The deeper blue argyle costumes of the University of North Carolina (UNC) have been among the most celebrated college sports uniforms in the United States and worldwide. The bluish tickles at the front with argyle shoulder linings and aesthetic blends have made UNC jerseys the most stylish and pragmatically designed sporting wears for three decades now. The timelessness and continuity of simplistic yet intriguing argyle styling have made UNC and Tar Heels UNC basketball uniform the sporting fashion icons all over the world.
The brainchild for the Tar Heels men’s basketball team uniforms was the famous Carolinian designer, Alexander Julian. The driving force behind the historic design was Dean Smith who called Julian to design them an exclusive t-shirt design that will be ‘forever’. Julian is a UNC alumnus and a die-hard fan of the Tar Heels basketball team. He promptly accepted the offer and started working on the most difficult task of his career, as quoted by himself later. In 1991, Julian Alexander completed the novel Tar Heels jersey design with narrow shoulders featuring the exquisite and iconic diamond-engraved geometric pattern with a dark blue front and back. The shorts were designed accordingly to refresh the existing outlook.
When Julian finished working on the newer fabric and design specifications, he showed it to Michael Jordan, a UNC veteran, and the best basketball player at the time. Jordan sported the uniform at least once during the practice and gave it a go-ahead along with Smith’s approval.
The Carolina Blue featured a fresh design while staying on the classic template. The argyle was the most important addition to the new UNC basketball uniform, says Alexander Julian. In 1992, after two and a half years of trial and error designing, UNC stepped into the field with the blue jerseys and argyle shoulders. After decades of a successful spree with the lucky shirts and talented players in blue argyle UNC basketball uniforms, the diamond edges never ceased to exist in the design since then.
North Carolina Uniforms NBA 1995
Since 1992, Tar Heels have been practicing and playing with Julian’s award-winning design with minor changes to the front and back while retaining the argyle shoulder patterns. The bolden digits have also been consistent throughout the past three decades. The switch from ‘TV Blue’ which appeared grey on the CRT TVs back then to ‘Dark Blue’ appeared the same in most of the subsequent seasons. In 2011, UNC added sweat back for Tar Heels and gave it a perfect blend between the classic blue and the fresh dark bluish perspective.
About Alexander Julian
Alexander Julian is a seriously talented, enterprising clothing designer with international experience in designing sports uniforms. Julian has already won five Coty Awards, which is the highest ever tally achieved by any fashion designer. Julian has also won the Pinnacle Award for his furniture designing talents, and to date, he is the only fashion designer to have won both the Pinnacle and Coty Awards. The serious talents and immaculate dressing instincts have made Julian the only person to feature on the International Best-Dressed list nine times in a row.
Julian’s inspiration for designing his home team the best-ever UNC basketball uniform was his permanent affinity to his hometown Chapel Hill. Also, Julian was part of UNC 1969 UNC class, and his dad was from UNC class of ’38. After Julian accepted Dean Smith’s offer to design the masterpiece uniform, his daughter also became part of UNC in 1990. The generational attachment towards UNC and the sense of pride compelled Alexander Julian to partake in the most challenging task of his life, which he realized with flying colors. Before developing the Tar Heels’ masterpiece, Julian had already designed for Charlotte Hornets in 1988. Julian and UNC stayed together for a long time since the initial launch. In 2005, UNC also announced that Julian’s argyle masterpiece was to be inducted in all Tar Heels sports uniforms.