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Purple, teal and the rise of basketball fashion

In 1988, the NBA finally came to North Carolina — and the newly minted Charlotte Hornets made the unconventional choice to hire a fashion designer to create their jerseys. They lost 60 games that year, but they looked incredible while doing it. The iconic fit, inspired in part by Michael Jordan, would launch a global fashion trend that endures today.


  • Alexander Julian, Fashion designer and creator of the original Charlotte Hornets uniform
  • Crystal McCrary McGuire, Creator of the forthcoming docuseries Tunnel to Runway: The History of Fashion in the NBA


  • Watch video from the 1988 Charlotte Hornets uniform reveal press conference.
  • You can find a transcript of the episode here.
Anisa Khalifa is an award-winning podcast producer and host at WUNC. She grew up in a public radio household, and fell in love with podcasts shortly before her friends convinced her to start one with them about Korean dramas. Since joining WUNC in 2021, Anisa has produced Me and My Muslim Friends, CREEP, Tested and Dating While Gray, and is the host of WUNC's weekly podcast The Broadside.
Jerad Walker is WUNC’s editor of narrative audio and podcasts. He joined the station in 2022 after nearly a decade at Oregon Public Broadcasting.
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