Vissel Kobe and Japanese apparel company Asics have released an exclusive jersey commemorating Vissel’s 25th year anniversary. Titled the “25 Years Memorial Uniform,” the jersey struck the attention of many fans since it brought back Vissel’s traditional black-and-white color scheme.
Ever since their acquisition by Rakuten’s Hiroshi Mikitani in 2004, Vissel have been playing in crimson for their home matches, with crimson being the color of Mikitani’s alma mater, Harvard Business School, as well as the namesake of Rakuten’s parent company, the Crimson Group. The move alienated a number of supporters, who grew up watching Vissel play in black-and-white since 1995, the year the current incarnation of Vissel Kobe was established. The classic home jerseys that the Vissel players wore back then bore designs that resembled that of Italian giants Juventus and English side Newcastle United, with black and white alternating together in a striped pattern on the jerseys. However, those designs and the color scheme were scrapped by Mikitani in favor of a more regal-looking crimson one, although black and white have been incorporated in Vissel’s away and third colors in recent times.
On Wednesday, Vissel and their apparel supplier Asics released a special jersey to commemorate Vissel’s 25th anniversary and much to the delight of fans everywhere, the club has decided to go back to their roots and adopt a modernized take on Vissel’s classic colors. Modeled by Andres Iniesta, the jersey feature a sleek design with black sleeves, a black background, white stripes, and a predominantly striped back – with the exception of two clear spaces, with the larger one for the player’s name and number, and the smaller one for the Kawasaki logo underneath it. There’s also a black space that cuts through the stripes on the front, where the Rakuten logo rests.
This special jersey will be worn by the Vissel players in three J.League 1 home matches – against defending champions Yokohama F. Marinos on August 29th, against FC Tokyo on September 12th, and against Cerezo Osaka on September 16th. Vissel will release two versions of this special jersey – a replica version sold for JP¥ 20,000 that already includes the player’s name and number and a player version using the same specifications worn by the players on the pitch, which is sold for a staggering JP¥ 35,000. And while the replica shirts are limited to around 1000 copies, there were still no word from Vissel on whether the player version of the jersey will be sold for a limited amount or not.