photography by Brenton Salo of Juliet Zulu
It all started one cool spring night. May is still spring right? We attended the Blazermania show that Spikes High & Trillblazin were sweet enough to pull together. It was an awesome exhibition to say the least, combing a love of art with their passion for basketball. Or maybe it was the other way around, I can't remember. Either way, I walked into that show and was totally taken by a basketball hoop that had been painted and hung on the wall of the gallery. Apparently that is how it goes with art. Being that this would officially be my first real art purchase, I can only speak from that side of the procedure. All I know is, I saw it and knew I had to have it.
Now, I wish from there that I could say that there was a whole cloak and dagger story about how the rest of the collection came about, but that wasn't to be the case. It was still based around that sheer enthusiasm. That, and the fact that Will and I had been playing Sunday night basketball together prompted me to breach the subject right then and there. We need to do this. We should make this live. The idea was to find out how far we could take his little squiggles and put it into a basketball related collection.
From there, from the squiggle, we started applying the concept to our favorite pieces. The jersey was a must, and we took a step from our screenprinted reversible pinnies to a fully customized piece - look at those contrasting double bound necklines! Feel the silken qualities of jersey in your hand! Then, the short got a touch that is a nod to Will's favorite team — 90's Bulls anyone? The cap, well, everyone needs a cap when you're playing basketball, right? Then, there were the socks — "more cush" we said, "like the ATHL Sport Sock" we said and with a thought towards proper hydration — a collection was born.
Side Note: Can we just take a minute to talk about socks in the NBA? Last year I was up in arms because all the players had to wear the same ones. They were always those white tube looking socks with the NBA logo on them. Well, now they have opened things up and to tell the truth it's kind of become a bit of a shit-show. Kudos to Stance for breaking people out of their stodgy white tube sock ways, but seriously, it's called a uniform for a reason.
Then, we went into the studio with Brenton Salo and his crew at Juliet Zulu to shoot all of the stuff together on a few b-ballers. That's what we're calling them these days, right? There was some dodging from left to right and there were some floaters that were floated up and over the camera. The crazy white seamless backdrop that Clutch Studio has made me feel like I was tripping my face off until I could find the edge. Which I couldn't.
Now, Will has gone and moved back to Austin, Texas and presumably he's picked up with a new Sunday night game of his own. He could, for all we know, be gathering with this crew right now to practice shooting jumpers or just slinging the ball from half court and hoping that it goes in. However, they could be more serious than our Sunday nights were, ankle braces, passing drills, dunk shots, I don't know, I'm not there. But, I suspect that we had something pretty special going on at our Sunday nights and I like to think of this collection as the physical embodiment of that. Cheesy enough for you? Well, just go check it out and decide for yourself.
Check out the entirety of the Will Bryant Collection here.