Arsenal have unveiled their away kit for the 2012/13 season.
The new shirt is in a rich purple and black, detailed in a hooped pattern, and is very different from previous Arsenal kits. The design follows to the socks as well, while the shorts remain black. The colour purple is intended to highlight the north London club's royal connections, in the year of the Queen's diamond jubilee.
In addition, there is red hoop detail on the sleeves and socks - as tribute to Herbert Chapman, a Gunners managerial legend, who introduced hooped socks in the 1930s to make it easier for players to pick each other out on the pitch. Further details include the outer back neck graphic which references the WM formation Chapman pioneered successfully, along with the inner back graphic which reads "Victoria, Concordia, Crescit" - the club's long-held motto that translates as "Victory through Harmony".
Along with the release of the kit, the club also released a gallery of images showing a host of players, including Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Alex-Oxlade Chamberlain, Kieran Gibbs, Alex Song and Wojciech Szczesny sporting the new shirt, along with new summer signings Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. A video of pop duo Rizzle Kicks, with the pair donning the new strip in a viral that features them performing a track - Demolition Man - from their album Stereo Typical, also featured on the club's Web site.
"I think the new design is really nice - I'm a guy who likes fashion and when I saw these colours, I was very happy. This kit is different to last season's and I'm really excited to wear it. I might do something with my hair to match!" Arsenal.com quoted Song as saying.
However, goalkeeper Szczesny will be not be as excited as his team mates. The Pole will have to wear a shocking pink outfit at away grounds up and down the country despite having made it clear he was not keen on the idea in an interview earlier last year.
"It's embarrassing. I mean, you just wouldn't see David Seaman or Jens Lehmann wearing a pink shirt, would you? I think Lehmann would have burned it," the Telegraph quoted the 22 year old as saying.
Incidentally, the new away strip will also be the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly kit to date, as each pair (shirt and shorts) is made using up to 13 recycled plastic water bottles and out of a fabric that is up to 23 percent lighter than previous models.
Meanwhile, the fact the new kit was not modelled by club captain Robin van Persie is perhaps the clearest indication to date the Dutch striker could be leaving the club this summer, after refusing to sign an extension to his contract that runs out next year. However, a happy-looking Walcott featured in the kit release, amidst rumours the England international could follow his captain out of the club. The forward also has only a year left on his deal and has yet to sign an extension.
The kit is available for pre-order now at www.arsenaldirect.com and will be available in stores from 9 August, priced at £45 for adults and £35 for juniors.
Take a look at Arsenal's away strip for the 2012/13 season here: