Jerseys create fashion craze

For basketball newcomers LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony and rap stars Fabolous and Lil’ Flip, wearing old school jerseys is more than a trend. Collecting “throwback” jerseys has become a way of life.

A throwback is a jersey of an athlete who is no longer playing the sport or has had their jersey retired.

Bringing old school flavor to present-day fashion seems to be the formula for any lasting element of pop culture.

Even though some people can differentiate authentic Mitchell & Ness Nostalgia Co. throwback jerseys from imitation brands, the knockoffs jerseys are just as popular.

Kim Iseminger, an employee at Sports Fan-Attic at the Governor’s Square Mall, can identify the difference between authentic jerseys and knockoffs.

“A Mitchell & Ness jersey is heavier than the usual jersey,” Iseminger said. “Mitchell & Ness jerseys’ inside stitching is totally mesh.”

Mitchell & Ness, the primary manufacturer of throwback jerseys, has played a major role in the fashion phenomenon. The company’s jerseys have its official logo in the bottom, right-hand corner. Sometimes the Mitchell & Ness logo will have the players’ names and team numbers on it.

The Mitchell & Ness craze is not exclusively affecting celebrities. It is also prevalent around campus.

Paul Allen, a freshman business student, has his own collection of authentic jerseys. Allen said he can see the difference between the two types and that buying the authentic jersey is more sensible.

“The overall quality and style of authentic Mitchell & Ness jerseys are better (than the imitation jerseys),” Allen said. “And with the money you spend on two fake jerseys, you can buy an authentic one.”

The 18-year-old from Milwaukee, Wis., only purchases his jerseys from an authorized dealer or orders from the Mitchell & Ness Web site,

Some distributors dissuade people from purchasing what may be considered an imitation jerseys.

Miles Cliatt, the manager and Web site director of, a Mitchell & Ness certified dealer, urges buyers to stay away from unauthorized dealers.

“If an unauthorized dealer is trying to sell a throwback jersey, then most likely it is not authentic,” he said.

And regardless of what choice buyers make, throwback jerseys may continue to be a part of the fashion world on college campuses.

Contact Nyerere Davidson at