Detroit Pistons pull out all the stops to celebrate 313 Day with Buffs, teal jackets

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For Detroiters, 313 Day (March 13) is an opportunity to celebrate the history and culture of Detroit.

For the Detroit Pistons, it’s a chance to not only throw a party, but another opportunity to promote local artists and business owners as well.

The Pistons have a long list of festivities planned during Monday’s home game against the Indiana Pacers. The highlights? A halftime performance at Little Caesars Arena by Detroit rapper and frequent Eminem collaborator Royce da 5’9″, retail collaborations with local fashion creatives Ty Mopkins and Mia Ray, and a giveaway of a $25,000 custom chain from famed local jeweler Hutch’s.

There will also be a pregame “Blue Carpet Event” from 4:30 p.m. until the game starts at 7 p.m., featuring metro Detroit-based pop-up businesses and a mini fashion show for fans dressed to impress. Mopkins, known for his sports-themed jackets, designed two teal-themed Pistons jackets for 313 Day. And Ray, who founded Detroit lifestyle brand Glam-Aholic Lifestyle in 2010, designed three Pistons-colored fashion bags.

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Mopkins and Ray will both have their Pistons-themed merchandise available at the team store at the arena on Monday, as well as Pistons313Shop.com. The Pistons have embraced Detroit’s Black culture, and Monday will highlight that commitment.

“It’s our moment to say thank you, it’s our moment to bring in as many inspirations as possible that we take from the city and show them to the fans to bring things to life,” Pistons chief marketing officer Alicia Jeffreys said. “It’s an important day for us.”

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Hutch’s Jewelry is known, both locally and nationally, for working with rappers and celebrities on custom pieces. Rapper Rick Ross is one of their most high-profile clients. They famously gifted a pair of Cartier C Décor marbled white Buffalo horn sunglasses — or “buffs,” as Detroiters call them — to Gretchen Whitmer during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hutch’s is the sponsor for the Pistons’ swag cam, which debuted last season and features fans wearing iced-out jewelry at games. The relationship between Hutch’s and the Pistons grew organically, according to Hutch’s general manager Darrel Hasty, who credits a Pistons ticket sales representative for reaching out and selling him and several other Hutch’s employees season tickets as fans before things got rolling on the business side.

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Hutch’s Jewelry with a Pistons theme for 313 Day.

Hutch’s Jewelry with a Pistons theme for 313 Day.

This is the second straight year Hutch’s is providing a diamond-studded 313 Logo Chain and pair of Cartier white buffs to the first and second-place winners, respectively, of the Pistons Swag Day giveaway. But Hutch’s is going bigger this year and also designed two Pistons chains — one gold-enameled and the other silver enameled — for the third and fourth-place winners. All four winners will be announced at the game.

“We were already working on the smaller chain designs for the Detroit Pistons just for fun,” Hasty said. “We said, ‘Let’s make the entire competition revolve around Hutch’s Jewelry and the swag cam and what we’re able to do.’ We just took it up a notch and made it happen.”

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Mopkins and Ray have made a mark in Detroit’s fashion scene. Mopkins, a former brand ambassador of local clothing chain Mr. Alan’s (now known as Snipes), has worked with streetwear brand Starter since 2014. In 2018, he teamed up with Mr. Alan’s, Starter and FILA to release a teal Grant Hill-inspired jacket and shoe.

Mia Ray, left, holding one of her Pistons-themed fashion bags for 313 Day, and Ty Mopkins, wearing the white version of his 313 Day jacket.

Mia Ray, left, holding one of her Pistons-themed fashion bags for 313 Day, and Ty Mopkins, wearing the white version of his 313 Day jacket.

Monday will mark Mopkins’ latest product line with the Pistons, as he launched a Black History Month-inspired jacket on the team’s online store in February. The first jacket features the Pistons’ classic horse logo on the back, and the second jacket has the current logo. The jackets will also have other Detroit-inspired touches, including a reference to longtime PA announcer and radio host John Mason.

“Every jacket I do for 313 Day will always have some representation of the Detroit City Flag,” Mopkins said. “It will be on the sleeve or the inside of the jacket. If you look real close on the inside of the jacket, you see my traditional Ty Mopkins exclusive patch. But underneath it you’ll see two words, and it’ll say ‘Hello Detroit.’

“I wanted to pay homage to Mason, because growing up in Detroit, Mason raised us on the radio. Before he was the iconic voice of the Pistons, he was always the iconic voice on radio for us growing up as kids and even to this day. And the reason I say ‘Hello Detroit’ is because he made that song famous here in Detroit by Sammy Davis Jr. Every morning when he started his radio show, that was the first song he played. We grew up listening to ‘Hello Detroit’ as the official Detroit anthem.”

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Ray has watched her brand Glam-Aholic lifestyle grow from selling just one tote bag in 2010 to an array of products, including backpacks, blankets and wallets. In an interview with Forbes last August, the native Detroiter said she was on pace to pull in more than $25 million in revenue last year.

Her business relationship with the Pistons started through Mopkins.

“He’s like, ‘They’ve heard so much about you,‘” Ray told the Free Press. “‘I think you need to link up and give somebody a call.‘ From there the relationship started and we developed a collaboration for 313 Day.

“It’s really been a dream come true, being born and raised in Detroit and remembering the Pistons and the Bad Boys and all the different eras, and being super excited to attend games. It’s really surreal that I’m able to actually team up with such a huge brand, a national brand and bring Glam-Aholic Lifestyle with me. It’s really a dream come true.”

Listen to “The Pistons Pulse” every Tuesday morning and on demand on freep.com or wherever you listen to podcasts. Our latest show, embedded in the story above, examines Jaden Ivey’s recent surge and more. Catch all of our podcasts and daily voice briefing at freep.com/podcasts.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Detroit Pistons celebrate 313 Day with Buffs, teal jackets

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