Paris St Germain are a relatively new football club that only came into existence in 1970 when a group of Parisian businessmen decided the capital needed its own global footballing force. The project has finally reached fruition with the club reaching its first European Cup final tonight as they take on Bayern Munich in the Champion's League final.
PSG had the luxury of defining their aesthetic from scratch, in an era where football kit technology was advancing rapidly. Their first kit was all red, and manufactured by Le Coq Sportif, but they soon changed to the now familiar tricolore scheme two years later.
Unlike most clubs, PSG didn't have an elaborate old crest to gradually simplify and their badge has stayed true to the iconic Eiffel tower motif, notwithstanding a period in the mid 90's when a bold rendering of the club's initials was used. This has proved to be an inspired piece of forward planning, in an era where all big clubs have gradually rationalised their crests into simple, marketable logos (Think Tottenham, Manchester City and Juventus) PSG already had theirs from the start.
The instantly recognisable vertical central red stripe on a blue kit was conceived by fashion designer Daniel Hechter when he became club president. He has since admitted that the inspiration was the Ajax kit, simple swapping out the white for a more Gallic-approved blue. It's just a shame they didn't manage to secure a vertically-aligned sponsor like their Dutch counterparts.
In an interesting and unusual move, PSG switched their home and away colours for a period starting in 1982: Their white away kit replaced the blue home kit for 12 years. It was spectacularly successful, catalysing a switch in the clubs fortunes, as they became one of France's powerhouse clubs.
The original Hechter design has been tweaked and remixed down the years, with an offset red stripe from 2001-2005, pinstripes in 2009, and a completely red home shirt in 2010.
Paris has always been associated with couture style, and PSG have leveraged this image with a Louis Vuitton inspired away kit in 06/07, a super slick black Chanel concept kit, a Colette and Rolling Stones colab in 2017 and a Bathing Ape colab in 2018. More recently, the innovative partnership with Nike's Air Jordan brand has produced some very slick designs, dripping with style, and expanding the club's appeal to a worldwide audience.
The basic elements of red, white and blue, combined with the vertical architecture have provided a perfect canvas for creative expression, with plenty more expressive interpretations to look forward to in the future.