Vintage clothing, Utah jazz fever and Jordan Clarkson converge on pop-up store SLC

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — As the Utah Jazz fan base prepares to host the Memphis Grizzlies in Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs first round on Sunday, getting geared up for the game is a must.

Many jazz fans, looking for a way to show their support, have stepped back in time sporting retro and vintage gear. A downtown Salt Lake City storefront grabbed a lot of attention on Saturday by launching a pop-up shop of old-school jazz gear that drew hundreds of fans of all ages to find a playoff look.

Top Shelf SLC, a streetwear and fashion boutique located across from the Salt Palace on 100 South, and Thifthood, a vintage clothing store specializing in classic jazz clothing and merchandise, have worked together to create a pop-up jazz experience unique the day before the team takes its first steps towards a possible title race. Utah guard and 6th Man of the Year finalist Jordan Clarkson also took part in the event, promoting on social media and lending some of his own designs to the store.

“We hope for the best, we expect the worst and it was crazy,” Thrifthood owner Albee Bostrom told ABC4, adding that similar pop-ups are in the works in the future. “I think every year we’ll get bigger and bigger and hopefully we’ll get bigger names involved and get more merchandise so we can feed the hunger of all the Utah Jazz fans.”

Clarkson, considered a fashion icon in NBA circles, became involved with the boutique in a very organic way. As Thrifthood continued to make a name for itself on social media with its collection of vintage Jazz jackets, shirts, hats and memorabilia, the Provo-based store caught the eye of Clarkson, who began following the store on Instagram. Thrifthood began selling some of its products to Clarkson, and a relationship formed.

When Bostrom announced the pop-up store on social media, Clarkson asked if he could ask his team to bring products from his brand, ShopSix, as part of the sale.

“Obviously we’re not going to say no,” Bostrom says. “So we involved him then and now we’re selling his stuff.”

Clarkson’s brother Bear, who was at the store selling ShopSix shirts and sweatshirts, says his family loves being part of the community and has found a home in Utah. Clarkson, who lives with his basketball player brother, recalls that after one of Jordan’s biggest goal bursts, his neighbors decorated his door with congratulatory thoughts and homemade treats.

“People are really friendly, really neighborly,” Clarkson says. “We go out and they encourage it. We feel welcome here.

Clarkson says it was that kind of embrace from the community that made her brother want to get involved with small, growing businesses like Top Shelf and Thrifthood.

Typically, Top Shelf’s shelves are filled with high-end sneakers and streetwear that may appeal to a smaller audience. However, bringing a bit of jazz-flavored nostalgia on Saturday brought in a whole new clientele of people of all ages and walks of life.

“We have a good range of people buying sneakers and stuff, but vintage is just opening it up,” says Top Shelf owner Jordan Hammel. “Old school fans, but we also have a 6 year old running around in a Clarkson jersey at the moment, so that’s great.”

This 6-year-old, Bronson Lundgreen, got the thrill of his young life while shopping with his mother, Britt, at the store. As the two waited in line to enter the store, Bostrom presented them with an autographed pair of Nikes worn by Clarkson that he had sent to the store. Lundgreen says it’s now his most prized possession.

His mother says he has been a lifelong jazz fan and remembers the days of John Stockton and Karl Malone very well. Bringing his son with him and introducing him to a new era of the team and collecting memories from different eras of jazz memorabilia was a pleasure. They plan to attend Wednesday’s game at Vivint Arena, likely wearing some of the gear they picked up over the weekend.

Bronson’s favorite player’s autographed sneakers will surely have a place of honor at their home in Saratoga Springs, though. According to Lundgreen, there are plenty of reasons why Clarkson is his favorite.

“I like that he has this mentality of just being good and shooting and getting it and doing his thing.”

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