Saks Fifth Avenue is gearing up to celebrate the Super Bowl in an even bigger way this year.
Starting in 2019, the retailer worked with designers to create special collections related to big game. It started small, with 26 brands participating in Atlanta two years ago, and in 2020, when the game was in Miami, it expanded to 25 designers and over 100 products.
The response to both initiatives prompted the company to expand it even further for this year’s game, which is set to be played on Sunday, February 13 at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. Saks has worked with 28 of its major brands to create 275 limited edition ready-to-wear, footwear and accessories products that will include women’s and children’s specific products for the first time. It is launched today.
The initiative is labeled Game Day Capsules and among the participating brands are Alyx, Balmain, Christian Louboutin, Dolce & Gabbana, Givenchy, Just Don, Purple Brand, Rhude, Theory and Versace.
Other changes this year include a partnership with Denver Broncos wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, who is featured in the digital campaign, as well as activations at multiple stores outside of the host city.
Louis DiGiacomo, senior vice president of men’s for Saks, said the 2022 initiative is “major,” with its 360-degree approach that encompasses both a wide range of merchandise and marketing.
“New this year is women and children, so now we can dress the whole family for game day,” he said. Additionally, the products offer more of a “sporty vibe” as well as a Los Angeles-inspired sensibility due to the location of the game.
The partnership with Jeudy also marks the first time Saks has used an athlete for its Super Bowl initiative. DiGiacomo said that when Saks was looking for a player to team up with for the campaign – who will be purchasable – he thought Jeudy would easily connect with his clients.
“We wanted to pick someone who was promising,” he said. “Jerry has a strong personality and fashion sensibility that shines through in the digital campaign. He is an energetic and passionate young man.
DiGiacomo said the most popular category in the past was shoes, driven by sneakers, as well as rtw designers and accessories from Givenchy, Amiri, Off-White and Moncler.
“We expect that to continue this year and we believe denim will become more important,” he said of the category, which has grown in importance to the company lately.
He also predicts that some of the new additions to the brand will generate interest, including Casablanca, Ksubi, Polo Ralph Lauren and Reese Cooper.
Again, Saks doesn’t work directly with the National Football League, which trademarked the term Super Bowl in 1969 and charges a fee for using the words. DiGiacomo said the store believes that by remaining independent, it has more flexibility in how it can work with fashion brands to execute product.
Game Day capsules will be promoted at Saks Beverly Hills, which will host designer appearances with Purple Brand and Just Don, denim customization with Ksubi and a football arcade game activation with Bossi Sportswear. Additionally, Saks will hold activations in other locations across the country at stores with strong men’s businesses, including Atlanta, Chicago and Houston where “sports steeped in fashion” has always been strong.
“It’s the first time we’ve done activations outside of the host city,” DiGiacomo said. “We see Game Day weekend being a hit across the country.”
He added, “Men continue to be an important part of Saks’ business and continue to grow year after year.” He also revealed that starting this week, a major renovation of the New York flagship’s menswear department will begin. The project will begin on the seventh floor and is expected to be completed in the fall. In 2019, the company redesigned its shoe department on the sixth floor of the flagship store, creating an 8,000 square foot home that offered 60% more retail space. Both renovations are part of a $250 million store upgrade that began about six years ago.
DiGiacomo declined to provide details on what will be changed during the renovation at this point, saying only, “It’s going to be dramatic and I believe it will position us as the number one destination for menswear in North America. “