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Bloomingdale’s has Super Bowl fever.
On Wednesday night, the retailer unveiled all 48 of the customized helmets that Council of Fashion Designers of America designers created in honor of the game at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2.
This story first appeared in the January 17, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The evening started on Lexington Avenue with cheerleaders dancing on a stage in front of Bloomingdale’s windows. When the performance ended, the store pulled back a curtain to reveal the designs, which ranged from a large panda helmet from Loomstate to mohawks from Richard Chai and Dennis Basso. The helmets are being auctioned off to benefit the NFL Foundation.
“Our helmet already has a bid,” said Shimon Ovadia of Ovadia & Sons, who, with his twin brother Ariel, created a black-and-white helmet with a stripe in custom-designed blue paint down the center. “We love football, so we were so excited to be able to do this,” Ariel said.
Although Donna Karan said she doesn’t play football, “my favorite thing in the world is motorcycles and you need a helmet for that, too,” she said with a laugh. “But how cool is this? The helmets have the individual mark of every designer and they’re welcoming the marriage of fashion and football.”
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A post-windows party was held at the Loews Regency Hotel, which New York Giants treasurer and Loews chairman Jonathan Tisch opened especially for the event. The hotel has been closed for a $100 million renovation for more than a year and reopened to the public on Thursday morning. “Between getting this hotel open and the Super Bowl, my days have been quite full,” he said. “I’m very disappointed that the Giants will not be playing but I’m extremely excited for what the Super Bowl will mean for New York and New Jersey.”
Tisch and Jets owner Woody Johnson are cochairs of the Super Bowl Host Committee.
Johnson, who was at the party with his wife, Suzanne, and their young son, said although the Jets won’t be playing, he believes having the New York area host the first outdoor Super Bowl “feels like it’s a natural — it should be here. We do everything better in New York.” He shrugged off the criticism of logistical issues and traffic headaches, adding: “People who come for the game are going to be shocked that you can walk to most [of the pregame events]. And there’s great transportation to get everyone to the game.”
At a formal presentation during the party, Tisch handed outgoing Bloomingdale’s chief executive officer Michael Gould a hard hat and key to the Loews Regency. When Gould moved to New York to take the helm of the store 22 years ago, he lived for nearly two years in the old Loews hotel, and he marveled at how many of the employees are the same.
Turning to the helmets, Gould said: “Bloomingdale’s is of the moment. Football is the number-one sport in the U.S., and the Super Bowl is the number-one event. And this helps us give back a little. At the end of the day, that’s what life is all about.”