Manchester United have officially released their 2020/21 away kit. The all black kit was modelled by players on a city bus and against a Manchester city setting, and was worn by the team in action on Monday, in their 2-1 loss to Sevilla in the UEFA Europa League semi-final. Along with looking quite clean, the all black kit also appears to pay tribute to another iconic cornerstone of Mancunian culture.
Those with an eye for fashion and Manchester cultural history noticed that the pattern within the dark black shading gives off Joy Division vibes, somewhat resembling the iconic radio pulse waves on the Unknown Pleasures album cover.
Whats more is the photo shoot definitely seems to add to the aesthetic of Joy Division. The band embraced the imagery of the city of Manchester in both their music and the presentation of themselves as a band. Much of Unknown Pleasures features dark tones, and imagery of a Manchester that was going through a severe post-industrial identity crisis. Hollowed out buildings and littered streets were embraced by Joy Division and their Independent Manchester Record Label, Factory Records, which itself was a hollowed out factory building.
This aesthetic appears to have been at least somewhat recreated in the photos for the black kit launch (see above), which is somewhat similar to the third kit and kit launch from last season, directly resembling a mosaic wall in the North Quarter in Manchester.
Though Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis was a Manchester City fan, Joy Division/New Order members Peter Hook and Bernard Sumner both support Manchester United. The club has not released anything directly linking the kit to their band, but the similarities were noticed quite quickly. It would certainly be a nice homage to the iconic album and band, which like United are both important parts of the city’s rich cultural history.