Like football players, football gear is big, bulky, and made for roughhousing, but for Super Bowl XLVIII, the NFL is displaying a more refined taste in fashion. We’ve already seen the league work to expand its range–marketing the game and associated apparel directly to women. Now, about those old-hat helmets. On behalf of the NFL, Bloomingdale’s and the CFDA commissioned 48 couture helmets from the likes of Alice + Olivia, Donna Karan, Rag & Bone, and Marchesa.
“There are some fashionistas who really like football,” says Natara Holloway, VP of consumer products at the NFL. “We want to be inclusive of all fans.” More broadly, the helmets are part of an effort to give the NFL a softer touch. “We want to give people a new way of looking at football,” Holloway says. “To surprise, and delight.”
Designers were given white helmets with the NFL logo and asked to create their dream helmet. Results include flowers, rhinestones, fur and even rabbit ears. The helmets are on display in Bloomingdale’s through February 4th and are currently being auctioned off online, with starting bids of $248. All proceeds will go to the NFL Foundation, which helps young people whose lives are touched by football.
See a selection of the helmets in the gallery above.