Forget adding short sleeves, crowd-sourced designs and Christmas one-offs: these are the crazy jerseys we’d like to see on the court. Canadian graphic designer and apparent brand experimenter Dead Dilly came up with the idea of reimagining NBA jerseys as if they were designed in collaboration with some of the biggest heavy hitters out there such as Google, Givenchy, Marc Jacobs, Apple and a raft of others.
Dilly took each company’s unique stylistic flourishes and incorporated them into the mock-ups, resulting in eerily on-point and potentially wearable designs (a furry Grizzlies tank from Jeremy Scott notwithstanding).
The artist’s project page is cryptically headed by the statement that “The idea was to pretend that brands designed NBA jerseys. That is all.” However, it is clear by the attention his page is receiving that fans are especially sensitive to team image in today’s era of team rebuilds and rebranding—his world of pretend may in reality be closer than we imagine. Here are a few of our favourites from Dilly’s experimental series, and let us know what you think.
Boston Celtics x BAPE
Dilly took BAPE’s unique gorilla camouflage print and affixed it to none other than the legendary Larry Bird’s jersey. With NBA teams banking hard on street style trends, we feel like this one is an actual possibility. Who knows, maybe it’ll make the guys on the court as hard to see as the reasoning behind Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce’s forced disappearance from the Celtics’ roster.
Miami Heat x Marc Jacobs
Miami has always been a neon-pink kind of city, so perhaps it is high time we get LeBron James to change up his wardrobe to reflect that. Marc Jacobs’ signature flash shines through with glossy materials and a matte black spray-on monogram in the foreground—and what team has more flash than the Heat?
Philadelphia Pacers x Jay-Z
Jay-Z is no newcomer to the fashion game (nor are rappers), so this Pacers jersey remake is remarkably accurate—just don’t tell his Brooklyn Nets co-owner Mikhail Prokhorov. With only a minimalistic flourish to the redesign, we think Danny Granger would look right at home in this all-gold tank.
Minnesota Timberwolves x Givenchy
One of Dilly’s more experimental designs, Givenchy’s brushstroke print gives this Timberwolves jersey more style than, well, the whole state of Minnesota. Compared to the newly-announced, short-sleeved and monochrome alternate jerseys Wolves fans will have to put up with, this branded tank would be a breath of fresh air (and a splash of colour).
Chicago Bulls x Red Cross
The Chicago Bulls are already a bunch of do-gooders, so a Red Cross collab might do them justice. Sure it wasn’t hard for Dilly to take the Bulls’ red and white and blend it with the relief charity’s own similar colour scheme, but the nod to Michael Jordan’s famous elephant print is the icing on the cake.
Golden State Warriors x Paramount Pictures
What’s not to love about this homage to Paramount Picture’s 1979 cult classic, The Warriors? Let’s just say that if Steph Curry and the crew were caught up against Brooklyn’s finest sometime this season, they wouldn’t have half as hard a time as the film’s gang of the same name.