Did Nike Copy This Designer's Concept for Netherlands Euro 2020 Kit?

A while back we were made aware of a design created by Emre Gultekin, a Turkish sportswear designer, that seems to have inspired Nike's Netherlands Euro 2020 kit design.

Emre worked in the industry for many yearsEmre is very experienced and has worked in the industry for many years. According to his LinkedIn, he's worked for the likes of Mizuno, Romai, Kappa, Puma and Under Armour. He was also involved in the recent launch of Castore's football division and has brokered deals between brands and clubs.

One of his most iconic works is his contribution to the Aston Villa 19-20 range, including the spectacular third kit. Emre also recently created an illustration series covering Diego Maradona's career in shirts, which was covered on this site.

He has also created countless of concept designs, starting in the 1990s when he was still in university. One of these, part of a full concept collection, featuring many different clubs and national teams, from late 2018, is at the center of the current controversy.

The design, which Emre imagined as a pre-match shirt, features a subtle lion illustration - it's instantly very similar to what ended up as the Netherlands 2020 home shirt. We immediately realise Emre likes this type of wireframe design as there are many examples on his Behance, including an Inter Milan design from 2016.

Spectacular Netherlands Euro 2020 Home & Away Kits Released

The rest of the kit is obviously totally different and based on Nike's 2020 design foundation. However, we believe that the timeframe (Jan 2019 - March 2020) would have allowed Nike to still adjust the finishing touches of the jersey, including the lion graphic.

Unfortunately, Emre only shared his designs in June 2020 which, while Nike had not officially released the Netherlands 2020 kits yet, was several months after the first leaks had appeared. However, the date at the bottom states that they were created in 2018, and given his track record and stature in the business, we are inclined to believe it.

There are various other designs created by Emre that share a more or less striking similarity with shirts released by Nike much later, including the peculiar case of a more than 20-years-old Galatasaray sketch that looks eerily similar to the this season's home shirt.

What do you think? Did Nike actually just copy this designer's concept or this the similarity just a coincidence? Comment below.