A New Look for High Point University Basketball: Alexander Julian’s Pantherstooth Collection
HIGH POINT, North Carolina High Point University Hoops sports a new look in 2022-23, courtesy of award-winning designer Alexander Julian. HPU’s men’s and women’s basketball teams wear new uniforms, along with custom shooting shirts and warm-ups to complement the new concept.
Alexander Julian, born and raised in Chapel Hill, is a longtime member of the Fashion Hall of Fame. He was a six-time winner of the American Menswear Designer of the Year award and was voted nine times to the international best-dressed list. In the late 1980s, he became the first fashion designer to design professional and college sports uniforms, the most iconic being the purple and teal multi-striped NBA Charlotte Hornets, followed by the UNC Tar Heels Argyles. .
“As the first American fashion designer to design my own signature fabrics, it was essential to reflect my ‘handwriting’ in my uniform design. The concept has always been ‘bringing sportswear into sports’ .
He is also a longtime friend and admirer of Dr. Nido Qubein, who came up with the idea of bringing in Mr. Julian’s skills for High Point University basketball.
“When Dr. Qubein and I were walking home from a UNC basketball game together, he first asked me to do the High Point University basketball uniforms, no one can say no to Dr. Qubein. He’s so charming and wonderful and incredibly efficient. he’s done with (High Point University) is remarkable.”
“America knows Alex Julian’s creative ability and over the years has measurably rewarded him for his work.” said President Nido Qubein. “We are blessed to have him as a friend and supporter of HPU.”
“When I sat down to create something for High Point University, the process for me was the same as for the Hornets and the Tar Heels, which was to try and come up with something unique, visually strong and that people can identify with the team for a split second.”
The process included Julian’s compilation of the history of High Point University and its athletic programs, which includes the Panther mascot and the Panther head logo. Sitting at the drawing board with the HPU Panther logo, he thought of the Carolina Panther logo and began researching other Panther symbols in the sports world.
“I was surprised to learn that there are about 40 different Panther logos in the world. Looking at all of those and all the different shapes and sizes in crouching stances and snarling stances and all that, the only thing they all had in common was the big fangs on the front teeth.” For Julian, it didn’t take long to connect the dots with one of his design field’s most iconic staples.
“As a designer of clothing and textiles, one of the most classic and timeless patterns is called a houndstooth pattern. I researched the size of a panther’s tooth, then I researched the size of the largest dog tooth in existence, and the size of a panther. The tooth is about 30-40% larger than the largest dog tooth. This gave me the idea to take a classic houndstooth pattern and scale it up, until it becomes a uniquely (and cool!) identifiable “panther’s foot”.
While the design elements were a crucial part of the process, Julian says the student-athletes who would sport his designs were at the forefront of his mind in his creative journey. In addition to the new uniforms, the Pantherstooth hoopers can also be seen wearing Julian’s newly designed shooting shirts and hoodies while the coaches will receive zippered sweaters and ties. Julian worked with High Point University’s official athletic apparel partner, Adidas, to bring the designs to life. “They did a wonderful job of bringing my ideas to life,” says Alex.
Julian’s new team shooting jerseys feature a large iconic HPU Panther head logo, with the inside filled with the Pantherstooth design. The player’s new warm-up hoodies are a “retro-futuristic” combination of faded panther footed sweaters and 1920s lettered sweaters. wears a white-collared purple and white Panther dress shirt with a purple sweater vest Panther, when in fact it’s a classic knit zipper sweater.
“I’m thrilled that these new uniforms are working so well for both the men’s and women’s teams,” said Alex. “The signature textile design is the key. It’s simple, it’s timeless, and it appeals to both men and women, it’s a win-win!”
“High Point University basketball joins an exclusive group to have its uniforms designed by legendary fashion icon Alex Julian.” said HPU athletic director Dan Hauser. “The unique ‘Pantherstooth’ creates an exciting brand design for HPU and provides numerous applications for team and licensed apparel.”
Julian is the loving father of seven children, and he and Meg recently moved to his hometown of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
Alex Julian will be recognized for his hard work with an on-court presentation at the High Point University Family Weekend men’s basketball game this Saturday, Feb. 4 at 7 p.m.
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