Fanatics is making a bold move to up the cool quotient of its licensed NFL products.
The sports and merchandising platform has teamed with the streetwear brand Staple and the National Football League on a new collection of officially licensed merchandise for all 32 teams. The launch of the streetwear-inspired offering is timed to the start of the NFL season on Monday, and will include T-shirts, hoodies, outerwear, hats and other pieces. The headwear was created in partnership with New Era, the NFL’s official headwear licensee.
The collection will be broken into three segments: Core, which merges Staples imagery with each team’s identity; New Age Throwback, more fashion-forward pieces that are intended to blend updated looks with a vintage vibe, and Fundamentals, low-key looks with team names on black backgrounds in premium fabrics with subtle detailing.
According to Robert Mendoza, design director of Staple, the collection is intended to “bridge the gap between fan gear and street fashion.” While the NBA is “very in tune” with street culture, the same cannot be said for product created for the NFL.
However, over the past several years, the NFL and Fanatics have worked to explore new, emerging categories of licensed products that feature brands at the intersection of fashion, street culture and fandom. That includes a collaboration with singer Darius Rucker last year as well as a line of women’s NFL gear with sportscaster Erin Andrews. The move into more lifestyle/street-inspired product follows the acquisition of Mitchell & Ness in February, alongside investors including, Jay-Z, Maverick Carter, Meek Mill, the D’Amelio family and Lil Baby.
In describing the Staple collection in more detail, Mendoza said the Core offering merges the logos of both Staple and the individual teams and was inspired by old school designs but in a way that is “uniquely us.”
The New Age component is more fashion-forward and skewed toward a street aesthetic with an oversize fit, vintage washes and subtle details not ordinarily seen on most NFL products. It is intended to reference the DIY culture, Mendoza said, and includes “elements trending in streetwear” with a vintage vibe that “feels new” at the same time.
The final Fundamentals section is “clean and subdued for the fan who is not as loud or overt,” he said. But while the design is more subtle, these pieces offer interesting details such as raised ribbing or a dual collar.
“There’s something for everybody’s unique style,” he said.
The collection will be sold online at the Fanatics and NFL Shop sites as well as at a majority of the NFL teams’ online stores. It will be priced from $29.99 to $99.99.
“We’re incredibly excited to partner alongside the NFL and bring to life this unique collection of streetwear-inspired fan gear for all 32 teams from renowned culture and lifestyle brand Staple,” said Jack Boyle, Fanatics Commerce global copresident, direct-to-consumer. “This Staple x NFL collaboration furthers our commitment to bringing fashion-forward brands into the licensed sports space, creating opportunities for fans to express their personal styles while also supporting their favorite teams.”
This year marks the 25th anniversary of Jeff Staples’ brand, and throughout the year, the designer has been partnering with a number of different companies to celebrate including Tumi, Fossil and Crocs. In June, the brand held a Staple Day celebration in downtown Los Angeles that featured a pop-up shop, several activations and excerpts from an upcoming book with Rizzoli that will be published this fall.
“As Staple celebrates our 25th anniversary,” said Jeff Staple, “we are extremely excited and honored to partner with the NFL and Fanatics on this epic collaboration. Working with all 32 teams has been a tremendous experience. We wanted to ensure that there is a diversity of styles that reflect something unique for fans of each and every team. Although separate at the surface, there are actually many parallels between football and streetwear. Our goal was to showcase connection. Whether it be detail-oriented craftsmanship or the expression of creativity, it’s clear that both are uniting forces rooted in community. We hope to make everyone’s Sunday a bit more special this season and welcome all fans to the Staple and Fanatics family.”