The beautiful black jerseys with a historic Kente patch design were created by Jason Bempong, creative director of local clothing brand, Sleepless Mindz.
An artist of Ghanaian descent, Bempong, like many Canadian kids, developed a deeper understanding of his heritage as he grew up. Throughout his childhood, he began noticing African patterns and designs worn by members of his community while attending church and family events. At first, these patterns were eye-catching, but he would later learn to appreciate the history behind these little “sprinkles” of Ghanaian culture as Bempong described them.
As a teen, he lived in Ghana to attend high school, immersing himself in African culture for three years.
Designing this jersey has allowed Bempong to come full circle and give life to what he has learned about his culture.
The patch design is inspired by Kente, a historic Ghanaian textile made of handwoven cloth, cotton, and silk. The colours incorporated into the design are black for spiritual power and maturity, yellow represents royalty and prosperity, green for renewal, growth, and harvest, and red represents lifeblood, passion, and strength.
The fact that he has designed the first-ever Black History Month jersey for the Canucks has yet to sink in for the designer that says he draws inspiration for his clothing line from the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
For Bempong, it was important throughout the process to not treat this as work but rather as an artistic project.
The ability to merge sport and art through this project is significant to Bempong because it’s the ultimate representation of what this team, city, and the people stand for.
Ultimately, the artist hopes that when people see these jerseys on Thursday night, they really appreciate the four colours and what they represent.
“Follow your dreams,” Bempong said. “Don’t give up. Stay sleepless and keep following the vision when people doubt you.”
Source : NHL