The Washington Wizards appointed designer Brett Johnson as art director on Monday with the task of enhancing the visibility of the NBA franchise, as well as franchise owner Monumental Sports & Entertainment.
In his new role, Johnson will design a wardrobe for Mages to wear while gaming and traveling, including accessories and merchandise design for fans and collaborations with brands. Johnson told WWD that his designs for the NBA franchise will begin rolling out in NBA All-Star Weekend 2022, held in Cleveland in February, and new builds will be out early next season with the stadium upgrade.
Johnson grew up playing sports such as football, basketball and baseball in his home state of Virginia and has a love for the games. Together with their CEO, Wanda Colon, they felt passionate about the sport and proposed the plan to the Wizards.
“I feel like there’s a huge opportunity I never thought of, which is to look at sport in a different light,” he said. “I already have a relationship and relationship with Monumental so when I propose an idea, it starts as one thing and leads to another. They’re my home team, it’s a natural fit. ”
This type of contract has been seen in football with Thom Browne for FC Barcelona and Guillermo Andrade for Arsenal. This is a new kind of deal for the NBA and for an arena.
Johnson hopes to elevate Monumental as a destination beyond just sports, as well as providing players with products like jewelry and watches that they can own long after their playing career. He said he’ll be dressing the team for travel and gaming, but also for events like holiday parties, in which the franchise partners with a luxury jeweler.
“If you look at the stats of players struggling financially three to four years after playing in the league, I want them to have items that appreciate or retain their value so that when done, you might have some collateral,” he explains.
He also explained his plans for the arena, “Many teams are focused on the pitch and there aren’t too many spectators and I wanted to look at it from a different angle and give people a new reason to come to the stadium. like a unique bar or shopping experience or spa experience while watching a concert or game. It’s never been done before but people are always hungry for something new and relevant.” .
Johnson closed its New York City location at the start of its 2020 closure, but will open stores in Dubai on January 25 and Qatar in the coming months. Also during the lockdown due to the pandemic, he signed an agreement with Saks to be the exclusive partner. He feels this partnership is ideal, considering Saks as the “last man” in luxury retail.
“We’ve reaped a lot of benefits this past season,” he said. “The more difficult part is that we as a brand need to be touched, felt and tried for us to have online success which will only benefit us more when we have a physical presence. economic. We hope to expand into the traditional Saks market as they see more store traffic.”
In addition to Saks and two upcoming retail locations, Brett Johnson has a global presence with more than 40 stores. He is currently present in Asia in Korea, but wants to expand to the continent.
https://wwd.com/menswear-news/mens-lifestyle/washington-wizards-brett-johnson-1235001948/ Washington Wizards Name Art Director Brett Johnson – WWD