PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Are you a fan of the Eagles “Kelly Green” uniforms? Here’s a fact about professional sports throwback jerseys you may not have known: Wearing throwback jerseys first became “cool” right here in Philadelphia.
It was the vision of a man who loved the retro look – just like you – and now he’s heading to the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame.
In the sports fashion world, what’s old is new and bigger than ever.
Mitchell & Ness was founded in Philadelphia in 1904 and has become one of the most iconic sports brands in the world.
“We’ve really grown the brand especially internationally, so we really look at this as a global company now,” Mitchell & Ness CEO Kevin Wulff said.
And the vision of one man made it possible.
Peter Capolino was the founder during the rise of retro.
His father, Sisto, bought the store in 1952 but had worked there during the early years as they outfitted teams like the Eagles.
But in the late 1980s, everything changed with Peter at the helm.
“By 1988, we got licenses with Major League Baseball. By 1998 the NBA, the NFL, and NHL,” founder Peter Capolino said. “I decided, what I was doing, creating the evolution of the history of professional sports through the uniform was a unique niche to be in that nobody else wanted to do.”
That idea forever changed the fashion game.
Business especially exploded when music artists like Outkast, Jay-Z, and other popular hip-hop artists started wearing throwback jerseys on tour and in their music videos.
And today, the craze continues.
Classic names and numbers adorn the walls of the storefront on 12th and Walnut Streets in Center City.
And because of his vision, Peter Capolino is heading to the Sporting Goods Industry Hall of Fame in Arizona in 2020.
And, it’s a well-deserved honor.
“He’s a visionary,” Wulff said. “He was first in so many different things. So it’s an honor to acquire a company that Peter had such an amazing vision for.”