HANOVER, N.J. — Bradley Wright-Phillips always had an interest in fashion. But when he first gave being a designer a thought, the New York Red Bulls striker figured other athletes had been there, done that.
“I spoke to my wife a few times over the years about a fashion label. And at one stage I thought, was I just copying people? Or maybe it just wasn’t the right time,” Wright-Phillips said.
But then a friend told Wright-Phillips he wanted to design a hat for him.
“I was like alright, cool. I couldn’t think of any names or what I wanted on the hat. It didn’t even have to be a number or my number or anything,” Wright-Phillips said. “One day I just thought, ‘Two Nines’ — I know it sounds easy and simple now — but I thought that. I picked a font and when it came back, these actually look good. I’d wear these if they were someone else’s.”
BWP has worn ‘Two Nines’ hats plenty, especially in postmatch media scrums. And now fans will get that chance as well.
On Wednesday, the Red Bulls announced the launch of a limited-edition capsule collection of hats and apparel designed by RBNY and Two Nines in partnership with New Era. It debuted during a launch event at Hat Club in Manhattan Wednesday night.
“With Two Nines, it’s very casual,” Wright-Phillips said. “It’s done well for the work we’ve put in. It’s literally just ideas on a sofa or in a group text and we just get them made and see what the people think. I wouldn’t say right now I’m some fashion guru. I like what I like and I see if people like the same thing. But for now it’s just having fun and trying out ideas.”
While BWP’s influence on the pitch is clear to see, he said he’s just as involved in Two Nines.
“I’m very hands-on. I have a lot of ideas. They’re not always good, but I’m very hands-on,” Wright-Phillips said. “When I’m into it, I’m really into it and there’s some weeks I just don’t want anything to do with it. That’s why you have a team. But nothing will go without me saying and same for other guys in the collection.”
Three hats were created from the game-worn jersey that Wright-Phillips donned while scoring his 99th league goal at Red Bull Arena in July. Those hats are available via auction on the DashApp.
Additional pieces are available for purchase online at www.newyorkredbulls.com/shop beginning October 18 at 11 a.m.
While Two Nines is for anyone, Wright-Phillips said he doesn’t want to be the only No. 99 to wear the gear.
“We want Aaron Judge, he wears 99. JJ Watt, does he wear 99? All 99’s can come get a Two Nines hat,” Wright-Phillips said. “Gretzky? Yeah. Where is he? Someone call him.”