Liverpool have unveiled their new away kit for 2021-22, and they have once again turned to the city and the club's past in search of inspiration.
The club and manufacturers Nike describe the jersey's colour -- not quite white, not quite cream, not quite beige -- as "off-white stone."
It is a nod to the colour used for the Reds' 1996-97 away strip, a fans' favourite which has become something of a cult classic. It's also highly reminiscent of the colour of the infamous designer suits worn by the Liverpool team as they milled around on the Wembley pitch before the 1995-96 FA Cup final.
➡️ Objects— Nat. Football Museum (@FootballMuseum) January 24, 2021
➡️ FA Cup
➡️ @ManUtd v @LFC
⬇️ *That* suit
Remarkable to think that these two teams have met just twice in an FA Cup final. For the record, neither side wore Armani suits in 1977. pic.twitter.com/QOtnNYbZtl
The Armani suits (selected by goalkeeper David James, who was modelling for the label at the time) have become part of English football folklore, with their prematch outfits still the cause of some derision and even blamed by some for their 1-0 defeat to Manchester United that day.
However, rather than simply drawing a line under an era-defining fashion disaster, Liverpool then followed up by releasing an "ecru" away kit the following season, which they launched by having Steve McManaman, Stan Collymore, Jason McAteer, and Rob Jones dress up as The Beatles.
Steve McManaman, Rob Jones, Stan Collymore and Jason McAteer launch Liverpool's away kit, 1996. pic.twitter.com/028TYfFbSv— 90s Football (@90sfootball) July 7, 2019
While relatively popular, the ecru colour was phased out after just one year (1997-98 saw a return to a bright yellow away shirt) and hasn't been touched since. At least until now, that is.
While the base colour of the Reds' new alternate strip harks back to a much-loved kit from a generation ago, it is also intended to reflect "The Three Graces" -- the trio of prominent stone buildings that populate the Liverpool city skyline.
Situated on the Pier Head on the banks of the Mersey river, the Three Graces consist of the Cunard Building, the Port of Liverpool Building and the Royal Liver Building.
The ornamental "Liver bird" statues perched atop the Royal Liver Building were used as a jump-off point for last season's Liverpool teal-and-black third kit.
They also took the opportunity to reveal that the 22-year-old has taken the No. 5 squad number recently vacated by Georginio Wijnaldum, who brought his five-year stint at Anfield to a close last month by joining Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer.
𝐊 𝐎 𝐍 𝐀 𝐓 𝐄 #⃣5⃣@IbrahimaKonate_'s squad number for the 2021-22 season is confirmed 🤩— Liverpool FC (@LFC) July 8, 2021
Wijnaldum arrived from Newcastle United in 2016 in a £25m transfer and went on the help Liverpool win the Champions League, Premier League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup before moving on to pastures new when his contract expired.
If Konate can look back on an Anfield career half as good as his Dutch predecessor's in five years' time, he'll have done okay.