GIANTS GET DECKED OUT IN LONDON STARTER JACKETS
BY MATT COHEN
Since retiring from the NFL in 1995, Carl Banks has become a successful business executive in the fashion industry - President of G-III Sports by Carl Banks (a division of G-III Sports).
In the past few years, the former Giants linebacker has relaunched the iconic satin Starter jackets of the 80's and 90's. Banks designed jackets last season to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Super Bowl Giants.
To commemorate the Giants 2016 London game, Banks put the blueprint together for a special-edition silver Starter jacket for the players. The 2x Super Bowl champion chats about bringing the jackets to life:
Q: How did you come up with this design, and what was the process like?
BANKS: The whole concept came about over the summer. I had a conversation with Joe [Equipment Director] and Ed Skiba [Assistant Equipment Manager] about doing something to commemorate the game in London. I found in the archives a rare Giants Starter jacket that was in silver that hadn't been in circulation in like 30 years. I thought it would be perfect if we were able to produce it in time and get it here for the guys to have for the trip.
I went to the NFL to get permission to use the Union Jack patch to commemorate the event. That's when the jacket was born. We have a few other items that were inspired as a result of this with the backpacks with another NFL licensee. But we wanted something special that was exclusive to the players. We did maybe 100 jackets for sale at retail worldwide. There's a store in London, Footpatrol, that will have probably 36 pieces and the rest will be sold at retail at Packer Shoes.
Q: Why did you choose to make the jackets so limited?
BANKS: This is super, super limited. It was made initially exclusively for the players. Then Packer Shoes said that they wanted to get in on them, and so we made an extra 150 pieces for retail.
Q: You designed jackets last season for the 25th anniversary of the 1990 Super Bowl team. When did you first come across the silver design?
BANKS: We found it in the Starter archives. We were going through it and I stumbled upon this silver Starter jacket. I was like, 'wow, no one has ever done this before'. That's what made it special as well because it's never been done. Well, it's been done somewhere because I have the original sample, but it hasn't been on any sideline. When I found it I told Joe I had something special as a commemorative piece for the London trip. He said, 'let's do it'.
Q: How long did the entire process take once you got approval from the league?
BANKS: It was around a four month process. We're dealing with unconventional sizing too. We had to make sure we got it made and delivered on time, so the jackets came probably a week before the trip. It was down to the wire but we made sure we could hit that delivery.
Q: How pleased are you with how the jackets came out?
BANKS: Because it's Starter, we want the jackets to be so good that the players will want to wear it, but we wanted everyone to have it to commemorate the trip and not just some trinket or something. We wanted to make sure everyone had it. The gratification for me is when the players are happy, and they look like they're happy with them.
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