DETROIT – Giorgio Armani is regarded by many as the father of Italian fashion.
Tomas Tatar is the Red Wings leading goal scorer, who has an affinity for style on and off the ice.
“I’d like to be a designer but I have a horrible imagination,” Tatar said. “I love clothing and I love fashion. … Obviously, hockey is the main thing and I’m trying to focus as much as I can, but of the free time I like to check the new stuff that is coming out.”
Recently, Tatar and PUCK HCKY, a Michigan-based hockey brand development firm, launched the Tomas Tatar Signature Series, a collection of custom-designed hockey fashion items and accessories.
The Tatar series goes beyond the typical hockey apparel, offering Red Wings’ fans an exclusive and more personal connection to the 24-year-old sniper.
“We’ve co-developed high-end, designer hockey-wear that incorporates Tomas’ personality, interests, and background,” said Matt Marini, CEO and co-founder of PUCK HCKY. “The Tatar Signature Series has a wide variety of designs, including a hand-drawn image of one of Tomas’ tattoos and an abstract likeness of Tomas that is already a fan favorite; each image was designed to reflect Tomas’ fun-loving, charismatic personality and Slovak heritage.”
Tatar is the latest Red Wing to dabble in the sportswear biz. Captain Henrik Zetterberg and Hockey Hall of Fame goalie Dominik Hasek also started their lines of athletic wear some years ago.
“I knew Dom had it. I didn’t know about Hank,” Tatar said. “If the fans like a player I think they want to search for stuff in the regular stores so this is what we’re trying to design for them so they can get it and enjoy it.”
While he lets the more experienced people create the designs, Tatar still knows what he likes when it comes to latest trends in style.
“When I have the time to check out the new stuff I’m always looking on the Internet,” he said. “This clothing line is something like that. If I have the time I sit down and just look at what the fans would really like to have and just find out what new stuff we can get to them.”
The business venture is more of a hobby now, Tatar said, though he’s open minded about potential growth in the future for the clothing line that mainly consists of T-shirts, hoddies, sweatshirts and hats.
“You won’t be playing hockey forever, so I always keep my head up and trying to meet new people,” he said. “You never know who you’re going to work with after your career is done. There are many ways you can meet new people and this might be one of them.”
A few times already, Tatar has looked into the Joe Louis Arena crowd during TV timeouts only to spot fans wearing one of the signature shirts.
“The one that’s really popular is the one that says ‘Tatar me’ with my silhouette on,” Tatar said. “I think that shirt is really fun. It’s really funny when you see somebody in the stands wearing it.”
Currently, the clothing line is only available through the company’s web site at puckhcky.com, though there are plans to possibly open retail shops in the Detroit area.
“It’s all about having fun,” Tatar said. “I like the designs and it’s kind of fun to see the fans supporting me and showing that they like it.”