Away kit launch party - Picture special
Arsenal fans young and old turned up in their hundreds on Thursday evening, as The Armoury played host to the 2012/13 Away Kit Launch Party.
To celebrate the striking new purple design hitting the shelves, former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour welcomed supporters in store before chart-topping pop duo and Gunners fans Rizzle Kicks cranked up proceedings with an exclusive live performance.
The ‘Romford Pele’ received a rousing reception from the assembled crowd as he showed off his personal collection of old away jerseys and talked through some of his favourite moments in an Arsenal shirt.
After signing autographs and posing for photos, Ray made way for Rizzle Kicks, who performed the track ‘Demolition Man’, which featured in the promotional viral for the new strip, followed by their smash hits ‘Mama do the Hump’ and ‘Down with the Trumpets’.
Unveiled to fans last month, the 2012/13 away kit combines a rich purple base with black hoops and red trim and will give the team a striking new look on the road for the season ahead. The first-team debuted the kit on the recent Asia Tour and got off to a winning start as they defeated a Malaysia XI 2-1 in Kuala Lumpur.
The new design also pays homage to the Club’s historical links, with the inner back neck graphic taking the form of the Club’s motto, ‘Victoria Concordia Crescit’, the Latin for ‘Victory Through Harmony’, while the outer back neck graphic pays tribute to legendary manager Herbert Chapman’s innovative WM formation.
The purple and black hooped socks, bearing one red stripe each, pay tribute to Chapman’s legacy and his introduction of hooped socks to make it easier for players to pick each other out on the pitch.
As well as the striking new look, the kit will also be the most technologically advanced and environmentally friendly to date, thanks to Nike’s innovations. Each kit (shirt and shorts) is made using up to 13 recycled plastic water bottles, and out of fabric that is up to 23 per cent lighter than previous designs.
Speaking about the new kit, Ray Parlour said: “It’s something a little bit different and hopefully it can bring the team a lot of luck. I always enjoy coming back to the Club to meet supporters and it’s great that events like this bring fans together and build excitement ahead of the new season.”
Arsenal’s retail director Nick Peel added: “The reaction from supporters to the purple design has been absolutely fantastic and I think we’ll see it become one of the most popular away kits in the Club’s recent history.”
Adult and junior shirts are available now at www.arsenaldirect.com and in official Club stores priced at £45 for adults and £35 for juniors. Please note that due to unforeseen problems with the Club’s manufacturers, the black away shorts will not be available until the end of September.