UI alum brings high-end fashion to game day

Hawkeye Sports host Laura VandeBerg is launching an inclusive fashion line for women with Hawkeye inspired themes.

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UI alum brings high-end fashion to game day

Hawkeye Sports host Laura Vandeberg poses for a portrait in Carver Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Hawkeye Sports host Laura Vandeberg poses for a portrait in Carver Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Wyatt Dlouhy

Hawkeye Sports host Laura Vandeberg poses for a portrait in Carver Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Wyatt Dlouhy

Wyatt Dlouhy

Hawkeye Sports host Laura Vandeberg poses for a portrait in Carver Hawkeye Arena on Thursday, June 13, 2019. (Wyatt Dlouhy/The Daily Iowan)

Sabrina Shearer, Arts Reporter

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A new clothing line will serve as a high-class alternative to jerseys and sweatshirts on game day in Kinnick Stadium.

Laura VandeBerg plans to launch a clothing line in August to provide alternative clothing options customized for women at Hawkeye sporting events.

VandeBerg, the host of Hawkeye sports, wants her collection to showcase understated Hawkeye themes, fitted for any woman’s body type and age, she said.

Authentic Brand, the official partner of the University of Iowa, approached VandeBerg a year ago to create customized clothing for sporting events, she said.

Authentic Brand creates Hawkey, Cyclone, and Panther clothing and accessories to meet all of fans’ casual and game-day desires (except victories), according to its website.

VandeBerg said this is the first time Authentic Brand has collaborated with a person working for a major university to create a line of apparel.

Her line will feature clothes people wouldn’t normally be able to find in the HawkShop. There aren’t enough options for women, she said, and she wanted to make apparel that wasn’t boxy or had a male-like fit.

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VandeBerg’s interest in the line started when she noticed she didn’t have many clothing options that she liked for game days, she said. This line will have regular shirts people could find at a boutique with an understated Hawkeye logo on it.

A majority of the offerings will consist of shirts and jackets to handle Iowa weather, VandeBerg said. She plans to wear particular items while working at games, and afterward, those items will be available for purchase online.

“I’m not an artist or fashion designer, so that was tough teaching myself that part of it,” she said.

VandeBerg has been aided by members of the Authentic Brand team to turn her drawings into the final product. The crew includes Erin Monfort and Dana Patterson.

“They’ve let me have my own creative freedom with it,” VandeBerg said. “First, I have to make sure I like it but also so that it will get Hawkeye women’s clothing on a different level.”

Monfort helps VandeBerg by talking through her sketches to bring her vision to life. She goes over details about fit, fabric, and styling to confirm that they’re both on the same page in the same design book.

“One of the exciting things about is Laura is targeting a different market than a lot of our previous work has done,” Monfort said, “She really is hitting for fashion-forward items that people in her similar cultural lifestyle would also wear.”

VandeBerg said one of the biggest questions she gets asked is about inclusive sizing. An important component to the line includes carrying sizes from XS to 3XL.

VandeBerg plans to have a modeling call to find women with varying sizes to display on the website for people to see how clothes will fit on their body types.

Authentic Brand CEO Clark Fessler said the collection also includes a few items VandeBerg designed from the 2018-2019 season. He said those items will launch soon and help create excitement in fans for her official launch in August.

“We were looking for name recognition and that’s when we got introduced to Laura,” Fessler said.

From a Hawkeye perspective, Fessler said, Iowa outsells other schools. VandeBerg was the most visible, available football personality.

The line will be available online and in select boutiques across Iowa, Fessler said.

VandeBerg said there is no set launch date, but the collection will be available for purchase online sometime in August. She will continue to post updates on her social-media accounts about the launch date.

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