Ready to hit the field, tackle that linebacker and score a touchdown, all in a jewel-encrusted helmet? Peyton Manning might not be, but Bloomingdale’s and the NFL most certainly are.
This January, the luxury department store released a collection of 48 football helmets designed exclusively by new and veteran fashion designers. The helmets, now on display at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street windows, exhibit a range of creativity from participants such as Donna Karan, Clover Canyon and Rachel Zoe.
The helmets, definitely considered decorative rather than functional, are currently being auctioned online. The minimum starting bid is $248 with prices on such helmets from John Varvatos and Alice + Olivia close to $2000. The bidding began Jan. 15 and ends this coming Tuesday, two days after Super Bowl XLVIII airs. Interestingly, not only will Bloomingdale’s give 100 percent of the proceeds away, but they will give them to a sports charity — the NFL Foundation.
This nonprofit organization aims to improve the health and safety of professional athletes and young players. With grant programs for events such as their Youth Football Camp, the foundation provides funding for football programs all around the country. It helps teams find and teach certified coaches, purchase new safety gear and even rebuild fields in need.
Overall, the program takes great initiative in promoting an active lifestyle for today’s youth, but why did a fashion company become affiliated with the seemingly foreign social culture of sports?
Steven Kolb, CEO of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, said the idea came partly from the Super Bowl’s location.
“This is the first time that the Super Bowl will be held in the New York region, and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate [than] by joining Bloomingdale’s and the NFL in merging fashion and sports with the creation of these unique helmets,” Kolb said.
Frank Berman, executive vice president of marketing for Bloomingdale’s, added that the occasion allowed for a unique mix.
“Bloomingdales’ New York Heritage combined with the fact that Super Bowl XLVIII is taking place in our backyard gives us an opportunity to merge fashion and sports in a modern way,” Berman said in a press release.
The inaugural year of the New York Super Bowl is a rather big deal for the world of sports, but the social impact reaches beyond that and touches all aspecrs of a city’s culture. For New York City, that includes fashion. While this is a blatant move to expand the brand of the NFL and the Super Bowl, it is nonetheless a move to join worlds and spread the festivities of two American traditions.
A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Jan. 29 print edition. David Bologna is a staff writer. Email him at email@example.com.