Atlanta United’s new 404 Kit is an homage to the ’90s

The club teamed up with Atlanta Influences Everything to create the kit, which will make its official in-game debut on Saturday

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Atlanta United's new 404 Kit is an homage to the ’90s

Photograph courtesy of Atlanta United

The ’90s were the decade that transformed Atlanta. The 1996 Olympics put the city on the international stage. Hip-hop legends like OutKast, Goodie Mob, TLC, and Arrested Development made sure the world knew, in the immortal words of André 3000 at the ’95 Source Awards, that “the South got something to say.” Freaknik took over the streets each spring. CNN made the city synonymous with 24-hour news. The Falcons went to the Super Bowl and the Braves won the World Series. We could keep going—heck, that’s why we devoted an entire issue to the decade back in 2015.

And everything that Atlanta became in that decade—going “from a city to a global phenomenon”—is what laid the groundwork for Atlanta United to exist, says Georgia O’Donoghue, the club’s vice president of business operations.

“When Atlanta became this international city in the ’90s through all of these things—the style, the music, the Olympics, all those events—that built a city that was open, that was progressive, that was constantly pushing the boundaries, and constantly in the news all over the world. And that created a space for a club like us to come in and do what we hope to do,” she explains. “The whole reason we’re here is to unite people around something and be a part of this community, and [Atlanta’s transformation in the ’90s] set the stage for us to be able to do that.”

Atlanta United's new 404 Kit is an homage to the ’90sThe 404 Kit, which launches Tuesday, is all about the ’90s in Atlanta. And to ensure it told an authentically Atlanta story, the club collaborated on the kit with Atlanta Influences Everything, the creative consultancy and brand behind Atlanta’s favorite T-shirt. It features “ATL UTD” in a bold, graffiti airbrush font on a black background, with thick white Adidas stripes on the shoulders and white trim on the sides. An illustration on the inside collar features an scene somewhat evocative of Freaknik, with three young Atlanta fans riding in a car with the city skyline (and Mercedes-Benz Stadium) in the background. Atlanta Influences Everything’s logo is on the back collar.

Atlanta United's new 404 Kit is an homage to the ’90s

Photograph courtesy of Atlanta United

Atlanta United's new 404 Kit is an homage to the ’90s

Photograph courtesy of Atlanta United

Atlanta United's new 404 Kit is an homage to the ’90s

Photograph courtesy of Atlanta United

“I hate to date myself but it just resonates with ’90s,” says Atlanta Influences Everything co-founder Tory Edwards of the kit’s design. “Back then, we might take T-shirts and go to the flea market and have designs put on them with airbrush. So the airbrush graffiti letters has always been a staple of ’80s-’90s feel.”

The kit will make its in-game debut this Saturday during the home match against Nashville, where, O’Donoghue teases, there may be a “little surprise” at halftime. It’ll only be worn for three more games after that, and sold only through the end of the year. That short half-life, O’Donoghue says, is what inspires the Atlanta United front office to be bold and “push the boundaries” with third kits. Atlanta United will also release a short documentary film about the kit on Thursday that will feature interviews with influential Atlanta figures like T.I., Killer Mike, Shanti Das, and Andruw Jones.

Atlanta United's new 404 Kit is an homage to the ’90s

Photograph courtesy of Atlanta United

Atlanta United is one of four MLS teams getting a third kit this year, alongside the New York Red Bulls, NYFC, and Toronto FC. The Red Bulls also have a graffiti-inspired kit, designed specifically for August’s 50th anniversary of hip-hop. While the 404 Kit is also clearly hip-hop inspired—it made its unofficial debut during a Goodie Mob performance at the city’s 50th anniversary of hip-hop concert on August 13—it wasn’t specifically created for the anniversary, the club says. The timing, however, was certainly perfect.

“I think it’s a conversation piece,” Edwards says. “It’s a great story. I think people who get the jersey immediately will be hype about it and those who don’t will be drawn into the story, and [then] I think we’ll all do what we all do best in Atlanta and that’s come together to celebrate greatness.”

The kit is available online and at the Atlantic Station team store for $149.99 for the authentic and $99.99 for the replica.

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