Fashion is likely the last thing footballers are thinking about when they hit the 50 yard line, but this year’s 50th Super Bowl in Santa Clara, California (February 7th) is obviously a milestone, so the NFL is looking to pull out every play in its book.
You’ve likely already heard that Coldplay and Beyoncé will perform at halftime and there is never any shortage of events surrounding the Big Game. But a strong match and entertainment — including the commercials for those watching at home! — just might not be enough.
No, the NFL wants Super Bowl fans to have a tangible souvenir of the occasion. And that’s where fashion — specifically the Council of Fashion Designers of America — comes in. According to Women’s Wear Daily, the NFL and CFDA have formed a special collaboration, CFDA + NFL Super Bowl 50, to create bespoke footballs marking the anniversary.
Fifty designers including Rebecca Minkoff, Prabal Gurung, Sam Edelman, and Nicole Miller, have designed the balls, which will be auctioned off on the NFL.com Web site to benefit the NFL Foundation.
Some are pictured here, but all of the balls will be unveiled January 20th at an event at the NFL’s offices in New York.
This isn’t the first time the CFDA has linked with the league. WWD reminds that when the Super Bowl was at MetLife Stadium in 2014, 48 designers created bespoke helmets (that filled the windows of Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship and were then auctioned off).
The NFL declined to say how much that auction raised, but said the John Varvatos helmet was the top seller, going for $5,055.
This year’s bespoke balls all have a gold theme — tied in to the anniversary — but beyond the color, the rest was left up to the individual designers.
WWD also interviewed some of the designers:
“Mine is a chino football,” said men’s wear designer Todd Snyder, an admitted football fan. “My helmet was gray flannel. I take things I think are iconic to American style, but have more of a modern edge.”
For her football, Rachel Roy said she wanted to take playtime into the professional realm. “It’s elegant, chic and strong.” It’s mostly python with a gold-plated jewelry handle on top “that frames it all. It was all done by hand, their logo and mine were hand-painted. I think it’s elegant for a home or office.”
Betsey Johnson’s ball was “quite a bit of work,” she said. “But I think it came out wonderfully” with a result that’s “fashionable, feminine and woman-y.” She loved designing it, and in fact wound up so fond of her football that she’s going to try to buy it back at the auction.
Kate Michael is a Writer, Emcee, On-Camera Host and Fashion/Commercial Model. Follow her at @kstreetkate