Suns honor Tribal Nations with turquoise ‘City Edition’ uniforms
The Phoenix Suns unveiled their City Edition uniform for the 2022-23 season on Thursday, honoring the 22 indigenous communities in Arizona.
Phoenix will wear the jerseys for 10 home games and seven more road games in cities with large indigenous populations.
The base color for the uniform revealed Thursday is turquoise, representing the protection stone or living stone.
A sunburst logo appears in black across the chest of the jerseys.
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Red and white piping around the neck and shoulders is included on the waistband as well. The red tone represents the land and soil of the state. A belt pattern around the waistband is “inspired by Native American sashes and dress.”
The numbers on the front have a black outline with yellow, red, white and turquoise in the center. Those colors were chosen from the medicine wheel.
Running down the sides of the jerseys and shorts is a step pattern, and a black taping has translations for the word “Sun” from all 22 tribes in Arizona. Another black band at the bottom of the shorts includes 22 arrows to represent each of the Tribal Nations in the state.
A belt buckle with a PHX seal is reimagined with 22 feathers and inspired by the medicine wheel, a symbol that represents cycles of life and cardinal directions: North, South, East and West.
The Suns said that their senior director of presentation, Shawn Martinez, had a big hand in creating the new uniform design.
“From the beginning, it was essential for us to engage and involve our Tribal communities and leadership in the design and development of the uniform. This enabled us to modify and enhance the uniform design with appropriate and culturally relevant details that otherwise would have been missed. Hearing the voice of our Tribes and having their support makes this even more special. It was definitely a collective team effort,” said Martinez said in a release.
Added Suns senior marketing direction Graham Wincott: “It was important to us that we have a City Edition uniform that honors the original residents of Arizona who built the state that we call home. The Suns and the Tribal Nations share a respect for family, community, the environment and basketball.”
The NBA team consulted with the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, which includes 21 of the 22 Tribal Nations of Arizona, and the Navajo Nation in the design process.
The Suns also worked with the Heard Museum, Phoenix Indian Center and Cahokia SocialTech and ArtSpace.