These are the new Mali home and aeay shirts for the 08/09 season and African Cup of Nations 2008 made by Airness.

These are the new Mali home and away shirts for the 08/09 season and African Cup of Nations 2008 made by Airness.

The 36-year-old founder and ceo of sportswearmaker Airness Malamine Koné worked as a shepherd in Mali before moving to the troubled Paris suburbs when he was 10. Although he spoke no French when he arrived, he learned quickly. By the mid-1990s, he had a university law degree and intended to pursue a career in law enforcement.

Airness — a name borrowed from U.S. basketball star Michael Jordan to reflect Koné's brand motto "ever higher, ever stronger." Koné started in 1999, selling sweatshirts sporting the Airness name and slinking-panther logo around the northern Paris housing projects where he lived. He has since developed a clothing and sports line that has grown at least 100% every year. Its founder built Airness around his own early street-level observation: kids determine what's hip, not the companies hawking stuff to them. "By observing what people were buying or looking for, I could react faster to current trends and demand and anticipate what would work next," says Koné.

Koné's tale is a dramatic one. Born in the southern Malian village of Niéna — a place that even today has no electricity or running water — Koné came to France at 10, unable to speak the local language. He got a prelaw degree in the hope of becoming a police inspector. A talent for boxing earned him two French amateur titles and selection to represent France in the 1996 Summer Games. But an auto accident in early 1995 shattered his left knee; Koné required 12 operations and five years of rehabilitation.

The injury ended Koné's Olympic and career dreams. But it set the stage for what would later become Airness — whose panther logo was drawn from Koné's nickname from the days before he was forced out of the boxing ring and into a wheelchair. "The long, forced immobility made me observe things in a way I hadn't before — including how fashion works," he says. Koné is convinced that catching up with giants like Adidas and Nike is just as attainable as the dream of millions across France to make it out of the projects, just as he has successfully done. "I've seen that there are lots of preconceived ideas and prejudices out there to stop you from doing what you want if you give in to them," Koné says. "Perhaps my strength is that I don't accept those limits."

Airness has the irresistible cool derived from celebrities the French love most: football stars. How did Koné swing that when all the pros worth recruiting were already under contracts with Nike, Adidas and Puma? "I came up with the concept of the 'extra-sports' contract — getting players to wear Airness in their private life once their on-field obligations were over," he says. Koné's French-African roots were key to signing stars such as Didier Drogba — an Ivorian who plays for the top English team, Chelsea — and Djibril Cissé, currently with Liverpool. Those ties also allowed Koné to go to the next level: signing Airness as official uniform supplier to several French pro clubs, and half a dozen national squads in Africa.

Koné 's dream?  The French national team playing in a brand created in the projects by a man who immigrated to France from a village in Mali — that would be something to see.

 

Comments (11)

  1. fsc

Fulham played in an Airness strip last year, and it was a bit confusing. Still, good to see Mali wearing something a bit different from the rest of the Puma-dominated countries in the African Cup of Nations...I think Benin are using them too.

 
  1. fsc

They don\'t look too bad. they\'re good for what they are. A national jersey. The Puma ones make me sick to my stomach. lol

 
  1. fsc

does anyone know where you can buy these shirts online?

 
  1. fsc

Please HELP! Does anyone know where I can get an authenic Guinea African National soccer Jersey??? I would love to get Guinea Natioal soccer jersey with captain Pascal Feindouno name and number. Can someone please help me. I know the jerseys are made by airness but I can\'t find a place to purchase it!!! Thank you !

 
  1. fsc

All airness kits suck. Im suprised they havent gone out of business.

 
  1. fsc

I, too, want to know where to get Airness Jersey. Looking for one from Mali.

 
  1. fsc

Hi, my name is Jose, I like to make exchanges with people from all the world, I send costarican jerseys (local or national teams).<br /><br />If somebody likes, could write me, [email protected]<br /><br />Thanks!

 
  1. fsc

looks really good!

 
  1. Joe Barbieri

Not the prem bades!<br /><br />Nice though

 
  1. Prastama

The collar and the flashes on the sleeves ruin the shirt

 
  1. Alessio Pasquinelli

it's so really wonderful!

 
There are no comments posted here yet

Leave your comments

Posting comment as a guest. Sign up or login to your account.
Attachments (0 / 3)
Share Your Location
Type the text presented in the image below

LATEST FOOTBALL KITS

Birmingham City 2018-19 Adidas Away Kit

Birmingham City 2018-19 Adidas Away Kit

Birmingham City will adorn a yellow away shirt for the first time in five years during the 2018/19 season. Designed by adidas, the away shirt uses…
Bradford City 2018-19 Avec Sport Third Kit

Bradford City 2018-19 Avec Sport Third Kit

Bradford City AFC revealed the new 18/19 third kit by Avec Sport. The 18/19 third shirt by Avec Sport is exclusive to Bradford City FC and features a…
Bradford City 2018-19 Avec Sport Away Kit

Bradford City 2018-19 Avec Sport Away Kit

Bradford City AFC revealed the new 18/19 away kit by Avec Sport. The 18/19 away shirt by Avec Sport is exclusive to Bradford City and features a…
Sheffield United 2018-19 Adidas Away Kit

Sheffield United 2018-19 Adidas Away Kit

Sheffield United have unveiled their new away kit for the 18/19 season. With a continuation of the club's partnership with kit supplier adidas,…
Lazio 2018-19 Macron Home Kit

Lazio 2018-19 Macron Home Kit

Macron and S.S.Lazio are proud to present the historic 'flag shirt' as the new home shirt for 2018-2019. A shirt that has been voted by many as being…
SM Caen 2018-19 Umbro Away Kit

SM Caen 2018-19 Umbro Away Kit

This is the new Stade Malherbe Caen 18/19 away football shirt by Umbro. The new away kit will be used during the 2018–19 Ligue 1 season, which will…
SM Caen 2018-19 Umbro Home Kit

SM Caen 2018-19 Umbro Home Kit

This is the new Stade Malherbe Caen 18/19 home football shirt by Umbro. The new home kit will be used during the 2018–19 Ligue 1 season, which will…
Coventry City 2018-19 Nike Away Kit

Coventry City 2018-19 Nike Away Kit

Coventry City’s new away kit for the 18/19 season has been unveiled. The new Coventry City FC 18/19 Away Shirt is made of Nike Dry fabric, designed…
Scunthorpe United 2018-19 FBT Away Kit

Scunthorpe United 2018-19 FBT Away Kit

Scunthorpe United unveiled the brand new 2018/19 away kit which has been modelled by club legend Alex Calvo-Garcia The brand new FBT designed and…
Wolfsburg 2018-19 Nike Away Kit

Wolfsburg 2018-19 Nike Away Kit

This is the new VfL Wolfsburg 18/19 away football shirt by Nike. The new away kit will be worn during the 2018–19 Bundesliga, which will be the 56th…
Wolfsburg 2018-19 Nike Home Kit

Wolfsburg 2018-19 Nike Home Kit

This is the new VfL Wolfsburg 18/19 home football shirt by Nike. The new home kit will be worn during the 2018–19 Bundesliga, which will be the 56th…
Liverpool 2018-19 New Balance Third Kit

Liverpool 2018-19 New Balance Third Kit

Liverpool FC and New Balance have launched the team's new third kit for the 2018-19 season. The 2018-19 third kit pays homage to fan favourite kits…
Wigan Athletic 2018-19 Puma Home Kit

Wigan Athletic 2018-19 Puma Home Kit

Wigan Athletic’s new 18/19 Puma home kit has been revealed. A play on Latics’ classic home kit of 1995-98 – the era when Dave Whelan bought the club…
Fulham 2018-19 Adidas Away Kit

Fulham 2018-19 Adidas Away Kit

Fulham unveiled the club’s new 18/19 Adidas Away kit which will carry the Dafabet logo displayed on the front of the playing shirts worn by the First…
Fulham 2018-19 Adidas Home Kit

Fulham 2018-19 Adidas Home Kit

Fulham unveiled the club’s new 18/19 Adidas Home kit which will carry the Dafabet logo displayed on the front of the playing shirts worn by the First…
Cagliari 2018-19 Macron Away Kit

Cagliari 2018-19 Macron Away Kit

Cagliari Calcio and Macron have unveiled the 2018/19 away kit. The main colour of the Cagliari away match shirt is white, to which subtle red and…
Hajduk Split 2018-19 Macron Home Kit

Hajduk Split 2018-19 Macron Home Kit

Hajduk Split and Macron have unveiled the new home shirt that the “Whites” of Split will wear during the new edition of the Europe League, the…
Newport County 2018-19 FBT Football Kits

Newport County 2018-19 FBT Football Kits

The prominent three-striped design that features on both the Newport County 18/19 home and away kits this season is reminiscent of the iconic design…
AC Milan 2018-19 Puma Away Kit

AC Milan 2018-19 Puma Away Kit

AC Milan revealed their new Puma away kit for the 18/19 season. The away shirt comes in the legendary white that has adorned the backs of legends…
Newcastle United 2018-19 Puma Away Kit

Newcastle United 2018-19 Puma Away Kit

Newcastle United have revealed the club's new Puma away kit for the 2018/19 season. Launched under #TheFabricOfNewcastle banner, the kit is a…