“Touch”ing the Bases
Alyssa was recently interviewed at bizofbaseball.com. Below is an excerpt of that interview. To read the article in full, please visit the site here.
Maury Brown for the Business of Sports Network: Up until you began Touch, women were pretty much relegated to wearing men’s apparel and caps if they wished to show their support for their favorite team – there were no licensed brands through sports leagues for women’s fashion. When did you get the idea for Touch?
Alyssa Milano: The idea came to me at Dodger Stadium in 2005. I’m a season ticket holder and I had the same ritual at every game I attended. I would go into the stadium shop and look for something to buy to support my team. Most of what was available was made poorly, or too boxy, or pink so I would usually, leave the store empty handed. Occasionally, I would find a hoody in the children’s section that was cut big enough to fit me and that would be an awesome find! I had a light bulb moment after one trip to the stadium shop. I returned to my seat, looked around and saw a lot of women in the stands in the pink gear. I figured if even 30% of these women were insulted by the pink gear (like I was) but wore it anyway because it was the only way MLB was addressing female fans, the market was there for a well made, fashionable, flattering, fan apparel line.
Bizball: When one thinks of baseball executives, you don’t normally conjure up “cool”. The likes of Bud Selig and many of baseball’s owners seem to be the last ones to “get” what a women’s fashion line for MLB brands would be like. How did your meetings with MLB Properties go, and was it at all intimidating?
Milano: I pitched the idea to my agent at CAA (this was before they had their sports department) and he figured out a way to get me a meeting with MLB Properties. I flew to New York specifically for this meeting. It was very intimidating. I had put together a presentation with sketches and fabric swatches. I remember giving the pitch and thinking to myself, “I’m not sure if they are getting this”. Then Howard Smith asked me how long I had been a baseball fan and thankfully, I was able to share my love of the sport with them. I spoke about how baseball was my way to connect with my dad when I was little and how he would tell me romantic stories of Ebbets Field. Ultimately, I don’t think they gave me the licensing because of the concept of the clothing line. I think they gave me the licensing because they could tell I was a real fan and that I could represent female fans in a passionate, intelligent way. They introduce me to my partners G-III Sports and Aminco (jewelry) and we were off and running. I will always be grateful to MLB, not only for all the baseball memories I have tucked away but also, for believing in me enough to take a risk on me and my idea.October 26th, 2009