Sportswear is Fashion: an Exclusive Q&A with @hotgothwriter

Celebrating the ideas, art, culture and style around vintage sportswear

Gameday Grails community, we present our latest initiative: Sportswear Is Fashion. Consider this a visual essay on the convergence of athleticism and aesthetics. Consider this your front-row ticket to where the game meets the runway.

First up is someone you'll want to take notes from: Kirsten Chen, also known to the 'Gram as @hotgothwriter. She's not just setting trends—she's creating a playbook on how to wear sportswear as high fashion.

Stay tuned for a blog post dropping this weekend from Kirsten herself, breaking down how you can incorporate vintage sportswear vibes into your style

Growing up, were you surrounded by sports, whether through family, friends, or community? What do you remember most?

I personally didn’t play a sport but growing up in Orange County, especially near Newport Beach, turned me into a hardcore Lakers fan. In elementary school, I remember this boy bragging because his mom got remarried and he was moving to the same neighborhood as Kobe… In our local Catholic church, this young, cool priest would wear the most fly Jordan’s and incorporate the Lakers winning, or basketball metaphors, into his sermons. When we go to the farmer’s market, those bags of mini purple and gold potatoes are literally labeled as “Lakers Potatoes.”

When did you first realize sportswear was more than just for wearing to a game? What caught your eye?

I first got hip to wearing sportswear through rap stars from the early ‘00s and those varsity-inspired baby T-shirts with numbers or jersey detailing– it naturally gives a hottie video vixen vibe. I like how young Pharrell would wear something sports-inspired but look like a rockstar. You can see this baller attitude in designs from Billionaire Boys Club and Gwen Stefani’s Harajuku Lovers or L.A.M.B. You know Pharrell and Gwen were good friends, right?

Sportswear-inspired or not, sum up your personal style in just five words.

I believe that character archetypes exist within personal style; mine is “rich girl who got out of rehab.” Or like, “post-rehab rich girl, designer-sporty vibes.”

What does it mean to rep your team/city/etc through sportswear?

Working for FRANCHISE and, now, the WNBA, I try not to get caught up in repping specific team or city merch, so I like repping where I’m from through the details. I lived in the Bay for a while, which explains why I might wear Pro Club. And being from Southern California, I’m a little more inclined to wear beat-up sneakers than someone from New York. I like my sweats all sun-faded, unbranded and old— it’s somewhere between hitting the basketball court and the beach bonfire.

What are your favorite ways to incorporate vintage into your outfits? What are your favorite ways to incorporate sportswear into your outfits?

Most of my wardrobe is vintage or second-hand designer, that’s how I find the statement pieces that I build my outfits around. I’ve always used sportswear to achieve that cool contrast of “highs” and “lows”– wearing a championship crewneck with a sacai cargo skirt, throwing a ‘70s cheerleading jacket over a sheer skirt and archival Helmut Lang, and pairing sporty booty shorts with Comme des Garçons button-up shirts.

What’s your personal gameday grail? What was the sportswear item you always wanted as a kid, but never got?

I’m on a life-long quest to find a vintage, authentic Lakers Girls outfit. They’re super hard to find. And those fresh out the package, crispy Nike crew socks, too. I didn’t really have anything “premium” as a kid, and I was really punk-y.

Feel like you're missing out? You shouldn't.

Our collection is stocked with pieces that will let you flex your own fashion-forward, sport-inspired vibe.

Don't just be a spectator; join the Sportswear Is Fashion movement and make your statement.

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