Basketball has made a lot for fashion. Now it’s time for a woman to set the game.
NYC artist and designer Andrea Bergart is taking sporty trends to a whole new level with the Basketball bag — an odd, yet extremely relatable piece.
Andrea is also a player in the all-female Downtown Girls Basketball team, a group of designers, artists and writers based in Chinatown, Manhattan. Straight from basketball courts, she took something that inspires her and turned it into fashionable objects.
Now, forget about the kicks for a sec and take the time to meet her work. 👇
You are used to experimenting with canvas, fabric artworks, wearables, murals. How did the idea of using basketballs come about?
I started carrying a basketball around with me in New York on my way to Downtown Girls Basketball practice and it felt so empowering. Another interest of mine is creating art in unexpected places such as my cement truck mural project so it felt natural for me to mix up functioning objects with design.
The pieces are really easy to spot, they sure stand out. How does it feel to carry it around?
It feels really good!! I feel strong and also feminine carrying a basketball bag in the streets of NYC. I hope people appreciate how well it is constructed because I want to highlight the toughness of a basketball and the refinement of a beautifully made handbag.
We know you play, too. What’s with Basketball that you love it so much? And tells us a little about Downtown Girls Basketball.
I like a lot of things about Basketball. I appreciate the dynamic flow of play inherent in basketball which makes it so fun to play and watch. I also love how some players have such a distinct style of play. There seems to be a lot of room for creativity in play-making which makes the game surprising and fun. Great basketball is being played in the WNBA and is under-recognized. I wanted to find a way to get more people supporting the league, so a few of my teammates and I started a WNBA Fan club. We host game viewings and make swag featuring these professional women athletes.
My teammates on Downtown Girls Basketball are a great source of inspiration for me. We are all artists and creatives and we express ourselves through our style of ball and also our personal fashion style. I made the bags with my teammates in mind as the ideal models. I wanted to create a beautifully designed and refined bag, but also fuse that with a sense of power and fierceness.
Being surrounded by creative women can be a gamechanger. How does living in NYC play a role in your artistic production?
I find having an audience for the work I do is helpful. My friends and teammates are operating in their chosen field on a very high level, and they remind me that thought-provoking creativity will not go unnoticed or unappreciated.
How does it feel to not only being a woman in a basketball court but also being a woman creating trends within the basketball culture?
It makes me feel good. There should be more women voices in the world of basketball. Like most professional sports, basketball has been focused on the expectations and desires of men from the get-go. Now women are demanding inclusion and we need to be the ones to construct what that involvement will look like.