The year was 1984, and the winner of the first-ever Breeders’ Cup Juvenile run at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles was a colt named Chief’s Crown. The owner of that horse was Carl Rosen, the father of Theory chief executive officer Andrew Rosen.
This story first appeared in the October 31, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
So it makes perfect sense that Andrew Rosen, still an avid racing fan who personally owns 65 thoroughbreds, would team up with the 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships on a special fashion collaboration.
Today and Saturday, Theory has installed a pop-up boutique inside the Langham Hotel, the official hotel for the races this weekend, and is custom-outfitting the owners, executives and jockeys in Theory merchandise. The Breeders’ Cup Classic, which has a $5 million purse, will be televised live on NBC on Saturday afternoon.
“I have a long history in horse racing,” Andrew Rosen told WWD. “I’ve been involved on a personal level for more than 30 years, and the association between horse racing and fashion has been around for years.” Most of the equestrian influences are found in leather goods from luxury houses, such as Hermès creating saddles and bits, “but we’re not in the leather goods industry. We’re in the apparel industry,” Rosen said.
He created this partnership as an “opportunity to dress the ambassadors and leaders in the sport,” he said. Rosen and the Theory merchants selected around 25 women’s and 15 men’s pieces and included a smattering of the Theory Plus active-inspired collection.
Rosen said the merchandise is from the brand’s regular assortment and that the jockeys easily fit into the men’s wear. “Mike Smith, the Hall of Fame jockey, was all excited, and all we had to do was alter the length,” Rosen said.
The shop is open to the public, and 20 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund as part of the Breeders’ Cup Charities program.
“Theory is one of the leading high-fashion houses in the world, and there are naturally many similarities and cross-overs between Theory customers and the thoroughbred community,” said Drew Sheinman, chief marketing officer for the Breeders’ Cup. He said this was the race’s “first collaboration with a luxury fashion brand…and this partnership offers us an exciting opportunity to provide our affluent audience with an enhanced fashion experience at the racetrack this year.”
Rosen called the Breeders’ Cup “the highest level of the sport here in America” and said the association “could be the start of a very long relationship.”