All-Star Does Anyone Else “get” Rebel Designs?

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Sterling von Shimmer

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You basically answered your own question without realizing it. Cheer is developing in Europe, where there's a lot of opportunity and growth.

That’s true, but I don’t feel like that’s what’s happening in these campaigns. If it was to highlight cheer in Europe, the way to go about it would’ve been to get some of the teams from the country they’re shooting in to wear the unis. Instead, the choice to shoot in Europe at best feels hollow and misused. And at worst, if you really wanted to go there, it feels slightly on the cultural appropriation side of things (the bolero jacket reminiscent of a flamenco costume featured in Spain is a little borderline). I don’t want to go there because I feel the designs are handled well enough, but there are definitely people out there that would decry it.
 
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If you’ll read my first post, I said that I liked a lot of their designs. In my following post, I also lauded their business decisions as being savvy and innovative. They’ve done a lot of great things and clearly it’s working for them.

But when the head designer compares himself to D&G, holds his whole marketing campaign during Fashion Week, and throws the term “haute couture” around for what is essentially a sports uniform, it just appears a little self-serving. Ultimately, cheer is a sport. Not a reason to play dress up. And sometimes it seems that Rebel loses sight of that message when they appear more interested in creating bolero jackets than functional unis. I understand and appreciate the argument that they’re just showcasing their design skills in the more outlandish unis. But ultimately, nobody is going to need glow sticks in their uni, or anything close to it (I can understand a scenario in which a team might want to do a take on a bolero, but glow sticks are basically kid’s party favors). So what is the point other than to draw attention to themselves rather than the cheerleaders they’re supposed to be catering to?

Again: they do a lot of things well. But some things leave a little to be desired.

Yes, you said a lot of "nice" things that were actually just backhanded comments and whatever nice things you think you said don't balance out the personal attacks you made, and continue to make, against their VP of Design - of whom you also posted the link to their personal Instagram account.


You also said, in your first post...

I don’t get it. Do they think people will order this? Or, as some have said, is it just to showcase their capacities as a design house? I just don’t understand the reason behind these completely impractical designs. A lot of them look like they were designed by people who never cheered in their lives. So I don’t get it. But then again, I’m not someone who ever claimed to “get” fashion. Can someone enlighten me?

... to which you received answers explaining why they do what they do, the business aspect of it it, the benefit it has for not only their consumers but consumers throughout the industry, and the possible direction their side projects may take them in in the future to help them expand their business.

And yet you continue to offer up your harsh criticisms - calling the VP "self-serving", insulting their products, diminishing their employee's passion projects, accusing-them-but-not-accusing-them of cultural appropriation - and then ask the same questions while playing dumb like no one has already answered them.

So what is the real purpose of this thread? Is it to bash something you don't like? Are you seeking validation for disliking something? Looking for an echo chamber? Because it doesn't really seem like you care what the answers are if they don't align to your feelings about Rebel's products or their practices.
 

Sterling von Shimmer

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Yes, you said a lot of "nice" things that were actually just backhanded comments and whatever nice things you think you said don't balance out the personal attacks you made, and continue to make, against their VP of Design - of whom you also posted the link to their personal Instagram account.


You also said, in your first post...



... to which you received answers explaining why they do what they do, the business aspect of it it, the benefit it has for not only their consumers but consumers throughout the industry, and the possible direction their side projects may take them in in the future to help them expand their business.

And yet you continue to offer up your harsh criticisms - calling the VP "self-serving", insulting their products, diminishing their employee's passion projects, accusing-them-but-not-accusing-them of cultural appropriation - and then ask the same questions while playing dumb like no one has already answered them.

So what is the real purpose of this thread? Is it to bash something you don't like? Are you seeking validation for disliking something? Looking for an echo chamber? Because it doesn't really seem like you care what the answers are if they don't align to your feelings about Rebel's products or their practices.

Ok well, sorry you feel that way. Next time I’ll try and get through a thread with a little more dignity. Just like you.
 

quitthedrama

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Yes, you said a lot of "nice" things that were actually just backhanded comments and whatever nice things you think you said don't balance out the personal attacks you made, and continue to make, against their VP of Design - of whom you also posted the link to their personal Instagram account.


You also said, in your first post...



... to which you received answers explaining why they do what they do, the business aspect of it it, the benefit it has for not only their consumers but consumers throughout the industry, and the possible direction their side projects may take them in in the future to help them expand their business.

And yet you continue to offer up your harsh criticisms - calling the VP "self-serving", insulting their products, diminishing their employee's passion projects, accusing-them-but-not-accusing-them of cultural appropriation - and then ask the same questions while playing dumb like no one has already answered them.

So what is the real purpose of this thread? Is it to bash something you don't like? Are you seeking validation for disliking something? Looking for an echo chamber? Because it doesn't really seem like you care what the answers are if they don't align to your feelings about Rebel's products or their practices.
I don't agree with everything @Sterling von Shimmer said, but I can see her point and Rebel set themselves up for that type of criticism. I find the Nike designs that you highlighted and tried to compare Rebel to are not really a comparison at all. Rebel's marketing is controversial - some love it and some hate it. I'm the latter - I think it's horrible what they are doing to promote the "sport" and there is nothing athletic about their designs and ad campaigns despite their name. I get that many of the designs they advertise are concept designs and not fit for actual use - that doesn't bother me at all. My issue is the way they promote cheer. Not a single one of us can complain when the general public sees cheer is a joke when this is what they see for advertising from the industry.
 
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I get the high fashion thing, and the fact that runway clothes are not necessarily what ends up on the racks. But seriously, Rebel is a sports uniform company. You don't see Nike doing ridiculous shoots like this. It's hard to tell wheat they actually do when their catalog and Instagram showcase their "haute couture" designs.

^^^ THIS ^^^ Spot on.
 
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catlady

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I don't agree with everything @Sterling von Shimmer said, but I can see her point and Rebel set themselves up for that type of criticism. I find the Nike designs that you highlighted and tried to compare Rebel to are not really a comparison at all. Rebel's marketing is controversial - some love it and some hate it. I'm the latter - I think it's horrible what they are doing to promote the "sport" and there is nothing athletic about their designs and ad campaigns despite their name. I get that many of the designs they advertise are concept designs and not fit for actual use - that doesn't bother me at all. My issue is the way they promote cheer. Not a single one of us can complain when the general public sees cheer is a joke when this is what they see for advertising from the industry.

The point of this type of advertising is to be talked about, criticism and all. Our common ground is we both agree on wanting a more athletic and practical look for cheer. But, I do agree with @Eyes On The Prize when it comes to fashion and design. Rebel isn't hitting the NY runway like Nike, but obviously, they can get the same hype from outrageous designs and that's where the Nike comparison lies. As far as the general public seeing cheer as a joke, I think that falls more on gym owners and what they are putting on the floor. You can't put children in lingerie/porn inspired uniforms, teased to the heavens hair, have them walk out like strippers, rubbing themselves throughout the routine and expect respect in return.

@Sterling von Shimmer if you read the opening statement in the look book from the President, she actually tells you their design philosophy on page 6 <click here> paragraph two. "We place a high value on the free-flow of new ideas, off the wall concepts and unexpected design and invention. Our belief that nothing is impossible drives every aspect of our business. And it is this key belief that helps us to innovate based on your needs, exceed your expectations, and make your uniform dreams come true." It says specifically in their book these are fashion designers, they don't mention cheer background, because in fashion you don't have to be a cheerleader to design. Gym owners, or whomever is helping in the design process, should be the ones concerning themselves with what is practical for their athletes. But, if you have someone that wants to mix various fabrics, beading, etc. you want a person that knows the limitations of fabrics, design, beading, appliques, etc. The concept here is not about practicality, it's about possibility. You don't have to agree with something to understand the concept behind it.
 
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I don't agree with everything @Sterling von Shimmer said, but I can see her point and Rebel set themselves up for that type of criticism. I find the Nike designs that you highlighted and tried to compare Rebel to are not really a comparison at all. Rebel's marketing is controversial - some love it and some hate it. I'm the latter - I think it's horrible what they are doing to promote the "sport" and there is nothing athletic about their designs and ad campaigns despite their name. I get that many of the designs they advertise are concept designs and not fit for actual use - that doesn't bother me at all. My issue is the way they promote cheer. Not a single one of us can complain when the general public sees cheer is a joke when this is what they see for advertising from the industry.

My intention was not to compare Nike's couture designs to Rebel's, I was demonstrating that Nike, an established athletic wear brand, also invests in couture projects that do not align to their mainstream, functional pieces. And that it is not an uncommon practice in the fashion industry to do these side projects. I agree that some of Rebel's couture projects are out there, they are not my taste. I don't know if I'd agree that they do any more "damage" to the public opinion of cheer as a lot of other things that I see from the cheer industry. It all seems very par for the course of cheer, which, probably similar to your feelings, I am also not a fan of. If you want to talk about who to blame for making cheer look bad to the outside world, coaches, gyms, parents, and even athletes should be included in that discussion. I really don't see Rebel as "promoting the sport" when they show off their couture pieces, it is more of a promotion of themselves.

Where you and @Sterling von Shimmer and I don't see eye-to-eye is that you view them as a cheer uniform company and I am viewing them as a fashion company that does cheer apparel. Reading this article about their history and how they came to be was very eye opening and changed how I viewed them (link). They function more like a fashion house than your average run of the mill cheer uniform company. The owner started her career in consumer/fast fashion, they hire fashion students who probably don't have cheer experience, they invest in their designers to experiment and explore their craft through side projects, they do elaborate photo shoots with models wearing said side projects. These are all things fashion houses do, not really things cheer uniform companies do.

There was historical context missing from the original conversation which is what I was trying to provide. You're classifying them as something they do not see themselves as. Don't judge a fish on it's ability to climb a tree and all that jazz.

As for their advertising practices, I don't think it's fair to compare their business model to other uniform companies when Rebel is forced to play the same game but with different rules that they did not set for themselves. Var$ity did/does not allow competitors at their events... so how do you sell your product to consumers when you can't attend 90% of the events those consumers are at? And how do you compete within a system where customers are rewarded to buy from the big guy? You need to change your business model and while it may be controversial, they are getting noticed and starting to disrupt a monopoly. They are forcing Varsity to keep up with them instead of the other way around. Rebel's 2013 CA Panthers uni redefined what uniforms could look like, that they didn't need to look like your standard cheer uniform, that they could be more artistic. Those 2013 uni's were also very controversial when they debuted at Worlds but that uni has influenced a lot of the trends today. Aside from individual well-known teams/gyms that pushed uniform designs (F5, TGLC, even Cheer Savannah and GA All Stars) there wasn't a company pushing design trends like that and making that service accessible to everyone until Rebel. I definitely don't see any of that being bad for the industry.
 

123jump4!

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The point of this type of advertising is to be talked about, criticism and all. Our common ground is we both agree on wanting a more athletic and practical look for cheer. But, I do agree with @Eyes On The Prize when it comes to fashion and design. Rebel isn't hitting the NY runway like Nike, but obviously, they can get the same hype from outrageous designs and that's where the Nike comparison lies. As far as the general public seeing cheer as a joke, I think that falls more on gym owners and what they are putting on the floor. You can't put children in lingerie/porn inspired uniforms, teased to the heavens hair, have them walk out like strippers, rubbing themselves throughout the routine and expect respect in return.

@Sterling von Shimmer if you read the opening statement in the look book from the President, she actually tells you their design philosophy on page 6 <click here> paragraph two. "We place a high value on the free-flow of new ideas, off the wall concepts and unexpected design and invention. Our belief that nothing is impossible drives every aspect of our business. And it is this key belief that helps us to innovate based on your needs, exceed your expectations, and make your uniform dreams come true." It says specifically in their book these are fashion designers, they don't mention cheer background, because in fashion you don't have to be a cheerleader to design. Gym owners, or whomever is helping in the design process, should be the ones concerning themselves with what is practical for their athletes. But, if you have someone that wants to mix various fabrics, beading, etc. you want a person that knows the limitations of fabrics, design, beading, appliques, etc. The concept here is not about practicality, it's about possibility. You don't have to agree with something to understand the concept behind it.

I agree, it is up to the gym owners what they buy and make their athletes wear. Yes I also wish it was more practical (bra friendly) and athletic looking! And I wish parents would have the guts to complain if the uniforms are ridiculous, but that's hard because you don't want to upset the people in charge.
 
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The out-there photo shoots are fun I'm sure for everyone who gets to take part. But more than that they get people wanting to see their latest photos/lookbook because they're pretty to look at. That part can't really be denied. The scenery and set up and the glitz, I mean part of selling is dreaming and selling a vision to some extent.

But I wonder if they are taking a good thing too far. Like what worked well for them in the beginning is maybe getting used to a point of "overkill"? Like, that "vision" or "fantasy" they are creating, is it really how the cheerleaders wants to see itself or is that Rebel's own vision for how they want to see the cheer world? They have design skills no doubt.

So I guess "I get" them. Like I get why they do them anyway.
 
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