SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – As the Utah Jazz fanbase prepares to host the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs on Sunday, getting well equipped for the game is a must.
Many Jazz fans, looking for a way to show their support, have turned back the clock by sporting retro and vintage gear. One storefront in downtown Salt Lake City drew plenty of attention on Saturday by throwing a pop-up shop of old school Jazz gear that attracted hundreds of fans of all ages to find a playoff look.
Top Shelf SLC, a streetwear and fashion boutique located across the street from the Salt Palace on 100 South, and Thifthood, a vintage clothing store specializing in classic Jazz clothing and items, worked together to create a unique Jazz pop-up experience on the day before the team makes its first steps towards a possible title run. Utah guard and 6th Man of the Year Award Finalist Jordan Clarkson also had a hand in the event, promoting it on social media and lending some of his own designs to the shop.
“We hope for the best, expect the worst and it was crazy,” Thrifthood owner Albee Bostrom tells ABC4, adding that similar pop-ups are in the works in the future. “I think every year, we’ll just get more and more bigger and bigger and hopefully we get bigger names involved and get more merchandise so that we can feed the hunger of all the Utah Jazz fans.”
Clarkson, considered to be a fashion icon in NBA circles, got involved in the shop in a very organic way. As Thrifthood continued to build a presence on social media with its collection of vintage Jazz jackets, shirts, hats, and memorabilia, the Provo-based store caught the eye of Clarkson, who started following the shop on Instagram. Thrifthood began seeding some of its products to Clarkson, and a relationship was formed.
When Bostrom announced the pop-up shop on social media, Clarkson asked if he could have his crew bring some stuff from his brand, ShopSix, as part of the sale.
“Obviously we’re not gonna say no,” Bostrom explains. “So, we got him involved then and now we’re selling his stuff.”
Clarkson’s brother, Bear, who was at the store selling shirts and sweatshirts from ShopSix, says his family loves being part of the community and has found a home in Utah. Clarkson, who lives with his basketball-playing brother, recalls that after one of Jordan’s bigger scoring outbursts, his neighbors decorated his door with congratulatory thoughts and homemade treats.
“The people are real friendly, real neighborly,” Clarkson says. “We go outside and they cheer him on. We feel welcomed out here.”
Clarkson says it was that kind of embrace from the community that made his brother want to be involved with small but growing businesses like Top Shelf and Thrifthood.
Typically, Top Shelf’s shelves are filled with high end sneakers and streetwear that can appeal to a more narrow audience. However, bringing in a bit of Jazz-flavored nostalgia brought a whole new clientele of folks of all ages and backgrounds on Saturday.
“We have a good range of people that buy sneakers and stuff, but the vintage just opens it up,” Top Shelf owner Jordan Hammel states. “Old school fans but we also have a 6-year old running around in a Clarkson jersey right now, so it’s awesome.”
That 6-year-old, Bronson Lundgreen, was given the thrill of his young life while shopping with his mom, Britt, at the store. While the two were waiting in line to get in the shop, Bostrom presented them with an autographed pair of Clarkson’s game-worn Nikes that he had sent to the store. Lundgreen says it’s now his most prized possession.
His mother says that he has been a lifelong fan of the Jazz and remembers the days of John Stockton and Karl Malone very well. To bring her son along, and introduce him to a new era of the team, and gather some keepsakes from different eras of Jazz keepsakes was a blast. They’re planning on attending Wednesday’s game at Vivint Arena, likely sporting some of the gear they picked up this weekend.
The autographed sneakers from Bronson’s favorite player, however, will surely have a place of honor at their home in Saratoga Springs. According to Lundgreen, there are a lot of reasons why Clarkson is his favorite.
“I like that he has that mentality to just be good and shoot and make it and do his thing.”