This weekend’s six-piece collaborative capsule collection between Siegelman Stable and Palm Tree Crew hits home for all involved.
Max Siegelman has a theory.
It’s the same approach that Under Armour took when trying to sign Steph Curry. While Nike and Adidas engaged in a bidding war, Under Armour used product placement.
“They were like, We’re not gonna go directly after Curry; we’re gonna find the player with the locker next to him. They did that, and Curry ended up reaching out to them,” Siegelman continues. “That story has always been on my mind.”
That outlook is woven into the fabric of Siegelman Stable.
On this early June afternoon, Siegelman is wearing a red and white Siegelman Stable hat — complete with a golden logo — with red mesh shorts to match, and a horseshoe ring. Whenever he sees a UPS delivery person in his DUMBO, Brooklyn, neighborhood, he has a custom brown hat ready to gift.
But it had officially been put in motion with 2020’s NBA Bubble. Everybody knew the Bubble was within Orlando’s Walt Disney World Resort. Siegelman was privy to specific addresses through a friend playing in the league. He mailed Siegelman Stable hats and sweatshirts to 10 NBA players, including Tim Hardaway Jr. The family-owned sportswear and streetwear brand has swiftly spread well beyond the confines of the Bubble over the last two years.
Future sported a black and gold Siegelman Stable cap in his March 2021 music video for “Hard For The Next” with Moneybagg Yo. The horse logo continues to infiltrate the music scene; Gunna, Post Malone, Tyler Hubbard, and Kane Brown are among those already incorporating the brand into their wardrobes.
“I saw it somewhere, like an explore page or something super random. This was a year and a half ago,” Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers told Boardroom in May. “I’m always trying to find cool new fitted hats. I didn’t know anything about the brand. I was just like, ‘These look cool,’ and then DMed Max. And he was like, ‘I’ll send you a couple [hats].’ Obviously, now, it’s Kendall Jenner wearing his shit. It couldn’t be more organic.”
Jenner and her “horse girl energy” turned heads during March’s Paris Fashion Week — followed by Dwyane Wade making it his hat of choice, in various colorways, for the month of May. Unknowingly, Wade sparked what would become a whole new Siegelman Stable collection.
“I first learned of Siegelman Stable from seeing people like Dwyane Wade wearing the hat,” says Manager Myles, Kygo’s longtime manager. “I thought it was a really cool brand and wanted to see how we could collaborate with Palm Tree Crew.”
The result is the Siegelman Stable x Palm Tree Crew limited-edition capsule, debuting this weekend in Kygo’s native Norway.
But the moment hits home for Siegelman, too.
Siegelman can’t contain his excitement. He’s stressed, but if there’s a choice between feeling stressed or indifferent, he’ll take stress every time. It means he cares. We’re driving to Williamsburg, when poetically, Jack Harlow’s “Churchill Downs” comes on the radio.
We’re going to visit Arena, the embroider Siegelman has used since carrying forward his father’s Robert Siegelman Racing Stable as a fashion line. Together, Arena and Siegelman have produced thousands of hats. Today, machines are rapidly stitching “PTC” and “1982” patches onto hats as well as an elaborate, Norwegian-inspired patch onto the back of khaki Dickies jackets. Two weeks of production, two shifts per day.
Hanging on one rack is a neon green vest with a snakeskin “OVO” embroidered on the back previously worn by Drake on stage, and on a nearby table is a stack of hundreds of Siegelman Stable x PTC hats. This Palm Tree Crew collaboration is Siegelman’s largest undertaking yet, but it’s anything but commercial.
“At first, when I got the message from Myles and Kygo on Instagram, I said to myself, ‘That’s obviously very cool,'” Siegelman says. “But I never want to do something that’s not true to the brand or looks like a money grab.”
Siegelman was hesitant until Karoline Spenning, his girlfriend and creative director, told him that Kygo is from Bergen, Norway. Siegelman’s maternal grandmother rode horses her entire life in South Dakota, especially to cope with Alzheimer’s in her later years — but her family hailed from Bergen.
“We started talking about potential ways to work together and collaborate, [and] we learned about how much synergy we have with the history between Kygo and the Siegelman brand,” Myles says. “Once we realized how prominent the Norway connection was and that Kygo had an upcoming show in Oslo, we knew that was a moment to make this special.”
Thousands of fans will attend Friday’s pop-up at Moniker Oslo in hopes of meeting Kygo ahead of his Saturday performance at the Norwegian capital’s Ullevaal Stadion. They’ll buy capsule pieces out of blind loyalty to the acclaimed DJ and producer. Siegelman, though, will see his family ties returning to where they began — and stretching further than any of them could’ve imagined.
“What stands out about Siegelman Stable most is the fact that it is firstly out of motivation, not necessarily about ‘fashion’ and making money, but more about the family story and community,” Spenning says. “[It’s about] bringing it back to the fact that Robert, Max’s dad, always was clear on giving back. I feel like this generation appreciates ethics and brand story more than previous generations.”
The Robert Siegelman Racing Stable opened in 1982 in Long Island, New York. The elder Siegelman wanted his own stable to claim total autonomy over his career as a horse trainer, and more importantly, to provide equine therapy to inner-city youth.
Come October 2020, Max and Spenning, who is also from Norway, were boxing countless orders of clothing donning the same logo originally drawn on a napkin by Max’s mother in 1985. Portions of every sale go toward equine therapy programs, often for children, doctors, and nurses, or individuals dealing with PTSD.
The same is true for this collaboration, in partnership with Norwegian graphic designer Ludvig Løken. A portion of all proceeds will go toward providing equine therapy at a children’s hospital in Oslo.
“The vision has not changed, and I don’t ever want the vision to change or get away from the original concept of telling my dad’s story through fashion and [incorporating] equine therapy,” Siegelman says. “There’s still plenty of people who don’t know the brand. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told the brand story, but I don’t care. If you lose that, you lose the realness.”
Siegelman started by mailing boxes of product to the NBA Bubble. This spring, at the request of Wade, he found himself dropping off a bag of his hats in every color at a New York City hotel. The mode of delivery has changed, but the authenticity persists.
“I found out that he was born in 1982, which is on the side of every hat because it’s the year my dad opened his stable,” Siegelman says. “Someone else told me they went to an event Ronnie Fieg did at his old high school a week or two ago, and he met Ronnie. Ronnie was like, ‘Nice hat,’ and Ronnie was also born in 1982.”
That’s the best part about all of this for Siegelman.
“People have so many random horse stories, too,” he says. “People either have some long-line connection to horses, or people see horses — horse racing, polo, or riding — as aspirational. Either which way, people connect to it.”
Jenner, for what it’s worth, has always been vocal about her love for horseback riding. Tim Hardaway Jr. plays for the Dallas Mavericks, whose logo is a stylized horse (and he’s not far from north Texas’ wide-open spaces in all directions besides). Alex Pall posted to Instagram about his day at a horse stable in April. There are endless stories like this from people flooding Siegelman’s DMs, or people walking the streets, at any given time.
With all that in mind, Seth Phillips — best known as Dude With Sign — has mastered influencing the influencers.
Before launching this brand, Siegelman wrote about Phillips’ impact compared to a traditional billboard; on Monday, Siegelman texted Phillips: “You in SoHo?”
“And he was,” Siegelman says. “I gave him some stuff out of my car. Just hit him up as a homie showing love.”
Siegelman Stable is now embraced by A-list stars, but Max’s theory is still at work. Dude With Sign posted to Instagram on Tuesday — wearing the graphic t-shirt from the Siegelman Stable x Palm Tree Crew capsule and holding up a sign reading, “Take candid photos of your friends.”
Candid photos and word-of-mouth conversations with friends, of course, are the heart of Siegelman Stable’s growth, and that’s exactly how its founder wants it. Max could technically afford to hire assistants or outsource production, but he doesn’t want to. His family’s fingerprints are everywhere, so it only makes sense to remain hands-on. (After spending the day together in early June, he went home and boxed 300 new orders with Spenning.)
Collaborating with Kygo and Palm Tree Crew adds a new layer of exposure. It will likely sell out, but Siegelman’s plan won’t be expedited simply for the sake of short-term buzz.
“Fast growth, you have a better potential to fail than with slow, strategic, and smart growth,” he explains. “That will help you last longer. There’s a huge difference, in my mind, between making $2 million in a year and making $10 million in five years. That difference is staying true to the brand.”