July 22, 2024


Trailblazing shopping quality

Norwalk fashion designer creates merchandise for new pro basketball team

NORWALK — Clothing designer Devon Spencer and the Connecticut Cobras professional men’s basketball team both have worked to better Norwalk in their own ways, and now they are joining forces.

The Norwalk-based Cobras, in its first season in the minor league basketball organization, The Basketball League, premiered its merchandise and warm-up gear, designed by a local artist.

The team partnered with Norwalk native and fashion designer Devon Spencer to create the Cobras’ merchandise and warm-ups, showcased and sold for the first time at a game last month at Brien McMahon High School.

Cobras’ President of Operations Indya Bennett said she first contacted Spencer about making the team’s merchandise around March.

“We are looking within the community for any resource or opportunity that can be reciprocated,” Bennett said. “It was a no-brainer as he has his own manufacturer and he’s pretty successful in his own right. I reached out to him via Instagram, letting him know this is who I am, what we do, what we need.”

Bennett joined the team in February and then contacted Spencer, she said.

The minor league team was founded last year by Norwalk native and former New Haven basketball coach Anthony Hill, who coached the Wilbur Cross boys basketball team from 2009 to 2012.

The team was officially announced on July 21 by The Basketball League in a social media post. Norwalk was chosen due to its location and short distance from major cities, including Albany, New York and Boston, according to the statement.

The Basketball League, founded in 2018, is a 29-team league with an additional 16 teams set to join the league in 2022. The Cobras’ first season began last month. The team will play 11 home and 11 away games this season.

While the team’s uniforms will still be provided by Infinite Apparel, through The Basketball League, Spencer will also be providing gear for the coaches and team staff, Bennett said.

With agreements finalized last month, Spencer put together a batch of clothing for the team in a matter of days. The merchandise created by Spencer sells for between $15 and $25.

“I chose them to represent me. They will be a main recruiting league for the NBA,” Spencer said. “All the home games I’m able to sell their merch. Those games have maybe 2,000 people in them. That opportunity, I feel, me out of everybody in Connecticut? I’m special. It’s God’s work.”

Spencer began his clothing line EuroCurrensy in 2015 and has worked with the likes of rappers Rick Ross, Cardi B and Meek Mill.

After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Spencer designed an adaptive face mask that allows wearers to drink or smoke without removing the face covering.

Officially known as The Diverse Smokers Mask, but colloquially called the smokers mask, Spencer began fashioning the masks as early as April. He began giving and selling them to friends and family members looking for face coverings at a time when surgical masks were scarce.

Since creating the mask, Spencer has donated more than 500 masks and sold more than 6,500, he said.

In partnering with the Connecticut Cobras, Spencer is keeping the enterprise in Norwalk, and cutting costs and time constraints for the team as Spencer’s items are made in the United States.

“All the companies I work with, they’re special to me. In particular the Connecticut Cobras, that gives me the opportunity to be able to have a school athletic program take a look at my work and it gives trust to the athletic department knowing it’s great quality, better pricing and a faster turnaround,” Spencer said. “One of my dreams is to create shirts for my old high school, Norwalk High. That is one of the goals.”

[email protected]