There are a lot of brands you can name when you think of potential NBA collaborators. Public School, for example, has already collaborated with the New York Knicks, and has a well-documented working relationship with many pro athletes. Of those in the luxury tier, Givenchy is perhaps a logical potential collaborator, given creative director Riccardo Tisci’s ongoing infatuation with athleticism and basketball. But today, Los Angeles-based luxury label The Elder Statesman has beat them both to the buzzer with a just-announced collaboration with the league.
Founded by Greg Chait, The Elder Statesman is the first luxury brand to collaborate with the NBA on product. The fruits of that partnership will hit Barneys New York beginning November 4 via a small exclusive capsule collection there. Subsequent releases will be sold on The Elder Statesman’s site, as well as in the brand’s West Hollywood flagship shop, according to a Business of Fashion exclusive. Those additional releases will come around significant markers for the league, including Christmas holidays, All-Star Weekend, playoffs, and finals. There is no indication of whether the collaboration will proceed beyond the 2017 finals.
As for product, fans can expect everything from beanies to T-shirts and crewneck sweaters all done in the high-quality cashmere that Chait has become known for. Most pieces will include team logos, but at least one sweater will be printed with only the NBA logo. As this is luxury product, prices reach as high as $1,620 for the team sweaters and drop to a still-not-cheap $420 for a beanie. More product images will be available when the collection drops on Thursday.
This won’t be Barney’s first interaction with the NBA. Most notably, they have been teamed up with five-time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook since 2015. In addition to serving as a guest fashion director for the retailer, he’s collaborated with several brands on capsule collections released by the store. Among them are Tim Coppens, Byredo, Want Les Essentiels, and Marcelo Burlon. That precedent, along with The Elder Statesman’s existing relationship with Barneys, likely made it a no brainer.
For Chait, the idea all came about after creating a sweater for New York Giants owners Steve Tisch with Victor Cruz’s number on it. Maybe the NFL is the next league he’ll give the luxury treatment.