National

Caitlin Clark joins Taylor Swift, Simone Biles with custom Kristin Juszczyk jacket

Taylor Swift. Simone Biles. And now Caitlin Clark.

Clark will receive a custom signature jacket designed by Kristin Juszczyk as a surprise after her final regular season game at Carver-Hawkeye Arena on Sunday. The No. 6 ranked Hawkeyes will celebrate their seniors ahead of facing No. 2 Ohio State (Fox, 1 p.m. ET) and Clark is 18 points from passing Pete Maravich's all-time NCAA Division I scoring record.

The vest features cutouts of Clark’s name and No. 22 from Iowa’s white and black jerseys. In diagonal black squares are stitched “NCAA women’s scoring leader” and “all-time Iowa leader in: points, assists, 3PM, FGM.” The school-specific records were specifically chosen since it was important to Clark, an Iowa native, and her fans, Juszczyk said.

“I wish I could add all her awards on there, but you would need 700 jackets to fit all that. Which is incredible,” Juszczyk told Yahoo Sports on Friday. “It’s a special piece and I hope she loves it.”

Juszczyk, whose husband, Kyle Juszczyk, plays for the San Francisco 49ers, teased the piece on her Instagram stories on Wednesday with an emoji sequence: basketball, black heart, yellow heart, woman’s face. A few fans on social media caught on and Juszczyk later added a photo showing her cut out a Big Ten logo patch and tagging State Farm.

It completes a trio of notable headliners in a whirlwind first two months of 2024 for Juszczyk. She earned overnight attention when she designed a Kansas City Chiefs puffer jacket for Swift to wear at their sub-zero playoff game. It featured her boyfriend Travis Kelce's number, and an iconic photo circulated social media of her behind frosted windows.

Weeks prior, she designed a vest for Simone Biles, the most decorated gymnast in Olympic history who will likely compete at the 2024 Paris Olympics, to wear in celebration of her husband, Green Bay Packers safety Jonathan Owens. Juszczyk also designed pieces for model Olivia Culpo, who is engaged to 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey, and actor Taylor Lautner, a diehard Detroit Lions fan. Each jacket takes approximately a full 40-hour workweek, she said.

Clark's jacket is her first piece for an athlete to wear him or herself and her first into the collegiate realm.

“It's so special to me to be able to create, especially for a woman of her caliber,” Juszczyk said. “She's such a trailblazer in her league and it’s special to be able to see her selling out these arenas and breaking all these records. ... What a great way to be able to show her how much her fans love her and to be able to just represent herself through a piece of clothing."

State Farm reached out with the idea recently to commemorate Clark’s collegiate accomplishments and Juszczyk jumped at the opportunity. The company signed her as their first collegiate athlete spokesperson in October and sponsored the “Covering Clark” in-game tracker as she pursued record after record.

Juszczyk also made a one-of-one jacket for Jake from State Farm, the company spokesman played by Kevin Miles. Clark is featured in national commercials with Jake from State Farm, Jimmy Butler and Reggie Miller that have expanded her reach to household name status.

State Farm is a WNBA sponsor with naming rights to the WNBA Draft for which Clark declared earlier this week. She is the presumptive No. 1 pick to the Indiana Fever on April 15 at BAM in Brooklyn where Jake from State Farm could make a repeat appearance after attending last year. The connection is one of the most clear examples of why Clark won't lose all of her name, image, likeness deals joining the WNBA.

Miles and Kristyn Cook, chief marketing officer at State Farm, will be in attendance on Sunday, as will Maya Moore, a surprise guest for Clark. Moore was Clark's favorite player growing up attending Minnesota Lynx games.

Juszczyk had prior commitments and was unable to attend the hottest ticketed women's basketball game in history. She was in New York City on Friday and shared photos on her Instagram of meetings with the NFL and NBA. She was granted a licensing deal with the NFL in late January after people clamored to have a piece like Swift's jacket.

“As much as I adore making these one-off pieces for these special people, I know that all I really want to do is dress these fans,” Juszczyk said. “And I’m only one girl, I can't dress the whole stadium or else I'd be bleeding.”

Juszczyk's designs landed so well with women because it can still be difficult to find sports apparel that doesn't fall into the "shrink it and pink it" approach. The WNBA has turned to more third-party apparel companies in recent years for better, more unique offerings, but could still use help in merchandising and apparel.

No one will ever have a jacket identical to Clark’s, but maybe down the road they can buy a different type of piece to celebrate the woman who could lead all NCAA scorers, men’s and women’s, by the time she dons the vest.

“We're not trying to pigeonhole ourselves to anything,” Juszczyk said. “So whether that's NFL, NBA, WNBA, collegiate sports, Olympics, you know … the ideas are endless.”


”Draft Draft Night in Duval: Thursday at 7PM on FOX30

Most Read