The team brought in creative consultant Calyann Barnett, and the result is CounterPoint, a lifestyle apparel brand that debuted during All-Star Weekend and aims to grow the team’s brand.
Calyann Barnett, a fashion designer and personal stylist to NBA players, including Dwyane Wade, has partnered with the Utah Jazz to create the limited “CounterPoint” brand, which features both Jazz- and All-Star Game-themed clothing. In the meantime, the product will be available at Vivint Arena. It was available at pop-up stores at The Gateway starting Thursday, Jan. 16, 2023.
While trying to establish herself as a fashion designer more than a decade ago, Calyann Barnett was working a temporary gig in the music industry. She now styles a variety of NBA players, consults creatively for the Utah Jazz, and is the driving force behind CounterPoint, the team’s lifestyle apparel line. In 2007, a few chance encounters would set events in motion.
As a first step, she worked with someone who worked with LeBron James. She was impressed with his chiseled, physical form as well as the rock-star aura and gravitas he exuded, which obviously lent itself to marketing opportunities — although she thought athlete styling was an untapped market.
Then, in June, she was invited to rapper Kanye West’s 30th birthday party, at a Louis Vuitton store in New York City, where she met Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade. She thought, like many of his NBA contemporaries, his off-court look was pretty meh. And she decided to tell him that.
Barnett chuckled as she recounted approaching the person and instructing them to acquire a stylist, presenting her card. After reconsideration, she returned and offered her number instead, aware that they would likely misplace the card. Later on, Barnett requested their number when texting about fashion choices; however, progress was slow due to his contentedness with his current suit-maker. Despite her efforts to persuade him daringly to try new things – specifically on herself – nothing seemed to work out until December when she made a final attempt.
In recent years, there have been more and more videos of players strutting into the arena in runway fashion, showing off their outfits. There would be millions of people watching Wade’s Miami Heat play James’ Cleveland Cavaliers on Christmas Day. “I said, “Hey, let me dress you for this game, and if you like it, we’ll talk; if not, I’ll leave you alone,” Barnett said. “And lo and behold, he liked the look.”
In the early days of his business career, Miyasaki worked for two Utah County software companies and a venture capital firm, which led him to meet Ryan Smith. After joining Park City-based Skullcandy, he moved on to Stance Socks, where he met Wade as the head of business development.
So there are plenty of small, extra details scattered throughout the pieces, with short phrases like “Property of the Utah Jazz,” “Established 2023,” “Private Label,” or slogans like “Made to lay low, designed to rise above” and “Made for fans, designed for the streets” appearing either on the clothing itself, or on the included “jock tags.”
The CounterPoint collections feature a range of unique items such as a cityscape jacket, T-shirts referencing the 1993 All-Star Game ticket and laser-light show, and a sweatsuit incorporating the classic colors from three decades ago but with the 2023 All-Star logo. These collections had a soft launch at the Vivint Arena event-level store in February for courtside fans before their official debut during All-Star Weekend. Barnett brought her “The Shop Miami” concept to Utah with “The Shop Salt Lake City” pop-up stores at The Gateway.
Starting with the team’s next home game, on March 18, CounterPoint will roll out additional collections, which can be purchased at the arena’s concourse-level Team Store. “[We’re] trying to introduce the brand in a fun and interesting way, and keep it fresh with things you haven’t seen in Utah,” Barnett said. That’s why I came here.