Shaun White is switching teams.
The Olympic gold medal snowboarder and skateboarder has ended his eight-year association with Target and will now collaborate with Macy’s on a new capsule collection for men that will hit stores in mid-June.
This story first appeared in the February 18, 2016 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The line will be called WHT SPACE and is designed to be more representative of the Shaun White of today. The Target line was for boys.
“This is Shaun White 2.0,” said Durand Guion, vice president and men’s fashion director for Macy’s. “He was ready to do something that reflects his life now.”
White, who is now 29, called it a “natural transition” that “really represents who I am today. I’ve aged up and this is a more appropriate capsule for now.” He stressed, however, that the boys collection will continue to be produced and will be sold on Shaunwhite.com going forward. “We still have a huge following for the line,” he said.
His new collection will consist of around 19 pieces of fashion-forward staples such as printed short-sleeve wovens, jeans and novelty tees. The first collection will hit about 175 Macy’s stores and the retailer’s Web site on June 15 and represents the retailer’s first foray into a pre-fall capsule, Guion said.
“We wanted to make it about what’s going to be cool for fall,” he said. “This is a new approach for the men’s store at Macy’s. We’re good at building shrines for fashion brands, but this is more of-the-moment. It’s meant to sell out and leave you hungry.”
He said the second WHT SPACE capsule will drop on Oct. 15 for the holiday season.
White, who is intimately involved with anything that bears his name, said he was the one who suggested the name for the line during a brainstorming session with the Macy’s team. “When we were designing the line, everybody was saying, where will it fit into the floor plan, where’s the white space, what should we call it? I said, ‘why not call it WHT SPACE?'”
The line, which will incorporate White’s influences from sports, music and fashion — he’s also a musician and has a band — is expected to appeal to the fashion-savvy, active Millennial and post-Millennial man, Guion said. White said the line will not be “logo driven” and will be sleek and modern.
Items will range in price from $24 to $29 for tees, $49 to $59 for woven shirts, $59 to $69 for denim and $89 to $299 for outerwear.
The “icing on the cake,” Guion said, will be leather moto jackets that will be handpainted by White and some of his artist friends. Only one jacket per door will be offered. “They will be very special pieces,” he said.
WHT SPACE will be merchandised in the Millennial zone within stores and will hang next to premium denim, Guion said. In addition, both the retailer and the athlete will promote the collection as its launch date approaches. “Shaun is very social media-friendly,” Guion said, “and he is the brand ambassador.”
White has nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter and 392 million on Instagram. White said he plans to wear the collection during his public appearances and will also make some “cool videos” of the process of the handpainting of the jackets.
Guion said he’s “very hopeful” the association with White will continue beyond this year. “We’re in love with the first capsule and are very enthusiastic that it can be a new brand at Macy’s,” he said.
White has won two Olympic gold medals in snowboarding and 24 medals in the winter and summer XGames. He recently bought a majority stake in an event series called Air + Style that merges boarding with music. He’s also continuing to compete and expects to participate in the Burton U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships in Vail, Colo., at the end of this month as he eyes a run at his fourth Olympics in 2018.
“Whenever I sit still,” White said, “I always think there’s something I should be doing.”