Fashionable Football: NFL Helmets Get Couture Makeover for Charity



Move over Paris, there’s a new haute couture hotspot gaining the attention of the fashion industry: the gridiron. A collaboration by 48 members of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (or, CFDA), Bloomingdales, and the NFL has brought the world of high fashion to the football field through 48 unique helmets, up for auction ahead of Super Bowl XLVIII.

All of the net proceeds will benefit the NFL Foundation, and the auction lasts until February 4. The NFL Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a goal of improving the health and safety of sports. Additionally, professional teams engage in community outreach, and youth football programs are supported.

Natara Holloway, the NFL’s vice president of consumer products, explained the NFL’s view. “We are excited to team up with Bloomingdale’s and the CDFA to auction off designer Super Bowl XLVIII helmets to support the work of the NFL Foundation,” Holloway stated. “This unique collaboration is another way for fans of football and fashion to get closer to the game and be a part of the Super Bowl XLVIII festivities happening all across the New York-New Jersey region.”

There were no rules to follow, according to designer Rachel Zoe’s website. Free to add sparkle, patterns, and embellishments the creators of the haute couture helmets had uninhibited reign over their individual projects. Zoe’s is a sequined stunner, with fourteen previous bids. The highest so far is $775.

Bids for the helmets started at $248. Some remain at the entry-level price, but others have surpassed the $1,000 mark. This helmet, designed by Junk Food Clothing, is currently going for over $2,000.

The designs range from a simple, all-black design by Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne for Public School, to an avant garde square helmet designed by Rogan. The helmet Bloomingdales created features a black and white check pattern, with iconic New York emblems adorning the top.

“Bloomingdales’ New York Heritage, combined with the fact that Super Bowl XLVIII is taking place in our back yard, gives us an opportunity to merge fashion and sports in a modern way,” Frank Berman, Bloomingdale’s executive vice president of marketing said in a press release. “Through our unique collaborations, merchandise, and special events, we are able to celebrate Super Bowl XLVIII in-store and online bringing the excitement of this iconic event to our shoppers across a variety of touch points, all while supporting the NFL Foundation.”

CFDA’s CEO Steven Kolb expressed a similar sentiment. He too desired the occasion be marked by a unique object or collaboration. “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 by joining Bloomingdale’s and the NFL in merging fashion and sports with the creation of these unique helmets,” Kolb said.

Not all the helmets are proving popular, and several are languishing with no bids. At the other end of the spectrum sits a gem encrusted creation by Stacey Bendet for Alice & Olivia. Twenty-nine bids have pushed the price of the multi-colored helmet to $1,830. Like any display of haute couture, the helmets reflect the designers tastes. Betsey Johnson’s is covered in vibrant pink roses, and the Miami Dolphins appear to have influenced the headgear Floridian sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder created.

It is unlikely any NFL team will be incorporating the high-fashion helmets into its uniform for the 2014/2015 season. But it would be amusing to see a team take the field in Rogan Gregory and Scott Mackinlay Hahn for Loomstate’s panda-head helmet.

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