The design process for bringing the Northern Lights kit to life wasn’t something that happened overnight. In fact, the craft, creativity and collaboration with adidas on this new look has been nearly three years in the making. The creation process begins with the inspiration and input phase. It’s an opportunity to work in close collaboration with our partners at the club, MLS and our local experts to make sure we gather all the information needed to tell a design story that resonates with our fans.
From the beginning of our club’s tenure in MLS, our club’s kit and its design story has focused on the natural beauty found throughout the state of Minnesota. As seen in 2022’s Night Kit and 2021’s River Kit, we have fostered those connections with our home state’s environment – from wildlife to our waterways to the terrain. The concept for our kits isn’t simply a design choice made on-the-fly. To us, it’s about making a thoughtful, artful expression and selecting a color palette that truly makes Minnesota feel like home, and serves as an inspiration to our entire community. Once this year’s Northern Lights concept had been chosen, adidas began the process of translating the concept into designs bring this phenomenon to life. First, through countless hand-drawn sketches, and later, in the form of fully-designed kit samples.
Once those samples have become actual, tangible pieces of a uniform, it’s time to narrow down which sample is the best of the best. With so many talented adidas designers working on every new kit release, it’s no easy task to decide, but it’s ultimately a good problem to have. When the dust settles on which design will be “the chosen one,” adidas collaborates closely with us to make sure everyone is aligned on what the design will be, while also taking opportunities to give additional input, have any lingering questions answered and make decisions on any last-minute design changes before proceeding into production. One notable design alteration to the design of this year’s kit was the choice to feature the iconic Loon outside of the team’s traditional crest, a first for the club and a rarity around the league. While this may seem like a small change in stature, for the club, it’s a bold departure from the norm, and a fresh expression of the club’s identity.
As you can imagine, after so many people have put their craft, creativity and time into this year’s new kit, it is incredibly rewarding to see fans’ excitement in reaction to the introduction of a brand-new way for them to express love for their team and the culture they helped create. And, equally important, is being able to see the newest designs on the field for the first time. For Minnesota United and our friends at adidas, it’s always a special experience to see a nearly three-year process become a beautifully-designed reality.