International Classics – Switzerland, 1990
For the entirety of the 1980s, Switzerland wore various adidas templates and for a spell in the 1990s they donned Lotto before switching to Puma, a partnership now extending into its 25th year.
However, among those more established names is a brief outlier, with 1990-92 seeing them in an enigmatic kit manufactured by a company known as Blacky. The firm had been making waves during the 1980s with a series of aggressive designs, with the name a pun on that of founder Bruno Schwarz – this article provides some fascinating background, not least the fact that, when dealing with the Swiss association, Blacky were represented by their then-commercial manager Christian Gross (thanks to Kohlen Schauffler and Francesco Ricciardi).
First seen in a friendly loss at home to Italy at the end of March 1990, it was like anything seen before, with little since to come near it in terms of boldness.
The white cross of the Swiss flag (one of only two sovereign flags to be square*) featured centrally, along with a series of diagonal white lines and horizontal black and white ones.
That motif was repeated on the sleeves and on the left leg of the shorts, which were red rather than the traditional white. The socks were the only part of the kit not subject to Blacky’s experimentation.
The change kit wasn’t a straight reversal but did use the same style, with the diagonal stripes switching to red but the rest of the design remaining as it was on the first-choice kit.
Pleasingly, the two goalkeeper kits followed the same pattern, with green and yellow options available, just as pleasingly matched with black shorts and white socks, something not seen on goalkeepers any more due to the preference for single-colour kits.
Switzerland did well to finish second in their Euro 92 qualifying group, beating Romania on goal difference, but unfortunately for them this was still the era of an eight-team finals competition and only the group winners Scotland qualified.
The kits would remain in use until the end of the 1991-92 season, last worn in a friendly against France, with the new Lotto strip used in a 6-0 World Cup qualifier win away to Estonia in August of 1992.
* The other square flag is that of the Vatican
2 thoughts on “International Classics – Switzerland, 1990”
I honestly consider that this is one of the best kits that never appeared in a World Cup because their national team did not qualify.
Hi Denis, FC Wettingen wore Adidas kits sponsored by Blacky in 1987-88. After that they wore Blacky kits for a couple of seasons.