As the world of MMA fashion continues to explode, with new clothing companies jumping on board every other day to get a piece of the action, a select few companies are at the helm of this emerging industry and steering the ship. Since stepping onto the scene with a barrage of Signature Series fighter T-shirts, Silver Star Casting Company has become a leading force in the Mixed Martial Arts lifestyle industry.
True to the company’s tag-line “Built for Champions”, Silver Star has been linked to some of the best fighters in the business including Anderson Silva, Wanderlei Silva, Lyoto Machida, Rashad Evans and many others. With a distinctive design style and an expanding collection of clothing, gear and accessories on the go, Silver Star is truly one of today’s leading lifestyle clothing companies.
In an effort to find out what it takes to be a champion in the world of MMA fashion, we caught up with co-owners Luke and Charis Burrett, for the inside scoop on Silver Star Casting Co.
Tell us a bit about Silver Star Casting Co. and your involvement in the MMA fashion world.
Silver Star has been an avid MMA fan and supporter since the beginnings of the sport. In 2003 we sponsored Kimo Leopoldo at UFC 43 where he defeated Tank Abbott, and we haven’t stopped sponsoring some of the best fighters in the sport. Silver Star was the perfect platform to show our appreciation for the athletes responsible for making MMA the fastest growing sport in the world. We wanted to show our company’s support by making shirts reflective of the fighters who give their all, and in doing so, also give fans a chance to show their own support by making a superior garment with the distinct Silver Star look and feel. We also recognized that many of the fans are women, so Silver Star was the first brand to make signature walkout tees for women in the MMA apparel market.
The Silver Star Signature Series has exploded over the past couple of years with your collection of fighters tees. How do you determine which fighters you want to work with?
Our tag-line is “Built for Champions”. We’ve been the sponsor of three world champions, numerous former champions and up-and-coming champions. Silver Star doesn’t just look at the belt and title-holders. We are a family company and we care how the people wearing our product are viewed by the fans. We work with people who demonstrate great sportsmanship, those who put their heart and soul out there every time they enter the Octagon regardless of the outcome. Silver Star sponsors the champion spirit, so if a fighter has what it takes to train hard, give his all, is gracious to his fans and never gives up – that’s who we want to work with and what defines our brand.
The MMA fashion scene has grown rather quickly with tons of companies getting involved. What’s your take on the scene in general and where do you see it going from here?
I think there’s become a theme because there’s all types of people getting involved in watching MMA but wearing a brand that’s connected to MMA in general makes them feel like they’re a part of this extremely fast growing sport. I think those few brands that have an original look will ultimately define the look and style of where MMA fashion goes. As the sport grows, the style associated with it will grow and change as well. The more people getting into MMA the more the range of style will go. A lot of what will stay consistent with the MMA fashion look will be the fit versus prints and colors etc. People who are into MMA like their clothes to fit a certain way, men and women who love this sport are very body conscious – that will be the number one factor that remains.
In addition to Mixed Martial Arts, it looks like Silver Star is now expanding the Signature Series beyond just fighter tees. Which other industries are you looking to get more involved in?
Motorcycle enthusiasts and motocross market – we work with Evil Knievel’s protege, Trigger Gumm, who holds several Guinness World Records for distance jumps – skateboarding and surfing which as a SoCal brand has always been a big part of the Silver Star lifestyle. We’ve also broken into professional polo, Major League Baseball, and the brand was very well-received at the famous bodybuilding expo, The Arnold.
Do you plan on expanding your product line to include more Silver Star women’s clothing?
Yes, most definitely. We’re always adding new pieces and experimenting with new styles. One thing I can announce is that each fighter’s signature walkout tee will be made in a woman’s size as well. Silver Star is the first brand to produce signature walkout tees for women, and we’ve decided to expand that collection because we recognize that women are some of the most loyal and hardcore MMA fans and Silver Star will make sure they have the apparel to represent in!
What’s the story with the Built For Champions Road Tour?
We thought it was time to take the Silver Star bus on the road and reach our fans face-to-face! Silver Star has been on the road since the beginning of 2010 promoting the brand at UFC fights, fighter signings, and on the road with the International Motorcycle Tour with stops in D.C., NYC, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Chicago and Daytona. Clay Guida met up with Silver Star in Chicago to sign autographs and represent Silver Star where they were presented with a customized “Silver Star” Yamaha R6 sport bike. Silver Star was with Rich “Ace” Franklin at the famous bodybuilding expo “The Arnold” in Columbus Ohio on March 6th. We’ve done in-store signings all over the country with some of our top fighters, with more stops soon to be announced.
Silver Star recently added MMA Fight Gloves to the accessories line. Is fight gear an area that you plan on putting more focus on in the near future?
I think we are always going to do more. It’s tough to nail down exactly what we’ll be doing and when we’ll be doing it because there’s always a new idea being explored. Silver Star has such an awesome team behind it that new stuff has a rapid turnaround time that makes it possible for the brand to consistently move forward.
Any hints on what we can expect to see next from Silver Star?
You’ll just have to wait and see.