By Cameron Lee
November 1, 2021
The Hornets have unveiled their highly anticipated 2021-22 City Edition uniforms following last year’s popular “Buzz City Minted” jerseys. Last year’s City Edition uniforms paid homage to Charlotte’s history as home of the first U.S. Branch Mint and were hard to keep on the shelves at the Hornets Fan Shop. This year, the team focused on design elements harkening back to the team’s history and evolution.
The NBA is celebrating its 75th anniversary and Nike, the official apparel partner of the league, called on teams to create a “mixtape” of each franchise’s “greatest hits” for the 2021-22 designs. The Hornets tapped into the team’s origin, utilizing the multicolored pinstripes worn from 1988-1997 and a vertically gradated honeycomb pattern paying tribute to the court design from the Charlotte Coliseum. One original touch to this year’s design includes a cursive font never before used for a Hornets uniform. Many longtime fans may remember pennants and hats donning a similar script when the original Hornets uniforms were unveiled in 1988.
Each year themes and concepts start with history and memories which are converted into design cues.
“So it literally starts with a blank piece of paper. And within that we’ve worked collectively to try to define certain compelling design cues and those become mental cues for the designers. In a collaborative way, we’re suggesting things that we want to carry over, the things that we want to uncover,” Seth Bennett, Senior Vice President of Consumer Engagement for Hornets Sports & Entertainment explained. “We work to get that into an initial draft, we go through several phases of flat drawing in colors and also what type of materials we want to apply, literally down to every detail you can think of.”
While the uniforms may reflect heavy on the past, this year’s design also utilizes the current Hornets font for the number on the front and back of the jerseys. The right justified position of the front number even pays homage to the often forgotten Bobcats years.
On the bottom right of the uniform above the jocktag is the signature “EST. in 1988” print, and the shorts feature the classic Hornets logo on one leg and a script wordmark on the other. The waistband on the shorts utilizes the “H” logo, which is a nod to the original Hornets uniforms in 1988 with “Buzz City” written across. A honeycomb pattern at the bottom of the shorts, matches the upper half of the jerseys.
Another unique touch for this year’s uniforms is the silver metallic Jumpman logo on the right chest of the jersey and upper left side of the shorts commemorating the NBA’s 75th anniversary.
“We’re excited to honor so many important and memorable pieces of our history through the 2021-22 City Edition uniform,” said Hornets President and Vice Chairman Fred Whitfield. “This uniform reflects many of the defining moments the Hornets and our fans have celebrated over more than three decades and truly showcases our franchise’s evolution over the years.”
In addition to the unveiling of the new uniforms, the Hornets will bring back the classic 1995 Charlotte Coliseum court design used for select games from 2018 to 2020. For eight home games, dubbed as “Hive 75 Nights,” the Hornets will roll out the classic hardwood and wear the new City Edition uniforms.
The first “Hive 75 Night” will take place on Friday, November 12 against the New York Knicks. Additional games include the Houston Rockets on December 27, Milwaukee Bucks on January 8, Atlanta Hawks on January 23, Chicago Bulls on February 9, Memphis Grizzlies on February 12, Dallas Mavericks on March 19, and the Utah Jazz on March 25. The team will also wear the new uniforms nine times on the road for a total of 17 games this season.
The City Edition jerseys will be available at retail outlets and HornetsFanShop.com on November 15 and the official Hornets Fan Shop at Spectrum Center on November 17.