I’ve been a big fan of Stance for the past 5 or so years. When I first heard of them I wasn’t too impressed with their work. They had designed these awkward looking socks with NBA players on them that were cartoonish, and I wasn’t really feeling the vibe with them. Eventually I found myself going back to their site to see what else they created and soon I became hooked.
I love a lot of their collaboration pairs that they’ve created and enjoy reading about Punks & Poets. I remember when they started off with athletes like James Harden, Chandler Parsons (he fell off) and Allen Iverson and allowing them an outlet for their creativity. Now, the section Punks & Poets has expanded to even more artists all because Stance decided that people should have quality socks.
While I love their socks, being a proud owner of several pairs that I will cherish and adorn, I’ll save that story for another day. What I’ve come to enjoy are their high quality masks that have big a huge success since they started releasing them in 2020 at the start of the pandemic during the NBA Bubble.
The NBA bubble was itself a unique experience. Fans could watch virtually using Microsoft Teams (I got to watch one, it was pretty awesome). Players had even more reason to showcase their sneakers because it wasn’t all 30 NBA teams, but rather a select few who were playoff bound so there was definitely a lot of sneaker heat on display. Social media was a huge platform for the players to share their thoughts and feelings plus fans wanted an exclusive look inside the NBA bubble.
Watching basketball in this setting was different, though still entertaining. Players weren’t sitting on benches anymore, they had their own section. Each player was spread out, had their own cooler and pretty much private staff wait on them for what they needed as the games were played. This gave viewers an interesting view on their favorite player. Even the coaching staff had a new dress code where they wore matching gear from their tops on down to their shoes. What really caught several viewer’s eyes though, was the mask they were wearing.
Stance had created these unique, and sought after masks that players and staff were wearing. Heck, after I first saw them worn, I jumped on Stance.com and tried to find me a one with no luck. As I searched through Google, I looked for any info I could find on the mask. I even hit Twitter and Reddit for any information as well, or even just reactions to it.
Stance had put out a limited amount of masks which all sold out immediately except one with the NBA logo which I copped immediately. It’s still holding up, though it is one of my oldest masks and anyone should know the masks that were made for this pandemic all don’t hold up too long. I had tried other mask brands, but felt like they didn’t represent me as a person and were also made cheap. So once Stance started creating more, I jumped on the chance to purchase more.
People really wanted these masks priced at $19.99 although they were a bit overpriced. However, it goes with the culture shock. You see your favorite player wearing something, you ask what is that? and you go out to find it. At the same time, Stance was not creating something cheap. They use their butter blend material which makes the mask soft and comfortable but still provides the wear with protection though doctors and scientists would say masks are not 100% effective at stopping the spread. This I understand from brands and companies having to put on their product because they don’t want to get sued, though I’ve been using these masks from Stance for a while now and feel comfortable wearing them.
So here we are a year later from the start of all of this. Stance has created more masks that are unique with different designs and are ahead of the supply/demand curve to the point where they’ve re-released others that sold out quickly. I don’t know how much longer this pandemic will last, but I do know that this event triggered a cultural movement that Stance jumped on in a good way. Through the sale of masks and other socks, they’ve been able to support frontline workers especially hospitals in a big way. They also do a lot of community outreach by giving out basic essentials like socks and underwear (new to their line of products) so I can definitely support what they do.
While my obsession with their masks has grown, so has my support for them. I have received a few comments about my masks and even some for my socks. Stance has come a long way from their startup years ago. They do unique collaborations with other up-and-coming artists too, not just celebrities that get paid to show but never actually support their product.
Hopefully when this pandemic ends people will still be cautious and wear a mask when they’re sick. Plus people have spent quite a bit on masks for all of this so it would be a shame to throw them all out. I know I can still use mine though and be fashionable at the same time. Thank you Stance for all you do and creating such a great product.