Los Angeles-based label Rhude and heritage American sportswear company Starter are launching their collaboration exclusively with Foot Locker and Greenhouse, its incubator platform, as part of 12 Days of Greatness.
The two-part collection, launching on footlocker.com in North America on Nov. 27 and on Greenhouse on Nov. 30, taps into Foot Locker’s mission of creating community with tastemakers such as Public School and Nicole McLaughlin at Greenhouse and Rhude founder Rhuigi Villaseñor’s passion for inspiring and connecting with youth.
Villaseñor said his approach to collaborations are that they be organic, or a “no brainer,” he said, and this Starter collaboration is no different as it also touches on his design beginnings.
“When I started designing, I was a heavy thriftier and I was hunting Starter garments,” he said. “It’s something that the youth don’t do so much now because of resale sites, but I wanted to rejuvenate the brand for a new generation.”
“We met Rhuigi two years ago and asked what brands he would want to work with and Starter was at the top of the list,” said Mel Peralta, senior director of Greenhouse. He added that the conversations with Starter began a month after meeting Villaseñor.
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“It’s not only about big athletes or the hottest designers, it’s about building community,” said Peralta. “If you have a community of kids that are organically following your brand and your storytelling, you can’t put a number on that. You can try to throw price tags to recreate that, but at Greenhouse, it’s about partnering with those building community.”
Rhude kicks off Foot Locker’s 12 Days of Greatness, a basketball-inspired holiday collection, with capsules by Kool Kiy and Perico Limited, as well as launches of the Air Jordan IV and Puma Clyde All-Pro Kuzma Mid sneakers. Additional participants include NBA athletes PJ Tucker, Kyle Kuzma and Montrezl Harrell, Don C, Waraire Boswell, and Melody Ehsani and Sami Miro.
Peralta said 2020 was a “banner year” for Greenhouse, which celebrated its one-year anniversary in September. The app was shut down in April and May in response to COVID-19 — “the timing didn’t feel right,” he said — but after resuming, the company saw high engagement, downloads and sell-throughs.
Villaseñor shared a similar sentiment, saying that this year allowed him to look into the economics of his business and restructure since he could no longer travel. “I tell my friends I’m so happy I can make these partnerships because with Greenhouse and Rhude, we can reach out to people with the same design value but at an affordable price.”
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