Vintage sports jackets are making a return as new designers create their take on classic pieces

Both designers and brands have been actively collaborating with major sports leagues on team-themed jackets

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By CHARLOTTE HUI

Modern sports jacket designs are taking inspiration from the past.

Recently both vintage sports jackets and sports jackets inspired by vintage designs have increased in popularity as they have found their way into the wardrobes of many celebrities and athletes. As a result, several designers have now signed contracts with major sports leagues.

Ryan Platt, a sports jacket designer from the United States, recently collaborated with the Tampa Bay Lightning where she made a customized jersey themed puffer jacket.

“It was the right timing kind of thing where people were really interested in it and really wanted it,” Platt said. “So I’m going to try to keep creating those throughout the rest of the season.”

Platt incorporates the jerseys of the teams in her designs.

“I just kind of pull from what the current jersey is speaking to me,” Platt said.

A chance to relive memories

Fashion lovers see vintage as a trend, but others see the trend as a chance to relive family memories.

“It’s like growing up imagining wearing those jerseys someday when you are a kid playing sports,” said BCIT student and sports jacket enthusiast Sean Wiechers. “It’s been fun to just relive those memories by seeing all the new designs come back.”

Starter, a famous brand in the 1980s and 1990s that produced jackets for professional sports teams featuring vibrant colours and logos, recently collaborated with the NHL for the first time in years.

Vancouver clothing stores are seeing an increase in sales of vintage sports jackets.

“We sell a lot of them. They are one of our best sellers, specifically the sports one,” said Elizabeth Aamer, an employee at F as in Frank Vintage, a vintage clothing store in Vancouver.

Claire Teramae, an employee working for vintage clothing store The Rag Machine in Vancouver, said, “I can tell that more people wear them on the street.”

Reuse, reduce, Recycle

The usage of durable materials for vintage jackets makes them sustainable, and at a higher quality, and many customers say investing in vintage jackets might help with waste in the clothing and fashion industry.

“Once I did a research on the amount of trash we produce a day, it is a lot,” said Teramae. “Not only the vintage jacket aspect, remaking clothes will help to build a better place for the world.”

Isaac Ang, a customer of Gone Again Vintage, a vintage clothing store in Richmond said jackets are more diverse than before.

“There are more materials for the sports jackets, like leather and wool,” Ang said. “They used to use nylon for most of them.”

Aamer agreed.

“If you’re looking towards these vintage jackets to get them because of their quality and that they can last longer, if you’re sticking to getting one jacket that will last you the rest of your life,” she said.

 

A jersey for every occasion

Sports jacket designers are using jerseys to create fashion pieces

Sports designer jackets have been growing rapidly in popularity ever since Kristin Juszczyk started designing jackets constructed from NFL jerseys for Taylor Swift.

Juszczyk, a sports jacket designer, recently announced a licensing deal with the NFL allowing her to use its logos and jerseys for her creations, after her designs went viral.

Ryan Platt, a fellow sports jacket designer from the United States, took inspiration from Juszczyk and started creating her own jackets using jersey materials.

“I had watched some of her TikTok videos to get a sense of what materials she used, and then just pieced it together myself and made my own jacket,” said Platt. “Now I made a second one for the Tampa Bay Lightning and hoping to do more in the future.”

Platt first created a Pittsburgh Penguins puffer jacket, which then helped her land a collaboration with the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s super cool to get to work with those details and bring that vintage jersey back to life with their relaunch,” Platt said.

Combining the fabric of the Lightning’s new third jersey and a puffer jacket, she created a design she believes can be worn for many occasions.

“I would never wear just like a jersey around… so turning it into something that I would feel more inclined to wear on a day-to-day basis,” said Platt. “I’m not just buying a piece of item for like twice a year use, like I’m getting multiple uses out of it.”

Platt is excited for the future of sports design and wants to try designing jackets for different leagues.

“Right now, I think that there has been an opening for sportswear to go through a rebirth because we’re seeing a need for more stylish game wear,” Platt said.

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