(Jason Franklin and Rica Hermosa)
It was a gorgeous day in New York City yesterday. The sun was shining, the birds were chirping, the air was crisp. Errr, maybe just the sun was shining. Either way, it was bright and sunny outside which made it the perfect day to preview sport fashion t-shirt line Sportiqe.
Sportiqe has been around since 2006 and has a solid celebrity following that includes A-listers like Beyonce, David Beckham, Justin Beiber and Jaime Foxx. Just going through the racks myself I could easily see why. All of the t-shirts manage to mesh modern design with vintage sensibility. What I mean by that is, at first glance you think 'throwback' t-shirts because of the graphics, but when you really examine them, you'll find soft, drapy textures, heathered effects and bias cuts, elements that are not typical on throwback t-shirts.
Lucky for me Founder/Creative Director Jason Franklin was on hand to help walk me through the line and share his inspiration. Jason, a Chicago native, stated that Sportiqe is based on American culture and Americana in general. From live music, sporting events and travelling across country, he absorbs the fiber of America from his surroundings and incorporates it into his t-shirts. I was impressed. Normally when you meet a designer, they like to boast that they draw inspiration from extensive international travel. It was actually quite refreshing to hear someone explore the richness of American culture. America as Muse. I like the sound of that. This was most evident in the "Hometown Classics" line which is a collaboration with different eateries across the country. Tribeca's own Bubby's (which I'm now going to check out) is featured on several t-shirts along with restaurants from LA and DC. There was even a food truck represented, which is beyond cool because food trucks are definitely enjoying their day when it comes to competing with big restaurants.
There were also collaborations with Playboy, ESPN, Jockey, The Grateful Dead and even EA Sports. As a Gen-Xer, looking at the pixellated video game images on some of the EA Sport t-shirts was more nostalgic than I care to admit. There were also McDonald's t-shirts. One with a vintage happy meal from the 80's made me think of the old jingle "big mac, filet-o-fish, quarter pounder, french fries…" (dating myself again). It also started a fun conversation about how much us fashionistas secretly enjoy the fast food staple.
Overall, this is not your typical t-shirt line. The sport and fashion mix works incredibly well together and begs to be worn with style. Ladies can pair them with skinny jeans and heels for a night out or guys, a favorite pair of slim cuts and a cool blazer.