This is how the iconic New York Yankees from humble beginnings in the Bronx made their way to the Gucci shows in Milan, transcending the sport and becoming recognized around the world.
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Still, silhouettes and references are one thing, but there are not so many teams whose logos have become cult in the fashion world - and one such anomaly may be the New York Yankees baseball club. His famous NY emblem - found on T-shirts, sweatpants and (of course) baseball caps - has become more famous than the team itself and has given the Yankees name more than just a team name.
Today, she is considered one of the brightest symbols of New York, spreading to all levels of fashion, be it tourist caps or embroidery on Gucci coats. But where did it all start? In this article, Highsnobiety explores how the "New York Yankees" emblem went from a humble sports team logo to a legend, in the process becoming an astounding fashion trend.
The origin of the New York Yankees symbolism
The Yankee logo that we all know and love has a strange backstory, rooted in another symbolic New York team: the police department. “It all started with the launch of the franchise in 1903,” Yankees writer and historian Marty Appel tells Highsnobiety. "One of the owners of the team was former NYPD Chief Bill Devery, and [in 1877] he commissioned Lewis Tiffany - yes, the same Tiffany - to design the police medal that was to be awarded to the deceased officer."
Although originally designed in homage to John McDowell, the first NYPD officer to die while on duty, Devery soon realized that the NY emblem symbolized a shared spirit of unity between the police and the beloved NYC sports team. The design that was once on a modest medal has now found its way onto the breast pocket of Bill Devery's team - a new symbol of togetherness and athletic prowess.
New York Yankees logo as a fashion trend
Isn't it common for fans to support their team by wearing T-shirts and caps with their insignia? But unlike the rest of the Major League teams, the Yankees' international exposure - America's most lucrative sports franchise, with an estimated net worth of $ 1.8 billion - meant that tourists and locals alike began to wear their merch as a local. uniforms. “She remains iconic to this day,” Marty tells us. “And given the population of New York and the success rate of the New York Yankees, she very quickly found herself on the caps worn by millions of American tourists on the streets of virtually everyone. cities of the world".
Everyone who spent their childhood dreaming of someday breaking out of their city and looking at the world, at some point, necessarily thought that the ideal place for them would be New York. For those who did not walk its streets - but only saw them in the movies or in fleeting paparazzi shots - our vision of the city was more concise and significantly more glamorous. Over the past few decades, the city has grown to be more than just a place; it is a celebrated part of American culture.
The New York Yankees' emblem played a key role in bringing those who felt geographically or socially separated from America closer to America - even if they didn't know much about the history of the Major League Baseball team. This is an important point to consider when it comes to the role of a logo in pop culture in general.
Before becoming a staple of the rich and famous
In the early 2000s, we all felt the need to buy Yankees insignia when it turned out that the iconic team baseball caps were worn by all important people. As everyone remembers, Jay-Z, a native of New York, barely took off his baseball cap, and Macaulay Culkin, who was born in Manhattan, has worn his headdress since the days of the films "Home Alone". Then, when puffy jackets first became popular and skinny jeans were in vogue, British soccer player David Beckham was seen wearing the cap. But perhaps it was US President Bill and First Lady Hillary Clinton, who donned the famous baseball caps to meet the New York Yankees at the White House in 1999, that made the trend widespread.
In any case, the prominent feature of the caps on important people helped transform the New York Yankees logo into a real fashion trend. They have become ubiquitous, but perhaps this is exactly what made them special. Unlike many must-haves, a Yankees cap was available to anyone. From downtown Harlem to The Carlyle Hotel, the Yankees cap could be found everywhere in the early 2000s - and maybe that's what gave it a new meaning in a broader cultural context.
Turning into the main logo of ardent streetwear fans
New York is an unrivaled streetwear haven, so it's no surprise that New York Yankees have been featured on top of the industry's top brands. In 2015, the team contacted Supreme through the sports brand '47 and created a number of popular items - leather jackets, shirt jackets, bucket hats and Supreme T-shirts - with the Yankees emblem. And also the essential outfit of fans - baseball caps and sports pennants.
In terms of hats, local NYC brands Public School and KITH have also partnered with the Yankees, releasing their vision of the team's merch in limited collaborations.
The culmination of the past few years of streetwear and baseball crossing was of course the Louis Vuitton Spring / Summer 2017 fashion show, where Kim Jones unveiled the iconic Supreme x LV monogrammed baseball jersey in two denim colors. And it seems that now the most prestigious designers in the industry cannot stop.
Rethinking symbolism by Alessandrome Michele
In our time, designers of the world of high fashion are attracted by irony and ubiquity. The way Vetements CEO Demna Gvasalia took the iconic DHL logo and turned it into a $ 500 fashion trend is considered one of the most defiant examples of anarchy in the fashion industry in years. It would be logical to assume that his equally fashionable colleague, Gucci creative director Alessandro Michele, will try to do the same.
For the first time, Michele has officially partnered with Major League Baseball on the Pre-Fall 2018 collection, a collection inspired by the Italian horror films Giallo, transforming a humble baseball cap into a luxury accessory, using Gucci's signature print and colored stripes around the Major League team logos. But everyone was amazed that Michele was able to give the emblem a completely new context in the next season.
For the Fall / Winter 2018 collection, Michele used a truly luxurious approach to the Yankees logo. Items on display included silk floral suits emblazoned with a New York Yankees badge, giant knitted hats and intricate, feminine coats that nod to the original 1903 emblem with the N and Y on the left and right of the player's shirt.
The historic logo that once adorned a plain $ 15 baseball cap has now appeared on the chests of thousands of dollar suits, a huge change. Perhaps Michele's endorsement will see the Yankee caps achieve a renaissance in the fashion world, emerging from the shadow of the common man and once again becoming a truly coveted wardrobe item.