By Sally Ho – The Associated Press
SEATTLE (Associated Press) – Ronald Acuna Jr. adorned a Barbie Core fit with a jeweled chain that resembles himself. Adley Latchman made it feel more ‘Kenergy’ in a lush gold ensemble. At Tuesday’s Major League Baseball red carpet show, many of the suits were safe and serious, though some were flashy and conspicuous.
The event, which takes place just hours before the All-Star Game, saw baseball’s top players in tow with their spouses, children and mothers roaming Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market to the hundreds of enthusiastic fans in attendance. showed up.
But what was really on display was MLB’s quest for Cool’s crown.
From baseball’s iconic caps and jerseys to classic t-shirts, this fan-friendly event pays homage to baseball’s iconic place in street style while also serving MLB as a gateway to new audiences in fashion. It is also a sign that they are betting their claims more and more on. And respect for pop culture.
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“MLB gave me a stylist for this game,” said 22-year-old Seattle native Corbyn Carroll, a breakout rookie for the Arizona Diamondbacks. “The outfit is kind of cool. Granted, it’s not something I choose for myself, but I’m kind of excited to show it off.”
Like many Gen Zers born in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Carol described her off-duty style as more casual than high fashion. She’s “athleisure, not too many logos, solid colors, and fit.”
On the red carpet, which was actually a hot magenta pink, Carole stuck to neutrals, donning a white blazer, black shirt, and tan pants, styled with Nikes, sunglasses, and a mullet.
But it’s no coincidence that MLB is using the young mixed-race player as a style ambassador for its All-Star red carpet show.
The league has been plagued with the same crowd problem for years. Baseball is steeped in American heritage and is still perceived as a boring sport aimed at old-school fans who manually track scores in the stands: white fans.
“Sometimes perception becomes reality, but it’s never accurate. Look at the youngsters, they’re always here,” said MLB Chief Revenue Officer Noah Garden. . “We always want to attract young fans. That’s the cornerstone of any business.”
As such, MLB has spent years trying to bolster its image, with basketball stars who have established themselves as style kings among celebrity athletes, along with their sneakers, suits, and streetwear from the NBA. We have watched in amazement as our cultural supremacy grows.
Brandon Brown, a professor of sports management at New York University, said the NBA was Gen Z’s favorite brand across sports institutions, in part because the game and its savvy players have become part of urban hip-hop culture. He said it was because he was deeply connected to himself and himself. -Expression — something this generation resonates with.
Ever since Seattle Mariners Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. (wearing his autograph and an upside-down ’90s baseball cap), the outfit alone has been able to evoke conversations and transcend cultures. There really weren’t any MLB players seen as superstars. Mr Brown said.
“He was appearing in a variety of mediums to speak to large audiences,” Brown said. “MLB is probably still looking for the next superstar in modern culture.”
Today, baseball officials know that tickets to loyal fans can be found off the field, perhaps at highly publicized red carpet shows made to go viral on social media. enthusiastic to encourage others to shine in the same way.
“It’s a really important event. The players really embrace it,” Garden said. “This is to focus on our best players and bring them closer to the fans.”
Mariners star Julio Rodriguez, 22, is among the league’s most fashion-forward players. Tuesday’s red carpet outfit was handcrafted in Italy and paid homage to Seattle. The current American League Rookie of the Year is working with Personal Shopper.
“When you think of Seattle, what do you think of? Think for a moment about a beautiful summer, the trees and the lake. So we’re going to go for it,” Rodriguez said.
Paired with exclusive Alexander McQueen sneakers, this look was created by Ethan Weisman, founder of Pantheon Limited Custom Closures. If you’re a sports fan, you’ve seen Wiseman’s looks at least once. He’s the crop-top, tuxedo-wearing man behind Ezekiel Elliott’s attention in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Garden said MLB’s foray into fashion isn’t really about product revenue because high-end collaborations like Gucci don’t sell in large numbers.
“There are limited quantities. This allows us to approach a very specific part of our fan base,” Garden said. “This is a closer relationship with non-traditional brands.”
Garden said it’s so coveted that some players have called the front office asking for a limited-edition MLB Gucci collection.
Don’t believe the uncouth rumors, but there have actually been many connections with fashion throughout the history of baseball.
Official collaborations with brands ranging from preppy Ralph Lauren to niche streetwear label Supreme. Baseball’s longstanding role as a fashion inspiration is also thanks to the league’s pioneering sale of replica his jerseys. Celebrating the league-wide No. 42 jersey on Jackie Robinson Day was a socially conscious decision.
And with the strategic worldwide licensing of the famous New York Yankees logo, in the words of iconic rapper Jay-Z, “the Yankee hat is more famous than the Yankee can.” There is no doubt that In fact, MLB’s commitment to fashion is a major part of MLB’s international marketing plans, with a recent lean toward using France’s affinity for fashion to tap into the broader European market. .
“What they’re tapping into is a kind of cultural capital that’s not financial. It’s about the fans. It’s about nostalgia,” said the Toledo Museum of Art curator of the influence of baseball jerseys and the sport on fashion. said Erin Corrales Diaz, who wrote the book. “Fashion has always been part of sport, even if it’s not always articulated.”
Still, MLB may still be short on jobs, as several All-Stars admitted ahead of Tuesday’s show that they’re not fashion savvy. Houston Astros’ Kyle Tucker and Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw were among the many baseball players who wear the safest suits and say they don’t care much about fashion.
“It’s not my specialty,” Kershaw said.
The Diamondbacks’ Carole also smiled shyly when she said it was her first time working with a stylist and attending a red carpet event.
“It can be more nerve-wracking than the game,” Carroll said.
Contributed by AP Sports reporter Christy Rieken.
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