Retro Brand releases Troy Aikman UCLA Authentic Throwback Jersey

Back on November 28th, legendary quarterback Troy Aikman had his #8 UCLA Bruins football jersey officially retired at the Rose Bowl.  The jersey presented, and now hanging in the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame is an exact authentic replica of what he wore on the field for the Bruins when he led them to a 20-4 record during the 1987 and 1988 seasons.

troy-aikman-ncaa-football-stanford-ucla1

Troy Aikman speaking at his UCLA Jersey retirement ceremony. Jersey’s by Retro Brand (photo: Richard Mackson, USA Today Sports)

Throwback jersey connoisseurs rejoice; Retro Brand has taken their retro College knowledge and applied that expertise to reproduce that same UCLA Troy Aikman jersey right here in the U.S.A., and now you can own one too.

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Aikman in action. Detail oriented player. Detail oriented jersey.

A few of the finer details include sewn on double stitched tackle twill numbers, sewn in shoulder stripes, dazzle mesh shoulders & sleeves with sewn on AIKMAN nameplate and exclusive sewn on Legends Collection jocktag with UCLA helmet & Troy Aikman signature likeness.  Normal retail for price for this jersey is $200, but you can take advantage of our introductory price of $140 for a limited time and order your Troy Aikman authentic here.

But that’s not all….. Jersey not your thing?  No problem; we also have several Troy Aikman tees to round out the collection.

Troy Aikman UCLA Legends tee collection

Troy Aikman UCLA Legends tee collection

Many of you know that after UCLA, Troy went on to an illustrious pro football career with the Dallas Cowboys, setting over 45 team records while leading them to 3 Super Victories before ending up a first ballot NFL Hall of Famer in 2006.  Troy is currently a sports announcer/analyst for FOX Sports.  You can learn more about Troy and the Troy Aikman Foundation by visiting his Troy Aikman Enterprises website

Will Ferrell & Retro Brands’ Six Degrees of Separation

Bart & Will side by side Senior year 19??

Bart & Will side by side Senior year 19??

15 Years ago I owned a retail shop named Distant Replays which specialized in selling vintage merchandise from the NFL, MLB, NHL & NBA as well as defunct teams such as the old ABA, NASL, Negro Leagues, the WHA and many more.  I loved it.  One day I got a call from a man with his own line of vintage branded gear called Moonlight Graham which manufactured apparel from most of these same leagues past & present.  His description of what he sold had me more than interested so I asked to see his catalog.  I loved it.  I ordered, I sold, and all was good..   All that is good didn’t last forever however, and after successful runs that lasted over a decade for Distant Replays & Moonlight, they both eventually became defunct.  I landed firmly on my feet with Retro Brand in 2009.  Had lost touch with Bart until I found out he was recently hired as the Retro Brand Creative Director.  WHAT?!! Perfect!  A small world indeed and amazing how things had come full circle.  What else is amazing?  Our newly minted creative Director has known Will Ferrell his whole life and never even mentioned it.  Let’s find out more….

Andy:  First off, congratulations on joining the Retro Brand team.  I am floored and so excited that you’re on board knowing what I know about how much you know!  Tell us a little bit about how you ended up here?

Bart:  Thanks, I am extremely excited to be formally involved with the company, and for us to be working together again after so many years.

Retro was actually a friendly competitor of mine in the early to mid 2000’s, so I’ve been watching the company since its start.  I got to really know Marc (Marc Herman, Retro Brand CEO) when we opened the second incarnation of Moonlight retail stores in 2011.  Retro Brand was our #1 tee shirt line in the stores, and I ended up doing some behind the scenes design work for Retro the last few years.  As time marched on Marc and I realized that it just made sense for me to shed all the other stuff I had going on to dive into Retro full time as its a perfect fit for both of us. I’ve spent the past twenty years researching & creating apparel based on classic american licensed properties, and Retro does a better job than anyone of putting killer vintage stuff out there.

Andy:  Glad you guys came to your senses!  So a few weeks ago #FerrellTakesTheField was trending on Twitter, Facebook and everywhere else due to the actor/comedian playing for 10 teams in one day during Spring Training.  The article that was on Mlb.com featured an old photo of Ferrell and YOU!!  Basically your cover was blown.  All the years we’ve known each other and no mention?  Explain yourself, sir…

Bart:  I met Will on our Little League team in 6th grade.  We hit it off immediately and played baseball & basketball together through junior high, and baseball, basketball & football together all through high school.  Will and I both looked at going to Chapman University in Orange, but Will got into USC and the rest is history.  I am beyond ecstatic for everything that has happened to Will w/ his career, but I never really felt the need to broadcast to the world that we grew up together.  Sorry for not telling you sooner, I hope you still hold me in high regard even after holding this tidbit out from you.
Yep, the Schmenge Brothers.  Bart (L), Will (R)

Yep, the Schmenge Brothers. Bart (L), Will (R)


Andy:  Higher regard sir, higher!  Might you be able to share a few stories (or shed light on) about you and Will that foreshadowed his career path aside from the schmenge brothers?

Bart:
  One of the things that really bonded Will and I was that our parents were pretty much the only ones willing to let their kids stay up to watch not only Saturday Night Live, but also SCTV (which was on 1am-2am on Saturday nights).  Being that no one else stayed up that late, we could show up to school on Monday and act all that stuff out for everyone.  We spent every weekend dissecting HBO comedy specials and Steve Martin and the SNL record.  By the time we got to senior year of high school we had an array of characters, and we took over the schools morning announcements – doing each announcement in different voices.  Everyone loved it except for a few administrators who felt we were turning the ASB’s sale of M&M’s into a SNL sketch that was sure to corrupt the young minds of University High School.

In hindsight I probably should have used at least some of that high school time for homework, as between the comedy and the three sports the schoolwork itself always seemed to be what got left behind.  Through college we toyed with comedy and attended a few open mikes, but by the end of Will’s time at USC he had decided he wanted to dive into comedy full time and joined Groundlings (infamous improv troupe in LA).  At that point I had a good paying job in the clothing business and had met my future wife and just couldn’t afford to drop it all to move to LA to go after the comedy thing, but there was never a doubt in my mind that if Will was given the opportunity to do comedy as a career he’d own it, and that was clear from his very first Sunday show at Groundlings.  The day he made it on SNL was beyond mind-blowing – you just couldn’t believe that this childhood fantasy had become a reality for him, it was like Fletch’s dream of playing for the Lakers coming true.

Bart Holds, Will kicks.

Bart Holds, Will kicks.

Andy:  Just an incredible story, Bart.  You had uniquely joyful experiences with Will that was both of yours to own and cherish before he ever became a star.  The rest as they say (and as you said they say) is history that you’ll forever be tied to.

Let’s go back to when we first met which was in 1998.  What, when, why did you get into the Retro Apparel arena?

Bart:  
Much like yourself, I am a fanatical sports nut.  My dad always took us around to flea markets & swap meets as a kid, and I think the “vintage” thing just seeped into my pores at a very young age as I collected baseball cards and old advertising signs and programs and such.  My dad played football at Arizona State before joining the Marines, and my baseball fanaticism can be directly traced to meeting Willie Mays in 1973 at the age of 5, but that’s a different story for another day.

When I had my first real design job at Reyn Spooner (hawaiian shirts) in the mid-90’s I didn’t understand why no one had done a print shirt for the Dodgers or the Lakers or USC, so I just started cold calling schools and teams.  The Dodgers actually responded as the team buyer at the time wore Reyn Spooner shirts, and he challenged me to come up with a Dodgers hawaiian shirt, and I went about telling the history of the Dodgers on a piece of fabric.  Being a Dodgers psycho since 1974 it remains my favorite design job of all time, and the Dodgers sold thousands of the shirts.  Once we had the Dodgers shirt done, that led to doing 20-25 of the other MLB teams, and then we dove into 30-40 NCAA schools, and then the NFL, NBA, etc.  After a few years of the Hawaiian shirt thing the MLB licensing team challenged me again, this time to create a full collection of vintage MLB sportswear that could essentially be the Ralph Lauren or Lucky Brand of baseball, and that’s when I started Moonlight Graham.  We were really the first “better” licensed sports line out there & sold in Nordstrom, Saks, Bloomingdale’s and great stores like you had w/ Distant Replays.  I still get letters / emails to this day from ladies saying “you made the only sports stuff I’m not embarrassed to see my husband in”.  The past 4-5 years I have turned them on to Retro Brand and now it all comes full circle with my joining the company.

Bart brainstorming on the balcony.

Bart brainstorming on the balcony.


Andy:  I still have my Atlanta Braves Reyn Spooner shirt, thanks Bart.  
What are some of your favorite lines within the Retro Brand family, and would you be at liberty to tell us what our fans might be able to look forward to as far as anything new?

Bart:
 Well, my #1 thing has to be the defunct Minor League Baseball stuff like the SF Seals or Hollywood Stars, and I look to greatly expand on the vintage teams we offer as we move forward.  I’m also really into the new Marvel Comics shirts as that was a pet project that Marc and I worked on for a long time that has finally come to fruition.  My new task is to get us involved with a lot more rock bands, and we should have some major announcements coming very shortly.  Another killer project we are working on now is tying up a group of our favorite films and putting out a line of shirts commemorating these comedies & sports movies from our youth.  A little too early to get into exact details, but we know Retro Brand fans will blow a gasket when they see this stuff.

Andy:  Gasket blown sight unseen.  Again, so great to have you on board Bart & look forward to seeing Will, I mean you, soon.

Thanks to our Creative Director Bart for his time today, and be sure to keep your eyes out for all that groovy new retro gear coming to our website and a retailer near you soon.

VOTE our Sweet 16 Polls & WIN Top of The World Caps & Retro Brand Tees! Fun & Free to VOTE!

Welcome to the 2015 Retro Brand Bracket Ballers Challenge!

RB1727_120_KANSASYou love College Basketball.  You love tournament time.  You love filling out Brackets (you hate bracket busters).  You love the chance of winning FREE Retro Brand gear. $1,000 worth is up for grabs;  Specifically a $500 Retro Brand Gift Card for a 1st place finish, $300 for 2nd place, and $200 for 3rd place.   You also love that you have nothing to lose because our contest is FREE to enter and no purchase is necessary.  It’s a no brainer.  So here’s all you have to do:

 1)  Sign up for an account with Retro Brand (unless you already have one).

2) Register for the 2015 Bracket Ballers Challenge by filling in the form to the right (below if using mobile device or small monitor screen).

3) Agree to receive the Retro Brand weekly newsletter which brings you the latest on new product releases, exclusive offers, sales, contests, and cool happenings.  If you aren’t feeling it after receiving for a few weeks, you can always opt out but we’re confident you’ll be feeling it.

4) Fill out your Brackets once we’ve updated the schedule on Selection Sunday evening, 3/15/15.  You’ll have until Thursday, 3/19/15, at Noon Eastern Standard time to complete.

5) Sit back, stand up, enjoy the games, and follow your progress.  Also check for Retro Brand shirt giveaway contests on our Social Media platforms throughout the tournament.

6) We’ll announce the winners the day after the final, 4/7/15, right here on the blog and all of our social media platforms.  Follow us!  Instagram Facebook Twitter

Enough of my yacking… GOOD LUCK!

VICTORY_BRACKETS

You can find the official Bracket Ballers contest rules here.

 

Stand Up & Retro Brand both a perfect fit for rising Comedian Peter Sers

PETERLAUGH

Peter in our Hollywood Stars tee at home on stage at the LAUGH FACTORY, Los Angeles.

“Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life son.” – Dean Vernon Wormer (“Animal House”)

Comedian Peter Sers must have taken this quote to heart.  He’s in great physical shape, doesn’t drink, and is far from stupid as his act is quick witted and smart from beginning to end.  I caught up with him recently to find out how he got into the biz & what keeps him fitting our shirts so damn well.

Andy:  When did you decide you wanted to become a Comedian?  Was it a life long ambition or something that kind of fell in your lap?

Peter:  I grew up watching comedians like Richard Pryor, Eddie Murphy, at a very early age, probably too early considering what the content they were talking about, but my parents allowed it. :).  As I got older, I found myself watching Def Comedy Jam, and I was a really big fan of Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle.  It wasn’t until I saw Dane Cook “Rough Around the Edges” that I envisioned myself as a comedian.  I really wanted to do it, but I was so scared to try it.  The idea of trying stand up was absolutely terrifying to me.  I also used to watch “Showtime at the Apollo” and I was terrified I would get booed off the stage.  I initially started out wanting to be a singer, and I was a professional dancer too, which led me to acting as well, so the performance aspect was already there.  I danced in front of thousands of people, with no fear, but that fear of bombing was still keeping me from attempting stand up.  It wasn’t until the love of my life, my girlfriend of four years, who cheated on me and broke my heart, left me alone, that I finally got the nerve to try stand up.  I was at my emotional low, and extremely depressed, I even sought the help of a therapist.  And then I met a girl who was a comedian and she invited me to a show she was in.  I went to the show, and some of the comedians were funny, some not, some were so-so, and I thought, “f$*k it, what do I have to lose?”  I can be so-so, and then just work to get better.  I took it as a sign that fate introduced me to her, for me to finally tackle my life long yearning of doing stand up, and so I did.  I got in contact with some people who did a weekly show at The World Famous Comedy Store.  I put my act together, six minutes, and I was absolutely terrified.  When I went up, I got decent laughs… I didn’t kill, but I got enough laughs to know I could work at it and get better.  The high I got from being on stage and getting laughs was unlike anything I had ever experienced before – it was like heroin and I knew I had to have more (disclaimer, I’ve never done heroin, but I hear that the first taste is very similar to those first laughs, I also do not condone heroin use).  Along with that amazing feeling I got from performing, being at clubs all the time, really helped me forget about the emotional pain I was going through, and it played a huge part in helping me deal with my depression.  It’s kind of hard to be depressed when you’re laughing all the time.  It came at the absolute right time in my life (Peter will be performing in the Belly Room of said World Famous Comedy store this Saturday, Feb 28 @10:30 so check him out!)

Andy:  Wow.  I guess your story gives true meaning to the old saying “laughter is the best medicine!”  What do you like most & least about performing?  Can you give an example for each?

Peter Perks?  Hangin' with some fans after another set (LA Aztecs tee!)

Peter Perks? Hangin’ with some fans after another set (LA Aztecs tee!)

Peter:   The thing I love the most about performing is that rush of adrenaline, or dopamine, or whatever that hormone is, I get when I’m getting laughs on stage.  Especially when I’m on a big show, or when there is a large crowd, or when I’m performing in a new venue in a new city, and I have absolutely no idea if they are going to like me or not, but then they do.  It’s absolutely amazing.  I’ve never done any kind of drugs whatsoever, but comedy is my drug, and it is very addicting.  What I hate the least about performing is the crappy bar shows we have to do to make a little money, or to work on our material.  Famous comedians have the luxury of already having established careers (and they’ve all earned it) so they can use a show at the Comedy Store or Carolines to work out new material, and if it doesn’t work, they still have a career.  But at the level I’m at, I’m constantly trying to win over fans, and grow my fan base, so I can’t just phone it in and test stuff out all the time, because for some people, they are judging my comedy on this performance.  Also, bar shows, are generally where hecklers are, or just people talking in the background, which makes it really hard to perform.  As comedians, those environments help us to develop that think skin we need, and gives us the muscles we need to think on our feet, and ad lib, etc, but it’s never fun for us.  I try to make the best out of every situation, and take it as a learning experience, but it’s not the best environment for comedy, or to get better.

Andy:  All the great one’s started out like this, right?  You’re next!  Do you see this as a stepping stone into acting/TV/Movies, etc?

Peter:  I started acting in college, and I knew it was something I wanted to do, so I’ve been an actor, much longer than I’ve been a comedian.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have worked on a few pretty cool projects.  Now that I’m a comedian though, I can say it has really helped my acting, because now I go into audition rooms completely fearless.  I don’t always book the jobs, but comedy has given me the courage to walk into any room unafraid.  I also think my acting background, and dance background, helped my comedy.  My act is very high energy, I’m not just a talking head, standing still, in front of a microphone.  I’m walking around the stage, I’m jumping, I’m painting pictures with my hands, I’m very much a performer, and I owe that to my dance and acting training.  I’m hoping that comedy will open more doors for my acting career.  I see so many comedians in movies now, and getting their own tv shows, and it really excites me about what the future has in store.

Andy:  All that moving around on stage obviously keeps you in good physical shape; we can tell your in “Cross-Fit” condition.  Do you find it’s important to be in good shape to handle the rigors of being a Comedian?

Peter:  First off, I hate Cross Fit (no joke there), but I have always been very passionate about fitness.  I played baseball my entire life, through college, and even post college.  Working out and eating right are very important to me.  I don’t want to be one of those fat comics, who’s miserable and unhealthy and tired all the time.  I take pride in not having the traditional “comedian body.”  Being fit and active helps me deal with many of the rigors of being a comic.  For one, the discipline of working out helps when dealing with some of the adversity we have to go through as comedians.  Also, in comedy, there are usually long road trips, because it’s cheaper to drive.  If I weren’t in good shape, those trips would be much harder to deal with.  Being in comedy clubs, and bars makes us also be surrounded by alcohol and bad food, but because I workout and eat well, it gives me the will power to pass on all that stuff.  I actually enjoy getting to a city I’m going to perform in, and going to their local gym and getting a great workout in before a show.  It de-stresses me, and rejuvenates my energy levels.  Every comedian has their road rituals.  Mine includes working out. Plus, I feel like being healthy will keep me from burning out, which can happen with the long nights we have, and also prolong my career.

Eating right at Roscoes Chicken and Waffles!  hey is that a beer?

Eating right at Roscoes Chicken and Waffles! Hey is that a beer?

Andy:  I don’t have a comedy act but I best get my fat arse to the gym!  Thanks for the inspiration..  We love that you LOVE Retro Brand gear.  How’d you find us, and what is that you love about our brand?

Peter:  I’ve always been a t shirt and jeans guy.  That’s kind of been my go to, a cool form fitting t shirt, a nice pair of jeans, and some cool sneakers, and finding ways to make that stylish.  As a comedian, I couldn’t help but notice so many other comics dressing like slobs, or then there are the ones who wear complete suits, which I appreciate, but it’s simply not me.  I wanted to find a brand I could identify with, that would represent my style and personality, and then I found a Retro Brand shirt at Moonlight Graham in Century City.  It had a vintage look, with a great fit, the fabric felt great, and I loved the throwback sports team shirts.  Being from LA, I take pride in being a native, and I’m always looking for ways to represent my city, especially when I’m touring.  Retro Brand had so many shirts that helped me show off my hard earned body a little, helped me rep my beloved city, and helped me showcase my style.

You showcase it well Mr. Sers and thanks for your time today.

People!  If you’re in LA, you MUST catch Peter perform.  Check out his upcoming dates and learn more about Peter by following him on Twitter @PeterSers or checking his website PeterSers.Com