Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Levi’s and the NBA have teamed up on a collection of classic pieces dedicated to the league’s most popular teams. “It’s no secret that the NBA has introduced us to some of the most fashionable athletes in sports who exude style, swagger, and unmatched individuality — and that was something that played a big role in the inspiration of this collection,” Adam Zloto, Levi’s global sports collection lead, says.
The collab includes some pretty standard options: Trucker Jackets ($108), Crewneck Sweatshirts ($78), Club Coats ($98), and Plaid Western Shirts ($78). Each of the five teams that Levi’s is starting with — the Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Lakers, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks, and the Boston Celtics — gets one of each style.
Zloto says that streetwear was “a strong component of the inspiration behind the collection.” Part of that is introducing a Leather Sherpa Jacket ($400) that gives the collection a more NBA feel. “We wanted to create something that infused NBA fan apparel classics with contemporary streetwear,” he says.
In order to penetrate the streetwear world, Levi’s teamed up with four well-known streetwear boutiques — Undefeated, Bosk, RSVP Gallery, and Concepts — to sell the collection. “These stores are globally recognized in the streetwear world and are the absolute best at what they do,” Zloto says.
The Levi’s NBA collection is smart because it caters to fans who “dress up for NBA games but don’t have many elevated options,” as Zloto says. It’s true that as the NBA’s profile as a fashionable league rises, its fans feel a certain pressure to get dressed up to attend games. But good options are few and far between. There’s the mostly crappy official merchandise and then collaborations with upscale brands like The Elder Statesman. The latter collection is beautiful and putting on the items probably feels like dipping yourself into a bubble bath, but one of the sweaters also would have set you back $1,600.
The Levi’s collection — which does have the one luxe $400 option — is a pretty excellent option for those with The Elder Statesman style, but not the budget.