Before they had the license for on-court NBA socks or modern-day NBA logos, the folks at Stance were making their mark on hoop fans with their Legends line, which featured (and continues to feature) action photos of past greats such as Larry Bird, Wilt Chamberlain and Julius Erving. The relatively simple design of the socks was a hit in the SLAMDome and at stores nationwide, but now Stance is updating things.

“The original Legend and Hardwood Classic socks were a huge success for the brand. The socks sold exceedingly well, but more than that, they opened a lot of new eyes to Stance,” explains Clarke Miyasaki, executive vice president of Business Development at Stance. “We were the first ones to sublimate NBA images onto socks. Since that time, a lot of people have tried their hand at it. It’s time for us to up the game again.”

One update is in the form of the Trading Card line, and the other is the Ink Splatter line, which work action images of past NBA greats into a much more aggressive design. There are also caricature socks that emphasize certain players’ hairstyles (ie, Allen Iverson’s cornrows and Bird’s blonde mop). “Ink Splatter and Trading Card are our newest designs. The trading cards were definitely inspired by 1980s and 1990s trading cards and both of them are inspired by our love for basketball, design and history,” says Tzvi Twersky, basketball category director for Stance. “A while ago, we gave our designers the task of coming back to us with something new, innovative and original. Weeks later, they came back to us with this incredible line of socks. Almost immediately, we knew that they were ready for our consumers.”

Besides consumers and #SLAMFam, obvious potential fans of the Legends socks are the great players who have appeared on them. “Reactions to the socks have run the gamut, from nonchalant to, ‘Yo! Send me 100 pairs for my family!’” explains Twersky with a laugh. “It’s pretty cool, though, when you hand a player a pair for the first time. It probably compares to showing a guy the cover of SLAM when he’s on it. There’s a sense of ‘I made it!’ mixed with ‘What took you guys so long?!’”

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