’s all I want.

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