Carl Banks, Michael Strahan Team on Elevated Super Bowl Collection


Two New York Giants greats have teamed up for the third time on an elevated collection of collectible apparel for the upcoming Super Bowl, which will be played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.

“Good Morning America” anchor Michael Strahan and Starter president Carl Banks have created a MSX by Michael Strahan x Starter Super Bowl LVIII collection that will drop on Thursday. MSX is the athleisure offering within the Michael Strahan apparel collection that launched in 2015.

Banks said his company has produced “fan product” for the Super Bowl for many years, but “when we partnered with Michael on his MSX collection, we both thought that the Super Bowl offering should be more elevated, coming from two guys that understand style in sports and fandom and how special the Super Bowl is — not only to the players, but to the fans. It’s such an event now, it is the NFL’s Christmas holiday, it’s the NFL’s Disney World. People come not just for the game, but everything around it. And when you go special places you want to have a collector’s item. And our collector’s items are wearable. It’s the piece that you walk around town in and then when you go home, it doesn’t have an expiration date on it.”

Many of the other pieces, such as T-shirts and sweatshirts, are soon relegated to other tasks. “Once it’s over, you’re cutting grass in it,” he said. “But Michael and I thought it was really important to create these collectible moments.”

The collection includes the Lucky Jacket, a leather varsity jacket in a deep indigo shade with red accents and a take on the signature Las Vegas sign; The Garden, jackets and hoodies inspired by the Bellagio hotel’s conservatory and gardens and featuring 32 flowers, each native to the home state of every NFL team and divided by conference on the left and right sleeves. There’s also The Fountain, with jackets and sweaters that reference the Bellagio’s fountains that feature Roman numerals LVIII, and the Casino Camo, a collection of gold, black and white T-shirts, satin jackets and hoodies with designs that highlight the Las Vegas strip. Prices range from $180 to $800.

Banks said they worked once again with New Jersey-based graphic artist Brian Begley to “infuse the geography of the location and all the landmarks,” Banks said. “No two Super Bowls are the same in this collection, and that’s what makes it a collectible.”

Hoodies with graphic designs are part of the collection.

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Banks added that because of their history in the sport, the NFL loosened its strict guidelines on colors and other requirements for the Banks-Strahan collaboration. “We’re the only brand that had been able to do this because we’re champions and we’ve been part of a rare fraternity. Michael and my teams have been really proactive in being disruptive and offering something unique. I say this with a great deal of reverence and respect because if Gucci was doing a NFL collaboration, they wouldn’t be held to the same in-the-box standard. They would be able to infuse the DNA of their brand, and this is what we think is important for our brand.”

Both Banks and Strahan were Super Bowl champions during their playing careers with the Giants. Banks played in Super Bowls XXI and XXV, while Strahan helped the team win Super Bowl XLII.

Michael Strahan and Carl Banks

Michael Strahan and Carl Banks

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In Vegas, the MSX x Michael Strahan x Starter collection will be featured in a Starter pop-up at the Fan Zone and a VIP bash at Lids on the strip. It will also be available online at Fanatics/NFL Shop, Dick’s Sporting Goods, WSS and other retailers.

In addition to the upper-end MSX collection, Banks will also be bringing some lower-priced lines to Vegas. “You can look at it as good, better, best,” he said. “So at the NFL Experience, which is the biggest shopping place for fans, you’ll see Starter, some G-III for her and then MSX.” Banks is also president of G-III Sports, which holds the license for the Starter brand.

“The Super Bowl transcends sports and is a beacon for fashion trends, cultural moments, music and beyond. Our annual MSX by Michael Strahan x Starter collaboration perfectly celebrates this with bold styles that showcase Las Vegas and the excitement of the city hosting its first Big Game,” said Koral Chen, senior vice president, brand development and licensing for SMAC Entertainment and Michael Strahan. “We sell out every year and are excited for fans to see this year’s drop in Vegas for Super Bowl LVIII.”

Strahan and Banks first partnered in 2020 on a limited-edition Super Bowl capsule in honor of the NFL’s 100th season. That initiative was expanded the following year to a collection featuring apparel for all of the league’s 32 teams.

In addition to the Super Bowl collection, Banks has also been working with other sports leagues for the Starter brand. This includes a re-release of the Bronx Bubble Jacket in collaboration with Major League Baseball as well as a Black Ice collection with the National Hockey League.

“Gucci knocked off [our Bronx Bubble Jacket] a few years ago,” Banks said of the piece that became a staple of the hip-hop community. “So I just took back what was mine.”

Banks said Starter, which was created in 1971, is “a legacy brand” and among the leaders in “how sports is worn on the sidelines.” He said he’s grateful to be able to innovate by drawing from the brand’s heritage and has the ability to bring back classics “infused with today’s technology and style. If you were around in the ‘70s and ‘80s, you have a Starter story, so I want to continue grow the brand in the core competencies of Starter and expand the [stock keeping units].”

Coming down the pike, he said, are some “really cool collaborations.” The brand has worked in the past with Rhude, Acme Studios, A Bathing Ape and Cookies Clothing, and there are more to come. The company recently launched a Starter branded collection that is being sold at Macy’s and a women’s activewear line will be launched for fall.

“I’m excited about the growth arc of the brand,” Banks said. “We’re just climbing right now and super excited because the brand actually has meaning and status and we just want to continue to take care of that and look for opportunities to grow within sport and out of sport into entertainment.”



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