It’s about damn time. The Toronto Raptors’ season is set to tip off tonight, and you’ll notice the team looks a little different this time around. Besides boasting a new 3-and-D marksman and a swoler Lowry, they’ll be rocking some brand spanking new jerseys. Back in 2015, Nike announced an eight-year global merchandising and marketing partnership that would make the brand the NBA’s official on-court apparel provider, beginning with the 2017-18 season. Hey, that’s right now!
In the lead up to the launch, Nike spent countless hours with designers, engineers, and NBA players to craft the uniforms for each team. They began by creating 3D body maps for players to track the heat and sweat that their bodies produce, and then used that intel to make modifications to the weight, fit, and overall constructions of the uniforms they’d eventually create. The jerseys now have a more streamlined, thinner fit (like, real thin) and were made using Alpha Yarns and recycled polyester, which Nike claims will help wick away sweat about 30 per cent faster than the Adidas uniforms of yore.
These also happen to be the most geek-worthy NBA jerseys yet. Each vest is fitted with the sportswear titan’s NikeConnect technology, which can be activated by tapping your smartphone against a near-field communication (NFC) chip planted underneath the tag at the bottom left of the jersey. The phone then recognizes which jersey you’re wearing and opens a real-time feed of the latest news stories, scores, and behind-the-scenes footage from your team of choice.
To mark the launch of these dope new tarps, Nike Toronto tapped an eclectic group of up-and-coming local artists — including rap collective CMDWN, designer Jaclyn Genovese, and illustrator Ben Johnston — to rock the jerseys in their own singular ways, with some help from stylist Bobby Bowen. Called “Toronto Wants It All,” the Shamarke Abdi-shot lookbook should give you all the inspiration you need to get charged up for this season. North Over Everything!