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words & interview // Nick DePaula:

While we’re most often celebrating the history of the sneaker industry, just as equally iconic as the footwear seen on pro courts and fields are the uniforms worn by our sports heroes during their most memorable moments.

The brand may have exploded into popular culture in the early 2000s thanks to the wide adoption of athletes like Allen Iverson and rappers like Fabolous, but Mitchell & Ness was initially founded well over a century ago in 1904. Ever since, M&N has long been a leader in true-to-form reproductions of unforgettable jerseys worn throughout the storied histories of the NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL.

Lynn Bloom has been the gatekeeper of much of that history at Mitchell & Ness, working at the Philadelphia-based company as its Director of Authentics & Archives. When designers are looking to recreate an exact tackle twill number application, or make sure they’ve got just the right hue of blue for a throwback jersey, Bloom is there to help by providing history and details to get the reproductions as closely accurate as possible to their original form.

Read ahead for a look at some of Lynn’s favorite jerseys and sneakers through the years, along with her advice for young women looking to follow in her footsteps in the athletic industry, as we continue to highlight women making an impact in honor of International Women’s Day.

How would you define your role at Mitchell & Ness?

I’m the Director of Authentics & Archives. I research and collaborate on all of the authentic Mitchell & Ness product lines. I also provide historical information, research and imagery to internal and external partners.

What are some of your favorite jerseys and sneakers through the years?

MLB – 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates were my first favorite team. I love the gold, black and white color combination and of course I love Roberto Clemente for the person that he was.

NBA – 1996-97 Philadelphia 76ers
As a Sixers fanatic, all I have to say is Allen Iverson.

NFL – Oakland / Los Angeles Raiders.
Beauty in its simplicity.

NHL – Detroit Red Wings.
It’s all about the logo.

adidas – Forum & Rod Laver
Nike – Air Max 1 & Air Max 95
Reebok – Question

How would you describe the impact of women in your industry?

At Mitchell & Ness specifically, women play a key role in the success of the company. From design to sourcing to sales to production, we are a company full of women.

What advice would you give to a young woman who would want to follow in your footsteps?

Find like-minded women in the industry, not just in your company, to talk to, vent to, commiserate and celebrate with. Know that the worth of your work is not just worth .79 cents to a man’s $1. There is equal value in what you do.

Lynn Bloom, alongside Ben Simmons & Sean Tribe

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