The Detroit Pistons and local jewelry company Rebel Nell released the Motor City Jersey Collection today. The limited-edition line features accessories for both men and women, including pendants, earrings, bottle stoppers, cuff links, and bracelets. The products are all made from repurposed 2019 Detroit Pistons City Edition team-issued jerseys.
Proceeds from the collection will benefit the Detroit Pistons Foundation, which in turn will fund organizations that both align with Rebel Nell’s mission and support education, mentorship, health, and equality and will receive funding through the foundation.
Rebel Nell creates one-of-a-kind jewelry and accessories made from fallen layers of graffiti and other materials from around metro Detroit. The company works with local organizations to hire women who have struggled with finding and retaining employment. Earlier this year, the Pistons and Rebel Nell paid homage to the now-demolished Palace of Auburn Hills with a collection that featured jewelry and accessories made of materials from the arena’s seats and Championship locker room.
Alicia Jeffreys, the Pistons’ senior vice president of marketing, spoke with Hour Detroit about the new collection and the organization’s ongoing partnership with the brand.
Hour Detroit: Can you tell us about the collection?
Alicia Jeffreys: So, there’s  custom pieces in the collection and they’re all made from the repurposed City Edition jerseys. Every year the team gets a new City Edition Jersey, so you can literally only buy it that season and it’s no longer available for purchase after that. The team wears it on the court on designated nights. So, all the jerseys that were given to [Rebel Nell owner co-founder Amy Peterson’s] team would have been leftover stock from last season. And again, it’s sort of that whole upcycling piece, you know, you don’t want to just throw it away. The unique part about it is the way the material is cut. Each piece can be completely exclusive and unique because it’s one-of-a-kind and made as the pattern is cut by the artisan. The collection itself will live on Rebel Nell’s website and on our Pistons 313 Shop.
How do the Pistons’ goals of supporting the community align with Rebel Nell’s business?
You know, working with companies and organizations that align with our values is always the goal. So, we don’t just want to work with one person on a one-off basis; we want to make sure that they’re a company that we can have a long-term relationship with. So, the one thing about Rebel Nell is they employ and empower women facing issues or various employment. And as good neighbors to the community members in Detroit, I think as an organization, we feel like we have a responsibility to make sure that we lean in and support local businesses, but especially businesses and organizations that are doing good on their own. It’s sort of like a double benefit for us; we’re supporting a local entrepreneur but also a company that’s paying it forward. And that’s a really important value that we have as a company, too.
What do you want people to take away from the collection and the Pistons’ partnership with Rebel Nell?
There are two things: the ability to upcycle materials and repurpose something. I think there’s always something beautiful in that. And I think it’s never been more important for us to find authenticity that represents a cross-section of the city. So, that includes local artists, entrepreneurs, musicians, car enthusiasts, even local activists. Every day in every partnership we venture into now, we want to represent as much of the energy of the city that we possibly can. So, companies like Rebel Nell really capture sort of this great spirit of the city and we want to make sure we amplify that for them as well. I think there are lots of different people that this is going appeal to; our general Pistons fan would probably just love to have a piece of the team. But in terms of a feeling that I would like people to have is that, you know, as you’re spending your hard-earned dollars this holiday season — full well knowing that this purchase is going to benefit not only the women who work at Rebel Nell but also other organizations that the Pistons Foundation supports — that people can feel good about their purchase and feel good that we’re committed to continuing to support the Detroit community.