Christina Najjar | August 15, 2019 | Lifestyle
How many adults can say they are truly living out their childhood dream? Jason Scott can. The successful fashion entrepreneur not only has a booming clothing business with his infamous softer-than-soft t-shirts, but also recently secured a collaboration with the MLB. The Chicago native, who grew up worshiping the Cubs and attending games with his family, is now partnering with the MLB to deliver a new type of fan merchandise: fan gear that is actually fashionable. Scott and his team put their design brains to work to deliver product that was as chic as it was spirited. The result is incredible. Finally, something sports fans and fashionistas can agree on.
Jason Scott opened his first store in New York City's West Village in 2016. While most brands were focusing on e-commerce, Jason wanted to open a small store in the neighborhood where people could come in and touch the clothes, talk to the sales specialists and focus on customer experience. Jason quickly developed a cult following which was apparent when one of his loyal customers, Harrison Ford, insisted upon wearing his own favorite Jason Scott t-shirt for the cover of GQ.
In 2018, Jason created the ultimate welcoming customer environment by opening his second store: a 2,000-square-foot flagship in the heart of Tribeca. The loft space resembles a Manhattan dream home more than it does a boutique. With a full Chalait matcha cafe, living room sitting area, fireplace, TV and a full bar with Jason's favorites spirits tucked away in the back, the store has become the ideal place to cultivate community.
How did you secure the MLB collaboration?
JASON SCOTT: The collaboration came about organically. Someone from MLB was shopping in the store with his wife, he noticed my Cubs hat and we started talking about baseball. I took him downstairs to show him what is in my office… the original seats from Wrigley Field that I’ve been sitting in with my dad since I was a kid. That’s when he realized what a big baseball fan I was! They had been looking for more luxury brands to collaborate with to elevate the fan product. We talked for a few months, put a deal together and started working! It was cool how organically it all came together.
What relationship do you have with the sport of baseball?
JS: I grew up in Chicago going to Cubs games with my dad as far back as I can remember. There was a hope every year that the Cubs would be in the World Series and there was so much excitement in going to Wrigley. It’s a special place, one of the oldest fields in baseball. There is a historic vibe to it. It made sense on multiple levels for me to collaborate with MLB on multiple levels because I am such a huge baseball fan.
How does this collaboration differ from your normal collections?
JS: It’s interesting, because as you can see, our brand is normally minimalistic with neutral colors, lots of blacks, greys and blues. Some of the MLB teams are very bright colorwise and the logos are not very modern; not necessarily our aesthetic. What was amazing is that the MLB allowed us to pick and choose which logos we wanted to use and gave us complete freedom. We went into the archive and used some of the older ones. It was great to play with prints within our original aesthetic. It was a very different experience designing fan gear. We didn’t just want to place a big logo somewhere, we played with different printing techniques. We didn't want to make these clothes the way everyone else does.
Where will the collaboration be released?
JS: It will be released in the stadium! Each stadium now has a luxury club area so it has that feeling of exclusivity. It will also be available online and in our Tribeca store, but it’s great to be sold in the stadium. Such a surreal experience!
What type of consumer are you trying to reach with this collaboration?
JS: I think it’s exciting because it gives us a chance to appeal to a new customer. The fan that is used to wearing one type of fan gear now has another option. It also gives us great visibility to be in the stadium. We’re looking to do women's next year and I think the women's side of this will be massive.
What’s your favorite piece in the collection?
JS: My favorite piece is the Dunston hoodie, it’s a pullover hoodie lined with Pima cotton. And then also the Thomas crew neck tee, it’s so understated.
How would you describe the whole experience?
JS: Surreal is the best way to describe it. It’s a dream come true to work with the MLB. It’s funny doing this as a fan. You're making apparel for these teams that you grew up hating because they’re your teams’ rival! Then I met the guys and the players and you realize they’re all amazing! The whole thing has been a dream, especially the All-Star weekend. I even got to take my parents down on the field at Wrigley for the first time. This collab opens up the door for some truly unique things.