I think we all can agree, the year 2020 has been just horrible. Historically bad. “You think you got it rough, kid? I lived through 2020!”, you’ll tell some no-good whippersnapper in 30 years. But in terms of new uniform releases, this year’s been one of the best (eh, except for the Los Angeles Rams)
Yes, as far as uniforms go, 2020 has been a year of righting many wrongs. Powder blue rose to prominence in Major League Baseball, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cleveland Browns gave their collective heads a shake, the Buffalo Sabres returned to royal blue, and now the Charlotte Hornets are bringing back the pinstripes. But not just single pinstripes, double pinstripes.
The original Hornets franchise (which is considered to be the current franchise in the NBA’s Frankenstein-ing of history) introduced pinstripes in their first season, a series of alternating teal, green, and purple singles stripes. In 1997 they dropped the multi-coloured look for doubled up teal and white stripes which they wore until the team moved to New Orleans in 2002.
When the Charlotte Bobcats took on the Hornets name in 2014 the name and colours may have been back but not the pinstripes, a bit of a head-scratcher of a move… but we were all too excited about the name returning to really even care at the time.
The new look, introduced earlier today, was in development for over two years and the result of a collaboration between the Hornets design team, Nike, Jordan Brand, and RARE Design (RARE is also the design agency behind the Hornets current primary logo set).
“You see the fingerprints of all the previous generations of Hornets uniforms”, Kris Bazen, the Hornets Senior Director of Creative Services said in the official release. “I really think the inspiration was to distill this uniform down to the core elements of what the Hornets brand is about. In addition, it was inspired by basketball spirit and tradition in the Carolinas. This is really a homage to that in a lot of ways.”
“There’s the return of the double pinstripes which were established in 1997 and also the return of Charlotte to the front chest [of the Association uniform]. There are now black outlines on the numbers and wordmarks of the uniform, where as previously, we only had it on the wordmark on the chest. There’s now the C-Cell on the Icon and H-Cell on Association on the buckle (waistband), which are brand new elements.”
The new uniforms introduced today are the team’s full-time “icon” and “association” uniforms (what we used to refer to as “road” and “home”). I’d imagine there’s still a “statement” uniform to come from this team, perhaps an opportunity to include a purple option to really complete the 1990s look.