The Raptors sought a 'fresh look' with their original jerseys

They seemed cool at the time, and they are definitely cool again now.

The team also sought to target young fans who would stick with the Raptors as they grew up

Behold the Raptors' jersey


26 years ago
The Raptors unveil the uniforms their players will wear during their first season. 1:27

They seemed cool at the time and they are definitely cool again now.

The white, red and purple jerseys worn by the Toronto Raptors at the start of franchise history have an undeniable retro appeal.

Fans first got a look at them back in February 1995, as two young people — identified by the Toronto Star as Everol Bennett and Daphne Tran — hosted a media event to show off the home and away shirts and shorts.

Isiah Thomas, the two-time NBA champion and the Raptors' vice-president at the time, described it as "a fresh look, a very exciting look."

Everol Bennett (left), Isiah Thomas (centre) and Daphne Tran (right) are seen on the day the first-ever Toronto Raptors jerseys were revealed in February 1995. (CBC Evening News/CBC Archives)

The CBC's Debbie Lightle-Quan reported that the Raptors had put forward a design that would appeal to a young fanbase.

"The look is as unique as the aim is simple," Lightle-Quan reported. "At home or away, the Raptors uniforms are designed for young fans — fans that will grow up with the NBA expansion team."

That much had been obvious since the team had been named after a dinosaur.

The jerseys might have been stylish (for their time), but they didn't help the team very much during the first season.

The Raptors went 21-61 that year. So, they looked good — but they weren't good.

Damon Stoudamire is seen wearing the white jersey during in-game action with the Toronto Raptors during the team's inaugural season. (The Canadian Press)


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