Russell Athletic Goes Upscale with Designer Line

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Berkshire Hathaway’s Russell Athletic has gone upscale with a new clothing line that’s being sold at Barneys New York, and features $225 sweatshirts and $250 hoodies.

Russell Athletic is partnering with Los Angeles designer Tracey Mills, who worked for several celebrity-favorite streetwear labels before launching his Visitor On Earth line in 2016. The name represents Mills’ aim to produce fashion in harmony with the planet. Blending minimalist shapes and earth tones, the collection of T-shirts, hoodies, and pants creates a unisex uniform that defies a time or place.

Mills is well known for his work with Kanye West, co-designing his Yeezy collections.

The Russell x VOE collection is a unisex capsule featuring tracksuits, oversize sweatshirts, T-shirts and socks in washes and proportions that represent the new school take on classic Nineties old school. Prices range from $70 to $600 and most of the line features the Russell “R” logo and a Visitor on Earth Logo. The t-shirts and sweatshirts feature graphic slogans that deliver a message of positivity and empowerment, such as “Peace in the Hood,” “The World Is Yours” and “Shut Down the System.”

The messaging is key for Mills, who grew up in the foster care system in inner city of Los Angeles. He pitched collaboration to Russell, which was incidentally looking for a project that would create a bridge into the fashion/street world, with the goal of creating a collection that would not only offer something

Just last month, Fruit of the Loom’s Russell Athletic brand announced that it will cease making athletic uniforms. The move marks the end of a long history in a product line that in the last decade has seen skyrocketing marketing costs.

The designer Russell x VOE line fits with Russell Athletic’s new focus on the growing athletic and lifestyle apparel market that has athletic wear as a fashion statement apart from the gym.

Sofia Richie, Justin Bieber, and Bella Hadid are some of the celebrities that have been spotted wearing the new clothing line.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.