New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team is preparing to enter the Rugby World Cup in Japan, it’s receiving a selection of bespoke jerseys and training gear courtesy of Y-3 and adidas Rugby. Encompassing a brief array of elevated performance items, the goods are now available to the public far ahead of the games’ premiere in September.
"We wanted to create a jersey that brought together the Japanese and Māori cultures," Yohji Yamamoto said in a statement, alluding to the All Blacks’ rule of only hiring players of Māori descent. "The design bears hand-drawn koru and fern motifs in a celebration of Māori culture. It has been a privilege to work on such a major project and I wish the team the best of luck in the tournament."
More guidance on the project came from the team’s Kaihautu (Māori advisor), Luke Crawford. "The fern design represents the legacy of those players who have worn the jersey in the past," he explained. Meanwhile, "The unfurling koru represents the younger players coming through – the All Blacks of the future. I think Y-3 have really captured the mauri [essence] of what the All Blacks jersey stands for and how it represents us, and created a truly beautiful garment."
The performance jersey is specifically woven to be seamless and breathable, weighing 25% less than previous jersey designs. At the chest, the black garment sports the RWC 2019 logo, an adidas badge and the All Blacks’ silver fern logo, from left to right in contrasting white. Embossed on the right sleeve is the RWC, a nod to the All Blacks’ World Cup victories in 1987, 2011 and 2015, with an all-over tonal fern pattern beneath.
Shop the Y-3-designed Rugby World Cup jerseys on the All Blacks’ web store now, ranging in price from $90 USD to $110 USD, with the goods also arriving on adidas’ website and all major sportswear retailers in New Zealand.
Most recently, Y-3’s Fall/Winter 2019 campaign debuted "YOHJI"-heavy layering pieces.
— All Blacks (@AllBlacks) June 30, 2019