Mo Vaughn is back in the game — the fashion game, that is.
Major League Baseball’s three-time All Star and Most Valuable Player, who played first base in the major leagues for 13 years, will introduce a line of men’s big & tall apparel today.
MVP Collections will offer casual apparel for sizes 1XL to 4XL in three categories: ath-leisure, weekend wear and night out. The 32 categories of merchandise will include activewear, denim, casual tops, T-shirts, dress shirts and sport coats. Denim will be offered in sizes 38 to 50.
Retail prices range from $59 for a graphic T to $218 for a moto-inspired stretch jean in premium denim.
“I’m the customer,” Vaughn said. “I was only able to buy a certain type of jean and everything else had to be made by my tailor. But I knew that [made-to-measure clothing] couldn’t be affordable to the average guy.”
In addition, he said, “The options available for big and tall men’s clothing are extremely limited and far from fashionable. With MVP Collections, we are bringing high fashion and style to a new level, creating streetwear looks with the big guy in mind.”
Vaughn teamed with Kellwood veteran Diane Cutuli to create MVP Collections, which will be sold on the company’s web site. Cutuli worked in women’s fashion for two decades on brands including XOXO and Baby Phat.
Vaughn said he’d had the idea for his own line for a few years, but held off until Cutuli, a family friend, agreed to come on board to spearhead it.
Although she had taken some time off from the industry, she still networked and spoke to buyers. “I knew special sizes is a growing market and the retailers said that was what was driving the business. Plus, the men’s business continues to grow.” So when Vaughn came to her with the idea, she was all in.
“Fashion in today’s society allows people to express themselves, and big guys don’t have a lot of options,” she said. “So there’s a demand for it.”
She said the line’s motto is “Great Style Has No Size,” and MVP Collections is “looking to be a cool, hip, on-trend brand. If ath-leisure is trending, we have it for you. If distressed jeans are trending, we have it for you.”
Vaughn said the e-commerce site will be easy to use so men can readily navigate it. “I’m going to be 49 and I don’t know how to shop online,” he said with a laugh. “So we have to keep it simple.” The site will also offer free shipping and returns and provide an interactive shopping experience, suggesting outfits to fit each customer’s lifestyle.
All of the merchandise will be made in the U.S., they said, another key selling point. “We felt it was important to keep the production and sourcing in the USA,” Cutuli said. “Made in the USA is part of our marketing strategy and feel it is key for MVP Collections.”
The collection will be marketed through social media and Vaughn serves as the model for all the looks in the first collection. Among his favorites are the soft T-shirts, the athletic-fit jean and the moto jean, as well as the “sexy sweats. I think there are a lot of things that are going to do well,” he said.
Vaughn, nicknamed The Hit Dog, played first base from 1991 to 2003 for the Boston Red Sox, Anaheim Angels and New York Mets and was considered one of the best hitters in the game. He was named the Most Valuable Player in the American League in 1995.
Since his baseball career ended, Vaughn has worked to provide low-cost housing around the country though his position as managing director of Omni New York LLC. He also has a trucking company in Ohio. “I’ve been pretty busy,” he said. “I’m very fortunate.”