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Mitchell & Ness Launch Michael Jordan UNC Collection

Releasing home and away authentic uniforms, the throwback purveyor pays homage to where it all started for the GOAT.

In 1981, a kid named Mike Jordan made his way to Chapel Hill to pursue his degree in cultural geography. He chose North Carolina after fielding offers from Duke, Virginia, and Syracuse, and his decision paid off immediately.

In a matter of months, he put himself on the map, giving coach Dean Smith his first national title with a game-winning jumper against Patrick Ewing‘s Georgetown Hoyas.

The rest, as they say, is history, and Mitchell & Ness has decided to pay tribute to it all. The brand announced Friday that it has launched its own heritage takes on the GOAT’s famous Carolina threads.

Released recently as part of their College Vault program, the home-and-away set of authentic tops and shorts are now available.

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Back in 2014, the throwback company inked an exclusive deal with Jordan Brand to produce authentic NBA jerseys celebrating his career. Since then, they’ve rolled out Olympic uniforms as well, and now Chapel Hill styles.

For reference, Nike and Jordan Brand both keep a toe in the retro Jordan jersey game. Since signing on with the Jumpman, North Carolina has often released its modern uniforms bearing the famous No. 23.

In three seasons as a Tar Heel, Jordan added plenty of influence to the already famous powder blue. Winning every individual accolade and top team honor, No. 23 took off once he reached the professional ranks. The cultural cache of his alma mater rose along with him.

Photo by Focus on Sport via Getty Images

And since his ’80s arrival at Carolina, the school has stayed relevant in regard to fashion and fan gear.

In 1993, the Tar Heels inked a $4.5M deal with Nike, outfitting all athletic achievers in Jordan’s Swoosh sponsor.

As a marketing move to juice jersey sales, Jordan posed in the school’s Nike-branded uniforms for a Foot Locker/Champs Sports campaign, leveraging team gear’s growing reach by introducing UNC’s new look on their old star.

Over the course of the ’90s and ’00s, Nike sold throwback UNC jerseys and shorts akin to MJ’s collegiate career with Jordan Brand marking taking over around the turn of the century.

Additionally, Nike brought out Bulls Jordan jerseys upon taking over the NBA contract in 2017. However, at $300 a top and $125 for shorts, M&N has positioned itself as the premium dealer for Jordan gear.

It all aligns with the Philly-born company finding new ways to leverage the likeness of sport’s biggest stars. Back in Feb. 2022, Fanatics purchased 75% of Mitchell & Ness for a reported $250M. No stranger to expansion and serving up a wide range of SKUs, Mitchell & Ness now stocks dozens of authentic Jordan jerseys for sale, ranging from All-Star exclusives to NBA Finals forays.

Though the brand’s known for producing pro favorites, it’s recently struck gold by diving into the college game. From Allen Iverson‘s days at Georgetown to Shaquille O’Neal‘s rise at LSU, Mitchell & Ness is making major money off authentic and swingman styles. While Fab 5 favorites and Marquette makeups homaging Dwyane Wade all appeal, nothing’s quite as classic and canvassing as Jordan’s powder blue.

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About The Author
Ian Stonebrook
Ian Stonebrook
Ian Stonebrook is a Staff Writer covering culture, sports, and fashion for Boardroom. Prior to signing on, Ian spent a decade at Nice Kicks as a writer and editor. Over the course of his career, he's been published by the likes of Complex, Jordan Brand, GOAT, Cali BBQ Media, SoleSavy, and 19Nine. Ian spends all his free time hooping and he's heard on multiple occasions that Drake and Nas have read his work, so that's pretty tight.