I know about as much about the Super Bowl as the crowd at the Starter Clubhouse, the new football apparel pop-up shop at Times Square’s Paramount Hotel, knew about the TV show Girls. This made my trek last Thursday to the opening of the store, leading up to the New York area’s first hometown Super Bowl, something of a culture clash.
“Are you guys fans of the Seahawks?” I asked Jason (in hotels) and his friend, Dan (corporate law), as they gingerly fingered the purple stitching on a Seattle jersey, which immediately tapped out my entire knowledge of what was going on in professional football these days.
“Sure, I guess,” Dan said, suspiciously.
Located by a side door of the Paramount Hotel, the Starter Clubhouse sells its Super Bowl-related wares in a shop that serves as a front for the dimly lit “club” in the rear (otherwise known as the Paramount Bar & Grill), lending it a “business in front, party in back” vibe not often seen outside of a mullet. Hennessy and Heineken sponsored the event but did nothing to loosen the tongues of the rest of the patrons, who were seemingly all from Complex magazine and were equally tight-lipped about whom they were rooting for.
Luckily, there was at least one attendee who was willing to speak on the subject of sports style.
“I love football. I used to play when I was young,” said Brad Clarke, who runs the Complex website Green Label. “I think it’s great. It’s just a classic look, with the satin jackets that just go back to everyone’s childhood memories. Great Starter pullovers from when they were younger—it’s just synonymous with football, in a way, and sports in general.”
Is that a whole subgenre right now? Sports fashion?
“Yeah, I would say that now there is,” Mr. Clarke said. “Now that there [are] all these collaborations, with shoes and those nicknames they do on jerseys now. It’s just a whole new genre of sports fashion.”
And whom was he rooting for in the home game?
“I’m a Giants fan,” he said over the house’s club music, provided by Hot 97’s Cipha Sounds and DJ Drewski. “I just want to see the Patriots lose.”