Alpha Industries, New Era Collaborate on Baseball-themed Capsule

·4 min read

The partnership was inevitable.

When Mark Maidment was 16, he spent the money he’d saved from his paper route to buy an Alpha Industries MA-1 bomber jacket. So it’s not surprising that when the opportunity arose, the senior vice president of brand for New Era Cap Co. jumped at the chance to work with the apparel brand on a special capsule collection centered around baseball.

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“I’ve always had a passion for iconic design,” Maidment said in an interview from New Era’s Buffalo, N.Y., headquarters. Before joining New Era six years ago, Maidment had worked at Ben Sherman and collaborated with Alpha Industries on a version of the MA-1. And now that New Era has branched out beyond hats into sports apparel, it was “a no-brainer,” he said.

Matthew Pantoja, chief brand officer for Alpha Industries, was similarly convinced that a partnership between the two companies was a good idea. “We wanted to expand the categories we’re in and when we thought about headwear, we knew New Era was iconic. This collaboration has been so special for us here at Alpha Industries as it’s the coming together of two authentic heritage brands who started as family businesses and have become globally recognized by striving to be the best at what they do.”

New Era was founded 102 years ago and is best known for its fitted baseball hats. It has made caps for Major League Baseball since 1932. Although not as old, Alpha Industries got its start in 1959 as a contractor to the U.S. military and has extended that military expertise into a lifestyle collection. “We’re very like-minded,” Maidment said.

The result of this love fest is a collection of apparel and headwear for 23 of the league’s 30 teams as well as nine heritage teams. Among the teams featured will be the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees.

The capsule is anchored by the MA-1, which has a design reminiscent of the dugout jackets worn by players and coaches. It will include team and league logos and championship patches on the exterior and a modified blood chit on the interior. (A blood chit is a notice carried by a member of the armed forces identifying their country of origin in the event they were shot down in enemy territory.)

The capsule also includes New Era’s 59Fifty cap with the team logo in raised embroidery on the front, the Alpha Industries logo on the right side and an MLB logo on the rear. It also includes a red flight tag, a signature of Alpha Industries. There is also a cap T-shirt featuring the colors and logos of the individual teams, a hooded quarter-zip and a 9Forty adjustable trucker hat that also sports the flight tag.

The MA-1 jackets feature a number of patches for the teams and the brands.
The MA-1 jackets feature a number of patches for the teams and the brands.

The jackets will retail for $199.99, the hoodie for $89.99, the T-shirts for $39.99 or $44.99, and the hats for $35.99 or $49.99.

The line will be sold on the Alpha and New Era websites as well as through a number of large national retailers including Fanatics and Lids, and some lifestyle stores, such as Jamaica Hatland, as well as in some baseball stadium shops, including Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in L.A.

Shawn Penrod, director of product development at New Era, added, “What can I say about this project that the product doesn’t already say? It began as a smaller collaboration conversation, like so many projects at New Era, and then took on a life of its own. Once we saw some of the early designs, we knew we needed to make it a larger brand story. We added MLB teams and multiple styles to the offering, and both MLB and Alpha couldn’t have been happier to do so. The product turned out amazing. It’s the perfect storm of three American heritage brands at the center of sport, style and culture.”

The collaboration will be marketed on social media and in stadiums through a film that has been created specifically for the capsule launch.

Although there are no immediate plans to offer additional capsules, the two brands are open to continuing to collaborate in the future.

“We see this as a long-term relationship,” Maidment said. “We have so much in our archives, so there will be more to come.”

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