A look into the 76ers’ scrapped “black light” rebrand from the 1980s
What a week for failed Philly sports team ideas. A few days ago, a leaked prototype of a potential Eagles’ relocation was leaked. This morning, a trashed 76ers’ rebrand from the 1980’s was revealed on Uni Watch.
Paul Lukas of Uni Watch released photos of a scrapped design from the early 80s. Lukas interviewed Ivan Stiles, a former advertisement agency worker who created the uniforms for the 76ers.
Silas’ concept, unfortunately, never saw the light of day.
The pictures were of the away uniform, which would have glowed under black lights due to ultraviolet paint being used. Talk about the perfect 80’s uniform, with jersey and the shorts featured the Miami Vice style of the 80s. I’m still not sure when the black lights would have come into play or when these uniforms would actually be glowing in the dark? Regardless, pretty wild concept.
Stiles was unsure of the exact year but estimated he was asked to create the uniform around 1983.
The 76ers have often stuck to traditional looks over the years, so an outlandish design like this is honestly pretty awesome to check out. A decade later, the Sixers wore their memorable “shooting stars” jerseys for a few seasons, but that’s the closest we got to new jersey concepts at the time.
This ultraviolet look wasn’t the only concept created by Silas, though. He also made a backup uniform in case the franchise didn’t like his first idea. Silas’ second uniform was also flashy but far different from the look above.
Silas used stars on the chest, collar, and pants of the uniform to make it pop out. The 76ers’ current uniform featured 13 stars on the sides of the uniform to represent the 13 colonies back in 1776. Silas stated that his use of stars did not have that same importance but was just to add features to the design.
I’m personally not a fan of the second mock-up, and neither was Silas or his crew. The first look is out there, and it would have been cool to see it in action. Although it looks outdated now, it was perfect for that era.
Lukas asked 76ers President Chris Heck about the designs, but Heck had never seen them before. Heck loves to implement classic designs in the team’s City uniforms, so it’s possible he could draw inspiration from this scrapped rebrand in the future.
These concepts are always interesting to look at and imagine what might’ve been. Over the last year, we have seen multiple scrapped Flyers and Eagles uniforms, and hopefully, more will continue to come out of the woodwork.
Mandatory Credit: Ivan Stiles