Designer Don C is joining sportswear company Mitchell & Ness on Tuesday as the brand’s creative director of premium goods.
The appointment comes after many years of collaboration — Don C has partnered with Mitchell & Ness on various projects since 2011.
“I’ve come up in the apparel and music industry, but I always wanted to add sports to those cultures,” the designer said. “I feel like sports are a unifier and industries such as fashion sometimes are exclusive, so sports always just welcome people. It’s a key aspect of what I try to bring to the table — adding some type of sports aesthetic to the community.”
Don C’s appointment at Mitchell & Ness will include spearheading collaborations with sports organizations like the MLB and NBA, as well as other like-minded brands and individuals. He will also be designing collaborations with his own Just Don brand.
“For streetwear, it’s more based on silhouette,” Don C said on the difference between designing streetwear and sportswear. “For sportswear, I try to infuse it on everything. One of the things that I like to do is mixing sports with luxury and heritage. Mitchell & Ness is keenly all of that. It’s a heritage brand, it’s an authentic brand, it’s premium, so to be able to add a sports aesthetic to it is amazing because it’s like what’s better than being able to add a sports logo to a luxury item?”
Don C is starting his role with the release of several collaborations, including one celebrating the University of Michigan’s men’s 1991 men’s basketball team recruiting class, which is referred to as the Fab Five. He is also launching the MLB “Cooperstown Collection” this April for the league’s season opener.
He is also playing a large role in Mitchell & Ness’ upcoming collection of NBA shorts and headwear that celebrates some of the league’s early international stars, such as Drazen Petrovic, Tony Parker and Toni Kukoc.
Don C first teamed with Mitchell & Ness in 2011 when he released a line of luxury Just Don hats. He’s since teamed with the company to release several other collections, including “NBA Jam” and “No Name.”
The appointment at Mitchell & Ness comes after Don C joined the Chicago Bulls last winter as the basketball team’s creative strategy and design adviser. Last week, Don C revealed his first collection for the team under his role. Last year, Mitchell & Ness was also acquired by Fanatics.
Don C said his goals working with Mitchell & Ness are to uphold the brand’s legacy and authority in the sports world and to bring in new, innovative ideas and projects.
“Sportswear is a medium of inclusion, so we’re definitely going to be doing a lot of things that I think normal sportswear brands don’t do,” he said. “Touching on the creatives of various cultures and celebrating the world, celebrating our differences in the world and shining a light on key figures that normally don’t get that light shined on them.”