Lifestyle

Off-White Is Making $1,100 Baseball Jerseys With Holes in Them, and Baseball Fans Have Some Questions

16 total views
One of sports’ more traditional fanbases is quickly becoming familiar with the work of the late Virgil Abloh.

Image may contain Sailor Suit Human Person Clothing Shoe Footwear and Apparel

Courtesy of Off-White

On Wednesday morning, ESPN writer Joon Lee called attention to a wonky new three-way collaboration between the late designer Virgil Abloh’s brand Off-White, the hat company New Era, and the Major League Baseball organization: a collection of jerseys, classic New Era 59FIFTY caps, and more, all featuring a Swiss cheese slice’s worth of fastball-sized holes that cut clean through each garment.

Presenting said evidence to the court of public opinion, i.e. Twitter, Lee pointed out the eye-bulging price of each hole-filled item. The cap, with a big ole crescent-moon bite taken out of the brim, is $260. T-shirt, $355. Hoodie, $630. Jersey, $1,030. (For reference, a standard replica baseball jersey goes for around $135 on the MLB webstore.) Up for sale now on Off-White’s website, the capsule comes in different design variations for six different MLB franchises: the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Miami Marlins, Oakland Athletics, and Toronto Blue Jays.

As baseball writer Mike Petriello replied, “I do not understand a single word of this, but I’m also pretty sure this isn’t for me.”

It may very well be that the Venn diagram of fans of Major League Baseball—which is, frankly, a sport that has only recently begun to dip a toe into out-there fashion—and people who are willing to shell out four figures for a garment intentionally riddled with holes is just…two distinct circles. (Or, if you’re a fan of Louis Sachar’s seminal young adult novel Holes, maybe you’ll be keen on the “Air Yelnats.”) But whether you’re new to the Off-White universe or deeply familiar with it, here’s a bit of context.

Round cut-outs are a running motif for Abloh, a design element he termed “meteor” holes when he introduced them in his spring 2020 womenswear collection, featuring tees and opera gloves bore through with holes—like the craters a meteor shower might imprint on whatever patch of earth was unfortunate to fall beneath one. The holes appeared again in his menswear collection that fall; in 2019, Off-White introduced a handbag full of meteor holes, which the brand explicitly deemed “unfunctional.”

The gear in this collection follows that template. On the back of each jersey is the text that reads “YOUR NAME,” (which is, presumably, a cheeky reference to the sample e-comm images of customizable jerseys on the MLB store, since it doesn’t appear possible to actually personalize the Off-White version) and the number 23, a nod to Michael Jordan’s NBA jersey number—another common Abloh flourish. (During MJ’s brief early-’90s foray into the world of professional baseball, he wore number 45 while playing with a minor league affiliate of the White Sox.)

But back to holes, and the theoretical places they might lead: the name Off-White is itself a reference to liminal space, the color between black and white. In a 2016 GQ interview, Abloh described Off-White as “sort of like an art concept about gray matter. For me Off-White is one big art project. The medium is clothes, but what I’m attempting to do with Off-White is build a philosophy through clothing and an aesthetic. Off-White has an embedded sense of irony. The word itself is ironic. To me, that means streetwear and fashion today. It’s a little bit reality, it’s a little bit tongue-in-cheek.” Sounds a bit like a $1,030 MLB jersey, those holes being the tongue-in-cheek element that adds extra zeros to the price tag.

And speaking of adding on extra zeroes, wonder those if those throwback jerseys that Chris Sale ahem, customized back in the day are still in storage somewhere…

Share this Post

About Us

Celebrating our best lives at fifty and beyond! 50ismorefun brings you motivational news and stories centered around life, fitness, fashion, money, travel and health for active folks enjoying the second half of lives.