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MTV Taps Capelli Sport for First Lifestyle Collection

It’s been more than 40 years since MTV emerged on the scene and changed the face of music. The cable television network debuted just after midnight on Aug. 1, 1981, with the broadcast of “Video Killed the Radio Star” by The Buggles, and the rest is history.

Over the course of its life, MTV has offered basic logo T-shirts, but it took until now for it to offer its first lifestyle collection.

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Through a new partnership with Capelli Sport, a 30-year-old manufacturer and importer of apparel, footwear and accessories, Paramount Global has signed a deal for a licensed collection of co-branded MTV activewear for men and women.

The collection includes five styles for men and eight for women in a variety of colors and patterns and is a “true sports line,” said Barry Shashoua, executive vice president of Capelli New York.

The men’s offering includes technical mesh T-shirts, seamless half zips, joggers, hoodies and jackets. The womenswear includes seamline longline bras, performance T-shirts, long-sleeve cropped tops, unitards, leggings, hoodies and joggers.

MTV x Capelli Sport
The collection offers true performance pieces.

“In 1981, MTV revolutionized how we saw music, and today we’re translating that energy into lifestyle clothing for a new generation,” said Liz Altirs, creative director of Capelli Sport. “We wanted to embrace the harmony of fashion, sports, music and dance without sacrificing style, comfort or performance. We have combined high-tech fabrics with functional knit-in logo treatments and four-way signature stretch jacquards. Every item is built to move and groove.”

The styles range from loud allover patterns in pop colors to more conservative designs, all sporting co-branded detailing on sleeves, waistbands and other locations.

The apparel assortment is priced from $55 to $160 and is being sold on the Capelli site as well as on Amazon.

Shashoua said the partnership came about as a result of Capelli’s licenses for Nickelodeon, when it began to make recreational balls for soccer, football and other spots for the network.

MTV x Capelli Sport
The collection is being sold on Amazon.

“We were looking for a partner for apparel,” he said, and starting conversing with Paramount, which owns both that children’s-skewed channel as well as MTV.

Shashoua said that over the past 11 years, Capelli has been focusing more on sports and apparel even though it is also the owner of the Caribbean Joe and Ellen Tracy brands. So when it realized Nickelodeon was not the right partner with which to do apparel, “we thought MTV would be the perfect fit,” he said.

Joann Guevara, senior vice president of softlines for Paramount, said that as MTV was celebrating its 40th anniversary two years ago, it leaned in more heavily to its roots. So when Capelli approached the company, they brainstormed about the best way to “celebrate youth culture and capture what that represents on apparel pieces.”

She said the line is not only the first move into lifestyle apparel for MTV, it’s also the “first step into true performancewear.”

The collection will be promoted in videos and on social media as well as through ads on youth-centric websites. Guevara said the cast of “The Challenge,” a reality competition show, will also be wearing the Capelli MTV collection.

If the line is successful, the two companies hope to continue working together in the future. “This is step one,” Shashoua said. Because Capelli Sport produces a wide range of fitness products such as kettlebells, yoga mats, pickleball racquets and more for other brands, he can see the MTV collection being expanded in the future.

“But we have to make sure we hit a home run here before we add other categories and take it to retail,” he said.

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