For those of you who are fans of the NBA, there's a new piece of memorabilia that you might want to consider—but be ready to open up the check book before ordering a bunch for your buddies who claim to be a team's No. 1 fan.
In an announcement today, the league revealed that they've partnered with luxury lifestyle brand The Elder Statesman, who is known for its high-end cashmere sweaters. In an exclusive with the website Business of Fashion, here's what The Elder Statesman's designer Greg Chait had to say about the unique partnership.
“I grew up in the height of the Jordan era,” says Greg Chait, the 38-year-old designer behind the Los Angeles-based luxury lifestyle label the Elder Statesman. “Barkley, Jordan, Malone, the end of Magic Johnson’s career… I was heavily influenced by the NBA. There was no thing bigger.”
Chait asked Tisch about the Giant’s official partners in luxury space. He found that outside of the automotive category — and Tiffany & Co., which makes the championship rings — there really weren’t any. “I thought, ‘No American luxury partners for American sports? This a big opportunity,’” he recalls.
“I wanted to get a real partnership done, and the NBA was super hip and into the idea. They didn’t come in and put a bunch of restrictions on me, they respect the Elder Statesman for what it is,” he says. "They know that my brand is very small compared to theirs, but they like what we stand for and that we’re an American company. They like our crazy color-blocking and our tie-dying. That’s the stuff they’re most excited for.”
One look at some of the sweater designs and you'll understand what Chait is talking about and why he's so excited about the new relationship.
Unfortunately, the sweaters are bit steep for the casual fan—carrying a price tag of over $1,600. In addition to the sweaters, the collection will include items such as beanies, scarves and tees for all 30 NBA teams—in addition to the league itself—but even those seem to be expensive, with hats starting at $420.
But with The Elder Statesman's attention to detail and reputation to used the best materials for their products, if you want to look and feel good—while cheer on your team—these things are surely worth the cost.
The first releases will be available at Barneys New York starting November 4.
All images provided by the NBA and/or The Elder Stateman.