How CUTS Became the Go-To Brand For Your Favorite NBA Players

We caught up with the CUTS crew to learn more

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With the NBA regular season coming to a close this weekend, and the postseason geared to start next week, we figured now would be the perfect time to show you the brand some of your favorite NBA players have been wearing. From Finals MVP Steph Curry to Giannis Antetokounmpo to Damian Lillard, CUTS has gained a major popularity amongst players due to their cutting edge athletic fits and unparalleled comfort. At CUTS, the mission is to inspire those to compete and win in the sport of business, with their ultimate goal still being the same as day one—to create with the comfort of athleisure while also maintaining the professional quality and style designed for the work day.

What started with a simple shirt has now evolved into full fledged apparel lines for both men and women, and the growth hasn’t stopped. We caught up with the Head of Partnerships Josie Lekkas and Manager of Athlete Relations & Sports Marketing Jordan Silverman for a chat on all things CUTS. Check out the interview below.

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ONE37pm: Okay, pretty sure we all know what CUTS is, but in your own words can you guys describe the brand, what it represents, and your individual roles within the company?

Lekkas: Okay I’ll rewind a little bit. CUTS was founded about six years ago with the initial mission to make the world’s best t-shirt. Our founder kind of found himself in a space where there was no in-between as far as a work shirt and everyday tee, and that’s sort of the initial kick off mission if you will that started CUTS. Fast forward to now, our men’s line has become not only t-shirts, but hoodies, pants, outerwear, and now we have a women’s line as well.

Ultimately as we expand, we like to think of ourselves as a category-defining lifestyle brand focused on really high quality staple timeless pieces that can be worn from morning meetings in the office to date nights and everything in between. Quality, fit, and function are our bread and butter, and every piece we make is versatile, elevated, and timeless. 

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Silverman: Yes and I’ll just add that for the modern professional, you may not have time to go home and change before every event. So you want a piece that looks sharp and professional enough for the office, but also something that feels comfortable around the house. We have custom fabric that’s patented called Pyca Pro, and it is extremely comfortable. Pyca Pro is our secret sauce in terms of what differentiated us from the start. There’s a million t-shirt brands out there, but ours was about our founder traveling to Asia for six months to develop this custom fabric until he got it perfect, and then we just started to expand it.

Pyca Pro has been the secret sauce and the athlete’s know that as well. Even in the beginning when we were just sending t-shirts we were getting compliments on the shirts being the softest they had ever worn. 

ONE37pm: Well let’s talk about the athletes! How were you guys able to develop those relationships?

Silverman: So I started about three years ago, and the goal was just to get CUTS introduced to the athlete world and influential people. I came from a sports agency, so I had some connections through agents, a few direct player relationships but not many, and at that our Instagram account wasn’t even verified yet. I wanted to get in touch with some of the guys directly, so I sent a DM to every rising NBA player possible, basically thinking there was no way the stars were going to open the message because the account wasn’t verified.  The first player to respond was Grant Williams on the Celtics, who since then has turned into a phenomenal player.

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This was during The Bubble, and all of the players were in the same spot at the same time. It was the perfect opportunity to introduce the players to the brand. Grant was the first one, and he wore a shirt to a game. His teammate Robert Williams apparently went up to him asking where he got the shirt from, so I sent a package to him. From there it kind of grew within the Celtics, and eventually bigger names started coming in. The coolest moment for me was when we got an inbound message from Damian Lillard, because he saw CJ McCollum got a package.

He ended up having a playoff game where he dropped 61 points, and then in the press conference he was wearing our logo shirt. It was a huge moment for us, and from there it grew out. Same process with our MLB and NFL guys as well. We’ve gotten to the point where we have over 1200 U.S. pro-athletes that have been spotted wearing CUTS, and I am the direct person for all of those relationships.

Lekkas: Just to add to that, when I interviewed to work here, the RCO Steven joined a ZOOM call, and the first thing I noticed behind him was a bunch of signed Yankees jerseys. Being from New York, sports culture is very much rooted in who I am, and so that was immediately something I noticed about the brand. That is something that was really important to me, and it’s a testament how much we love sports as a company. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody that loves their job more than Jordan! As soon as athletes experience the brand they get it, and word of mouth has been really big for us.

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ONE37pm: Awesome! How about the women’s line? Can you talk more about the decision to expand into that realm?

Lekkas: In short, the response to all of our products, in particular our t-shirts, was so positive and widespread that we decided it was time to let women experience the quality of CUTS. Before we had a women’s line, I remember being so jealous of every male employee that would walk in wearing CUTS. The employees truly do wear the brand every single day. With our products, you can wear them on a long walk, or you could pop on a belt and wear it to the golf course or office. Our pieces can really take you through the entire day and throughout each season as well. The decision to expand into women’s was based on the positive response to our men’s line. 

Silverman: And so many of the wives and girlfriends of the athletes I know were super excited about the launch of our women’s line because all they see is their husbands wearing CUTS. So in addition to female athletes, we have also provided stuff to the wives and girlfriends. The feedback has been similar if not the same. I think long term there’s the opportunity to grow it as big if not bigger than the men’s line. 

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ONE37pm: Alright so we started with a t-shirt, now it’s expanded into a full blown men and women’s line. What’s next? Sneakers?

Lekkas: I don’t know if sneakers are in the immediate future, but we are definitely looking to expand into lots of categories. Our women’s line launched and expanded a lot quicker because of the experience with our men’s line, and so I think the trajectory of growth for both is just right around the corner. Along with that, we also pride ourselves on taking feedback from our customers. It is both a blessing and a curse that our key values are quality, versatility, and comfort without sacrificing quality. It’s not very limiting in terms of what that means, and there’s lots of stuff for the future. We’re kind of testing everything out right now.

Silverman: We also engage our customers via social media. Last year we did a March Madness style bracket of our favorite CUTS colors, and then we brought the winner back. We have ten staple colors in stock that are always there regardless, and every season we release about three to four colors that are available just for that specific season. So we took all of the seasonal colors from the last few years, put them in a big bracket, and that’s something you can look forward to in the next few months. We have a restock of an old color coming back. It’s a 2019 color that came with our t-shirts, but now it won’t just be in tees, it will be across pretty much all of our styles. 


And I will say that we aren’t ruling out shoes either! We have done shoe collabs in the past as well. Also, with the addition of NIL, a big initiative is introducing college athletes to the brand before they become mega celebrities with the pros. So I usually start reaching out ahead of the drafts, in fact, Will Levis and Scoot Henderson are some of the players we’ve already sent to. A perfect example is Brock Purdy of the 49ers. We formed a relationship with him in college. He was the last pick in the NFL Draft, and with all the injuries to the 49ers this year, Brock came in and was unbelievable. We met him in person a few days before he started for the first time, and we gave him a CUTS package. That goes to show that starting relationships early is the key.

You can continue to keep up with CUTS via their Instagram and official website.

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