The NBA has a unique association with the fashion world. On the one hand, the styles of Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant, LeBron James and countless others are the constant subject of social media posts, with a real-world impact on the industry. On the other hand, NBA-licensed apparel like jerseys and baseball caps aren’t any sort of fashion statement, and still serve the utilitarian purpose of declaring your allegiance.
Slowly, bit by bit, there’s a movement to bridge the gap.
The NBA is partnering with high-end and custom design company The Elder Statesman for a series of sweaters, beanies and scarves, primarily made of that legendary material itself — cashmere. The below sweaters, which will begin to hit the shelves in Barney’s New York on Nov. 4, will list at around $1,600.
Beanies will start at $420, which is as cheap as you’ll get in this fashion line. Professional sports leagues are no strangers to marketing their products at extreme prices to give off the air of exclusivity, but they’re in uncharted territory trying to charge luxury box prices for what is typically thought of as sports bar attire. Are there enough rich fans around to buy the latest gear, practicality be damned? Sure, probably. But at a price point higher than some suite seats, we’re not holding our breath for this to be the new zeitgeist.
At any rate it gives us a chance to make this reference, so maybe things aren’t so bad after all: