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Sports merch isn’t just simple t-shirts and hoodies these days—it’s high fashion.

Oct 27 2021

Sports merch isn’t just simple t-shirts and hoodies these days—it’s high fashion. Gone are the days of wearing simple tees from Target and Walmart emblazoned with a sports team’s logo. Sports leagues are increasingly teaming up with luxury fashion brands on chic apparel lines as they get consumers’ heads in the game: Collegiate-inspired apparel brand Rowing Blazers teamed up with the NBA in February on a collection of luxury sweaters, rugby shirts, ties, and more; Gucci and Polo Ralph Lauren have teamed up with the MLB; and accessible fashion brands like BaubleBar and H&M have started aligning with the NFL. According to GQ’s commerce editor Yang-Yi Goh, “These brands are trying to do something exclusive, and trying to get some press out of it as well. Partnering with these leagues is a good way to do that.” Athletes have always been symbols of high-status, too, and the NBA was one of the first leagues to enact a (strict) dress code back in 2005, requiring athletes to wear “business-casual attire” complete with a sport coat and dress shoes to games. As the definition of athletes’ attire evolved through the years, fashion’s involvement in sports has also evolved, becoming more stylish and luxurious along the way. While young consumers haven’t been known for spending big on luxury apparel/accessories, aligning with their favorite sports leagues is one way for brands to spark interest. (Fashionista)