Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NBA Coaches Get a Makeover

This feature is brought to you by Tylea Simone Richard, whose hands-on experience deep in the sweatshops of Nicaragua, provides valuable insight into this exciting new NBA partnership with Joseph Abboud. You can check out more of Tylea's writing on her blog; Ovarian Mind Tricks

The job of an NBA head coach is a tireless one, undoubtedly full of long nights pouring over play charts and game tapes. These inexhaustible souls are estranged from their families for months on end, while nightmares of key injuries disturb their sleep. They think, breath, eat, and live basketball from start until finish. There is no time to worry about superficial things like personal hygiene. Or is there?

Like any high-powered job, what you wear speaks volumes. For an NBA coach, this is no different. Someone's courtside gear can say: I exude confidence. I command the respect of my players and colleagues. Alternately, sloppy suits or sweater vests (and worse), make a losing coach at a post-game press conference look even more pitiful. He is analyzing where his team's strategy broke down, but his suit is saying: I am just a glorified towel boy. I am not even sure how I got here. As figureheads for multi-billion dollar sports franchises, it is high time that coaches stepped up their wardrobe game. And luckily, the NBA has just unveiled a partnership to do precisely that.

According to the Wall Street Journal, menswear label Joseph Abboud will be providing coaches with a least a dozen free outfits to wear during games. Not only will coaches get some of the finest suits, blazers, slacks, and ties the industry has to offer, much of the apparel will be made-to-measure. In other words, the suits will actually fit instead of the MC Hammer shoulders and go-go-gadget sleeves that many coaches are accustomed to.

As a basketball fan and former made-to-measure suit production coordinator for a NYC-based fashion company, I think this partnership is exciting for a number of reasons:

  1. Joseph Abboud, the former owner and namesake of the label, is one of the few designers considered a "guy's guy" who reportedly loves sports but still has a superior sense of style. The clothing is classic but up-to-date. I don't care how fond you are of Pat Riley in the 80's, the shiny zoot suit look doesn't work for everybody.
  2. The company manufactures all of their clothing in Southern Massachusetts in union factories. As far as I know, this is the last high-quality menswear producer left in the United States. Coaches can rest easy that their suits look good, and aren't made by the millions of people working in sweatshops around the world.
  3. We can finally go back to watching Melo play instead of being distracted by George Karl's sloppy gut.
So keep your eyes peeled for this season's dapper new coaches, courtesy of Joseph Abboud!

Ovarian Mind Tricks


D.Miz said...

Great post Tylea, thanks again.

I always thought the NBA was one of the best organizations/businesses to help the country. The amount of business they do overseas, the fan base, etc, are amazing.

With that said, this is even better. Keeping the purchasing of their suits in the US, as well as, not using a sweatshop based company, means the NBA has a smart and respectful business culture. One that will hopefully be emulated by other big American businesses.