“There’s a strong belief within everyone at the club that we can make things happen,”
Alessia Russo tells us when we ask about her recent move to Arsenal. “What they’re doing and what they’re building here is really exciting.” Kitted out in the latest innovation from the club’s long-standing partnership with adidas – a first-of-its-kind away kit, designed by Stella McCartney especially for the women’s team – Arsenal’s newest forward is ready for greatness.
This is a special moment for the 24-year-old Lioness. Coming off the back of England’s history-making run at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, Alessia has shot to national treasure status in just a few years thanks to her exceptional performances in international tournaments. She has no intention of slowing down either, going straight to Arsenal Women’s training camp at adidas HQ to prepare for her first season in North London: “The standard is so high and you’ve got to come in and get right to it straightaway. I’ve been really enjoying that.” It’s time for her world-class abilities to light-up the domestic game too, with Arsenal.
“As soon as you step through the door you can feel how valuable the women’s team is [here],” Alessia tells us on her move to the Gunners. “It feels like a really positive and inspiring place to be.” Arsenal is certainly known for its relentless pursuit of progress for the game. Being one of the key clubs that introduced the women’s game to the nation beyond the international team, it was Arsenal that led the charge to help girls and women all over the country fall in love with, and get the chance to play, the beautiful game when no one else was watching.
It’s right then, that the club should be the first in the Women’s Super League to create their own bespoke away kit. “It’s so important and inspirational for young girls and everyone out there to know that the women in this club are super valued,” says Russo on her team’s first-of-its-kind kit. “And to be the first team to do that is something that’s really exciting. […] I think that it’s really cool – not just for young girls but also young boys – to see how valued women are in football these days.”
“It’s so special,” says Russo about her new kit, which is designed by an icon of female strength, who is at the vanguard of British fashion – Stella McCartney. The pastel base of the kit’s design is paired with a striking bright pink and blue and is custom made especially for the female players. “I think to have a kit that you feel good in and enjoy playing in is massive. The colours are great, the style’s great.”
“Hopefully we put on some great performances in it too,” Alessia says. The Women’s Super League, commonly known as the best women’s league in the world, is set to kick off again this weekend, with Arsenal meeting Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday. With Arsenal vying for this season’s trophy – we’ve no doubt they’ll put in a performance that emulates the cutting-edge creativity of their new away kit.