Super Bowl 53 will be played at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Atlanta on Feb. 3. Saks has one of its most successful men’s stores in that city and is hoping to capitalize on the buzz by teaming with 26 brands to create more than 70 exclusive items for the game.
Participating brands include Off-White, Versace, Valentino, Dior, Balmain, Fear of God, Hugo Boss, Palm Angels, Kappa Isaia, Canada Goose and others. The products range from ready-to-wear and sneakers to accessories and were designed to celebrate the game.
This isn’t the first time a major department store, or even Saks, has created a product initiative around the Big Game. In 2014, when the Super Bowl was held in New Jersey, Bloomingdale’s teamed with the National Football League and the Council of Fashion Designers of America on the creation of a collection of “haute couture” football helmets.
Saks is not working with the NFL on this initiative but undertook it independently, said Louis Digiacomo, general merchandise manager of men’s wear for the retailer.
“Every year we work with the store in the city the Super Bowl is in,” he said. “And this year was perfect because the Atlanta men’s store is one of the fastest growing in the chain.” He said the store has “a new vision,” one centered more around “the designer matrix, fashion and key categories.” So the game being in Atlanta was a good way to introduce the updated message to customers.
“The timing was perfect and led us to do something big, impactful and dominating,” Digiacomo said.
Saks has had a longtime association with the beleaguered New York Jets, where it often partners with the team and its players on charitable initiatives. But Digiacomo said this is different.
He said Saks knew it wanted to make a strong fashion statement for this initiative and reached out to some of its most valued brands to ask them to participate.
“We started on this eight months ago,” he said. “We got on it really early since we knew it would take a while to curate.”
He said Saks concentrated on categories that have “dominated in the past few seasons” such as rtw, accessories and sneakers, along with T-shirts and sweatshirts. Then it gave the designers “free rein” to develop whatever they wanted “based on their creative minds. The product is unbelievable.”
That includes a “Training Camp” hoodie from Off-White emblazoned with a helmet in the center, and sneakers from Fendi and Versace, among others. Most of the merchandise is centered around a sporty message rather than the game itself.
Price points range from $65 for a G-Star Raw T-shirt to $4,000 for an Isaia dinner jacket. The merchandise will be available beginning today online and in stores on Jan. 20. In addition to Atlanta, select pieces from the collection will be sold in New York; Boston; Beverly Hills; Houston; San Francisco; Chevy Chase, Md.; Bal Harbour, Fla.; Chicago; New Orleans; Philadelphia; Toronto, and Hawaii.
Two weeks before the game, the Atlanta store will devote its windows to the Super Bowl. One will display the inside of a locker room and the other will display a replica of a football field; both will feature the exclusive men’s items.
Inside the store, there will also be an Isaia-branded cocktail bar, a Moncler juice bar and an Études coffee bar from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.