Heck Yeah, Starter Jackets Are Back
We've already publicly proclaimed our love for the new Alliance of American Football league (AAF). To sum up, its branded apparel and uniforms are quickly becoming some of our favorite promotional apparel ever, but there's one item in particular that is the true star: the Starter jacket.
Back in the '90s, Starter was the brand to beat. I owned at least five pairs of the basketball shorts (a look I question to this day, but hey, I was at the forefront of the athleisure trend), and everyone and their mother owned a Starter jacket. But, weirdly, the brand just kind of faded away.
As Forbes pointed out, Starter had eight NFL teams under its '98 campaign. That number diminished to zero come 1999. After that, Starter's influence on the apparel world became more of a whisper, living on mostly in memory as one of the nostalgic apparel brands that shaped our childhoods.
The AAF partnered with Starter for its uniforms, on-field apparel and, thankfully, jackets.
— AAF Sideline (@AafSideline) February 13, 2019
Back in 2018, the company made an announcement on the partnership through its G-III Sports umbrella brand.
"This is the right opportunity for Starter to make its return to the football field," said Carl Banks, president of G-III Sports, a Division of the G-III Apparel Group. "Our partnership with the alliance is built on a shared commitment to the game, players and fans."
"We're proud to bring Starter, an iconic brand with over 45 years of rich sports heritage, back to the football field," Charlie Ebersol, co-founder and AAF CEO, said in the press release. "A pioneer in the space, they were one of the first brands to be on the field and a must-have item for die-hard sports fans across the country. Starter has long been associated with your favorite sports teams, whether through the classic Starter jacket or throwback uniforms of stars like alliance executives Troy Polamalu and Hines Ward. We look forward to taking our first snap with the instantly-recognizable Starter logo emblazoned on our jerseys as well as on our sidelines."
"Starter, one of the first brands to fuse fashion and fan wear, has been a part of sports and pop culture for nearly five decades," added Jamie Cygielman, chief marketing officer and executive vice president, Iconix Brand Group, the company that owns G-III Sports. "Starter's partnership with The Alliance of American Football marks a new connection point for the brand to the athletes, tastemakers and influencers of today who are all integral to Starter's DNA, both on and off the field."
What's so great about these Starter jackets? For one, they are a retro dream. The bold color-ways and nostalgic fabrications are a throwback look that embodies '90s nostalgia. In addition, it's a strong deviation from the standard on-field apparel. Seeing the coaching staff donning these eye-catching looks goes hand-in-hand with the AAF's branding overall. It's the fun league, and this merchandise drives the point home.
Starter, if you're reading this, you can send as many Starter jackets my way as you want. Keep up the great branding work.