Starter is a brand, not just a style of jacket. They produced jackets which were designed for professional or college sports teams, featuring brash colours and logos of the team. Starter jackets soon became a trend of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s which has since circulated modern trends today.
The 80s and 90s were the golden age of Hip Hop which at the time was hugely influential. Starter jackets started to appear on album covers and music videos from artists such as Run DMC, 2 Live Crew and Public Enemy 👇
Run DMC, 2 Live Crew and Public Enemy
Rappers watched sports and wore athletic apparel and with the rise of the MTV generation who constantly consumed TV, everyone wanted to dress like their favourite rapper. This contributed to the success of brands such as Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Champion, Russell Athletic and Starter.
With this came a higher price tag. Starter jackets at the time were priced around $150 in the 90's and they slowly turned into a status symbol rather than a fashion accessory, which then naturally started to take residence in pop culture.
Chuck D & Diddy
Donda and Kanye West
Kanye West’s mother, Donda wrote why she refused to allow him to take the L train in Chicago: "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 isolated 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." - Complex
In 2013 the beloved satin jackets re-launched, however not under Starter as they had to file for bankruptcy in 1999. The Starter name got sold to Iconix Brand Group (after Nike purchased in 1999) which announced a partnership with Banks and G-III Apparel.
Rihanna and Hailey Bieber
Banks caught on to the extreme nostalgia that was coming into play from the 80’s and 90’s and decided to capitalise on it, bringing Starter Jackets into circulation again.