Oranje World Cup shirts unveiled

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The shirt for the Dutch national team's World Cup Brazil kit has been unveiled, and it's a classic.  Clothing sponsor Nike went for nostalgic simplicity, but most importantly, the classic lion is back on the shirt of Oranje. The KNVB made a special request to sponsor Nike, to directly point to the 125-year anniversary of the football association's existence. They asked if the classic lion could come back. Nike was happy to oblige, the AD reports.

Football shirts have a complete separate cultural standing. Websites analyze and judge the newest designs, and at every big tournament, immense, expensive commercial campaigns abound. The football shirt is a legitimate business, but it also summons emotions. A controversial shirt, like the new pink and yellow from Scotland has proven, can bring about public outrage. "Next to the comfort of the players themselves, we always try to make a shirt that firs the character of the team and the country" Nike-designer Martin Lotti said. "The Dutch football culture and history were central in this." The players who were the first to don the new shirts, among them Kevin Strootman and Rafael van der Vaart, waxed lyrical about the emblem on the chest. The KNVB-lion head from the last years was a modern, somewhat sterile beast, built up out of twelve separate flames, easily and cheaply multiplied on any background. The design for the lion on the shirt took "inspiration from the lion from the early 70s, but then white instead of black", Lotti said. The retro logo is supported by simplistic details such as a V-neck. No bells and whistles. Modernity has been reserved for material, production-technique and fitting. "Lasered ventilation holes, a mesh-layer, recycled polyester, the Nike Pro Baselayer" make the shirt a small miracle of technology. Nike used 3D body-scanning technology to optimize fit for individual players. "In the Brazillian heat, good ventilation is essential" Lotti said. For the first time since Nike has been clothing sponsor of Oranje, in 1996, two Dutch have been closely involved with the design process. A designer from Amsterdam and well-known typographer Wim Crouwel has designed the names and numbers on the shirts' backs, in fitting retro style as well.

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