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Swedish champions AIK have made quite the name for themselves recently, what with their fans’ outlandish pre-season welcome and that glorious title-celebrating top that sold out faster than you can say “Allsvenskan Mastare”. So much so, in fact, that Nike have seen fit to create another bespoke kit for Seb Larsson and co, and this time it’s a sequel to last year’s limited edition 1901 shirt.
Like the previous heritage-inspired design, the new “1891” shirt commits to full blackout, but this time it’s not just to honour kits of the past. Instead, the black-on-black colour scheme here represents AIK going “back to business” after the wild celebrations that followed the club’s first league triumph in nine years. For that reason there are no chest-puffing callouts on the shirt. Winning the championship was last season; now it’s all about looking forward to the achievements to come, and the stories that’ll be told along the way.
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For the unaware, 1891 is when AIK were founded, initially as a general sports club. (The club’s full name, Allmanna Idrottsklubben, in fact means exactly that.) The momentous year features on the club crest, which, remarkably, has remained the same since AIK supporter Fritz Carlsson-Carling first designed it in 1898. More interestingly, perhaps, it’s also front and centre on the shirt, taking pride of place in a shiny, embossed execution where a sponsor logo would usually go. On other limited edition shirts in the series that spot’s been taken by traditional “AIK” lettering, so it’s a significant design choice to switch things up and reference the club’s year of birth instead.

The idea is to celebrate beginnings, rather than endings. Every match, every minute, is an opportunity to start something new, so you have to maintain your focus at all times, forgetting what’s gone before. It’s the champion mentality.

As before, the 1891 AIK shirt is housed in a luxury presentation box, with the all-important year printed on the front in the same lettering as on the jersey itself, accompanied by the club crest and a Nike Swoosh. All black-on-black, of course. And that’s not the end of it – the whole thing comes wrapped in a “Black Pack” newspaper page, giving insight into the story behind the series.
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The all black design is made possible as the club's principal sponsors (Notar, Stadium, Svea Ekonomi and Volkswagen Stockholm) all agreed to be clear from this special shirt. Showing their true community spirit AIK are also reinvesting all profit from the shirt sales back into the AIK Fotball Mentor program for young people, who through football works to counter segregation in Stockholm suburbs.
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In a way, Nike’s series of AIK special editions has come full circle. The 1901 recalled the past, the Champions shirt celebrated the now, and the 1891 looks ahead to the future. Will part of that future include another limited edition kit? We’ll have to wait and see.

The Nike AIK 1891 All-Black Special Edition Shirt came exclusively to prodirectsoccer.com on 21st January 2019, with only 128 limited edition shirts available. Whilst the shirt sold out within minutes, you can still be part of the world's most stylish club with the AIK and Nike's 1891 Collection, available now at aikshop.se

Note: Retail shirts come unnumbered.

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