In 1993, the fashion style known as Zubaz was voted as the year’s third worst thing to happen to sports behind the retirement of Michael Jordan and the death of wrestler Dino Bravo, according to a survey held by Inside Sports.
On Nov. 15, 2016, Zubaz opened it’s first retail store in the Outlet Mall of Niagara Falls, bringing back a trend that began decades ago.
The Zubaz style first grew in popularity when they produced a line of shorts in the late 1980s that incorporated a zebra-like design covered with flamboyant and vibrant colors. The shorts stood out among others and fit the era of style.
“The company was originally started by Dan Stock and Bob Truax in 1988,” said store manager Ericka Teglash. “Even though the company has been around for 28 years, this is the first Zubaz retail store in the world.”
The brand was particularly promoted by athletes and fans of professional football and wrestling. Even today there are athletes who represent the Zubaz fashion.
“Mojo Rawley is one WWE wrestler who currently represents our brand,” said Teglash. “He is always in Zubaz when he enters the ring.”
When it comes to football, New England Patriots’ tight end Rob Gronkowski has always been a big supporter.
“The Gronkowski brothers have always been huge endorsers of our brand” said Teglash. “Rob just posted a tweet promoting a Super Bowl Zubaz package.”
The Gronkowski’s share close ties to the Zubaz company since they have been long fans of it’s style. Gronk Fitness is a new fitness training program created by Rob that has also partnered with Zubaz to produce it’s apparel. Gronk fitness Zubaz training shirts can be found in the Zubaz store or online at zubaz.com.
Not only does the brand attract athletes but even popular music artists such as Redfoo from the group LMFAO has been known to sport the vibrant garments, according to Teglash.
Today, Zubaz has expanded their inventory. The wide variety of apparel includes winter hats, zip-up and pull-over hoodies, sweaters, t-shirts, sun glasses, socks, slippers, flip flops, masks, pajama bottoms and even overalls. They are especially useful for die-hard sports fans looking to represent their team in a flashy way.
Over the course of the last decade, Zubaz has been specifically in demand for their long pants, and especially in the Western New York area. The pants contain the traditional design, but are also known for their tremendous pajama-like comfort.
Of the many cities one might spot the wild pants in, it may just be in Buffalo where Bills fans love to show them off. The Buffalo Zubaz are distinguishable through the complimenting color pattern, consisting of a red, white and blue combo. Some Bills fans have been sporting Zubaz for a long time.
“We’ve seen fans walk in to the store with their Zubaz pants from the 1990s,” said Teglash. “They’re usually faded and worn down, but fans love to show us how long they’ve been sporting them.”
The Zubaz store is located next to Cole Haan and is almost hidden in the Southeast corner of the Niagara Falls Outlet mall.
“It can be difficult with the location we’re in,” said Teglash. “We do like that we have our own outer store entrance, but most people tell us that it’s hard to find.”
Teglash goes on to explain how they are working to find ways to attract more people towards the store from the outside. “We are planning to give the outside sign a brighter color and to add other additions around the area as well.”
The Zubaz retail store is going on it’s third month since it has opened to the public and hopes to keep the classic trend of the 1990s alive.