Starter Jackets Were Deadly Fashion in the 90s

In the 1970s David Beckerman from New Haven, Connecticut, came up with the revolutionary idea of producing "authentic" sports team apparel. The idea was that fans, players and coaches alike could wear the same licensed team clothing. 

In 1976 Starter signed licensing deals with a number of Major League Baseball teams offering them 8-10% royalties. Their first retail product was a jacket with the team's logo emblazoned on it. 
By 1983 Starter had also signed licensing deals with the NBA, NFL, NHL and CFL. They had also run amazing marketing campaigns, which made them a status symbol. The S and star where innovatively placed prominently on jacket sleeves and on the back up caps.

During early 90s the bright colored sports jackets began to garner some negative press due to a string of robberies and fatal shootings. Parents understandably became worried to buy their kids Starter jackets, but most realized it was a problem mostly isolated to the inner cities.

But although it was isolated to the inner cities, these weren't isolated incidents as Kanye West's mom wrote: “People were getting killed over Starter jackets and gym shoes. The murder rate and gang activity in Chicago was no joke. We’re not talking an insolate [sic] incident here. Not by a long shot. And I wasn’t going to risk anyone taking Kanye’s Air Jordans or his Starter jacket or worse yet, his life. Life itself was not sacred on the L. I preferred to drop him off and pick him up if need be.” - from Donda West's memoir Raising Kanye. 

Fact: During 1990 in Chicago alone, four teens were shot and killed for their Starter jackets. 


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