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Vintage Starter Jackets

Posted by Ben Crudo on


Starter was a pioneer in the fusion of fashion with athletic clothing apparel and dominated the fashion landscape in the 80’s and 90’s. The company was founded  in 1971 by David Beckerman, a former basketball player for Southern Connecticut State University, as a manufacturer of high school jerseys and it quickly developed into the leading producer of insignia clothing for professional athletic organizations and retail markets. In 1979 Starter became one of the first licensees to supply clothing worn on the field by professional teams through an agreement to manufacture satin jackets for players on Major League baseball teams. Starter incorporated this design into streetwear, and was the "first to make team jackets out of satin, instead of the usual cheap nylon". In 1980, Starter began partnerships with major leagues in basketball, football, baseball, and hockey as well as in 150 colleges and universities. It was the first apparel brand to co-brand with professional, collegiate and Olympic sports. By 1983, the company had entered licensing agreements with the NBA, the NFL, the NHL and the Canadian Football League (CFL). As coverage of national sports leagues on cable television expanded, Starter's bright, flashy team jackets became status symbols among kids.

The company made its logo a prominent part of the apparel's design and kids began to notice its embroidered "S and Star" emblem on jacket sleeves and on the back of baseball caps. Often, when people wore their baseball hats backwards, a person saw the Starter logo before they even saw the insignia of the team it represented. In 1986 the company was the first to produce NBA Locker Room T shirts and coach’s parkas and developed the popular breakaway jacket: a pullover jacket that closely resembled the coach's parka.

In the mid 90’s the licensed sports apparel market lost momentum and this coupled with an increase in competition had an adverse effect on Starter. The company was sold to Nike in 2004 and then to the Iconix Brand Group in 2007. [wpsc_products category_id='23' number_per_page='8']

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  • Do you guys have any Southern University starter jackets or can still make them from the 90’s?

    Alex Brooks Jr on

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