Stern Style

It’s October 17, 2005 and the dust from the ‘Malice at the Palace’ is yet to settle. The National Basketball Association is on damage control. The task at hand, repairing the image of the league and its players. Following the events in Auburn Hills Commissioner David Stern begins the process of PR image restoration. New league requirements are put in place: players are now required to sign autographs following pregame warm-ups and the NBA launches the NBA Cares Initiative. However, the most public alteration comes in the form of a mandatory dress code for all NBA and NBA Development League players. The first major professional sports league to implement a formal mandate.

Up until now the league and its players have worn a combination of baggy sweats, oversized throwbacks, Timberland boots and other early 2000 staples. Stern’s dress code bans nearly everything in the closets of some the leagues brightest superstars. In addition, t-shirts, jeans, jewelry and do-rags are axed as appropriate game day and official NBA event attire. The league officially adopts “business casual attire”.

• A long or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a sweater.
• Dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans.
• Appropriate shoes and socks, including dress shoes, dress boots, or other presentable shoes, but not including sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or work boots.

It doesn’t take long for players to vocalize their discourse regarding the application of the dress code which strikes a nerve with a number of the Association’s African-American stars. At the root of the opposition is the view that the dress code is a deliberate attempt to distance the league from the hip-hop culture, a culture that is woven into the DNA of many of its players. Allen Iverson, that seasons points-per-game leader, declares it as a targeted attempt on his generation and the hip-hop generation, while Jason Richardson calls the dress code “kind of racist targeting blacks”.

The dress code rolls into effect for the 2005-06 NBA season. The first round of fines are issued on December 6th and include 13 players all popped for wearing shorts that exceed the 1″ above the knee mandate. The $10,000 short fine goes out to players that include Nate Robinson, Stephon Marbury, Kyle Krover, Jermaine O’Neal, Stephen Jackson, Jamaal Tinsley and the outspoken and opposed, Allen Iverson. On top of the individual fines each team is fined $50,000 for each violation. The Players Association appeals the fines.

As the seasons went on the dress code proved to be mutually beneficial and evolved. It didn’t take long for players to begin to embrace the change. A rule once despised, spawned competition amongst natural competitors and opened doors to new financial opportunities. Trends popped up over night thanks to game day tunnel walk from the likes of Russell Westbrook, James Harden, PJ Tucker, LeBron James, Chris Paul and D’Angelo Russell. The inner arena concrete runways began to be a nightly showcase of individuality and designer fashions from around the globe.

It’s inevitable that the NBA and its players would have transitioned to this sea of tastemakers we get to witness on weekly basis from October through April. Sure, it may have taken a bit longer or maybe wouldn’t have evolved to the state it is today. But I think we can all agree that the NBA is the most stylish league around.

I don’t know if we should credit Ron Artest for throwing bows at the Palace, David Stern with pulling out the PR life support paddles or Allen Iverson’s call for individuality and person expression. What I do know is the league and it’s players have made their mark on fashion and have added a level of game-day intrigue for fans of the sport and industry.

The Greatest Sport Prop to Grace the Big Screen

“To be honest. I was pretty scared. Actually really scared. So nervous in-fact, that on the day the movie came out and the whole Odyssey crew headed town to Del Mar to see the movie – I sat alone”. – Vikash Sanyal (Vice President Marketing Odyssey Sport Inc.)


Vikash Sanyal had his hand in many of Odyssey Sports day-to-day operations. Fresh out of University he was spending 50-60 hours a week implementing a marketing strategy from the ground up for Odyssey Golf. After checking the University job posting board he saw a small cue-card posting from a golf equipment manufacturer looking for a head of production. After a two-hour job interview the CEO, Michael Magerman, offered to create a marketing position for Viaksh. He recalls his early tasks included introducing demo days, telemarketing, public relations, hustling putters out on tour with a little product placement work. Years later, as he reminisces on this time at Odyssey Sport Inc., you can tell that the Gilmore putter is right up there with some of his fondest moments. Probably somewhere just beneath his role in growing the Odyssey brand to the point where Odyssey Sports Inc. was acquired by Callaway Golf for $130M.

The beginnings for Odyssey were lean and humble. So lean in fact that when Vikash joined Odyssey in 1990 him and founder Michael Magerman came to an agreement that Vikash’s would defer his salary for a year and a half in exchange Odyssey Golf would pay to cover his Masters education when he decided to go back to school.

Things weren’t just lean for golf start-up putter company. The budget for Tim Herlihy, Judd Apatow and Adam Sandler’s famous one-liner laced script – Happy Gilmore – was just as lean.

“We wanted Chris (McDonald) for shooter. He read it and was yeah, yeah, sure I’ll do it. His agent calls and says he can’t do it. So I call him and I go – I thought you wanted to do this movie? He goes on to say he just filmed two movies in a row, on location, and just couldn’t be away from the family again. I responded with something like – It’s summer. We will rent you a house (we had no money or authority to do this). We will rent you a house on the water for you and the family. It will be like a summer vacation. You play golf with Adam all day and you go back to your family at night.” – Dennis Dugan (Director – Happy Gilmore)

That’s how Director Dennis Dugan recalls them securing Christopher McDonald who most people still see on the street and yell out, “Shooter”. Dennis would also fulfill the role of Tour Commissioner Doug Thompson and it would be Dennis who would make the pitch to Odyssey’s Vikash Sanyal for a putter resembling a hockey stick.

Vikash requested a script to read through before making the pitch to his mentor and company President. Odyssey was a company built on innovation and technology and though this was a far call from a traditional golf movie, Odyssey had never been scared to think and market outside the box. After reading through the script it was evident that the movie would sit alongside titles like Caddy Shack and Vikash made the pitch.

“I have a faint memory of Vikash coming into my office and telling me about this opportunity to make a hockey stick putter for an Adam Sandler movie. At the end of our conversation I think I said something like we would do it if 1) we put an insert into the front of the blade like our existing product line 2) have the Odyssey logo and name on the back” – Michael Magerman (President Odyssey Sport Inc.)

Vikash worked alongside David Duffy, Production Manager of Odyssey, on the putter and sent a finished product away to Dennis. It would receive the green light and the team made 5.

“If I recall correct we made 3 of the putters for the movie and kept 2 in the office should something arise while filming” – Vikash Sanyal (Vice President Marketing Odyssey Sport Inc.)

Leading up to the release of the film Vikash recalls requesting a pre-screen or VHS of the movie in hopes of settling his nerves and confirming he made the right call. He wasn’t exactly sure how this would help but the nerves were alive and well on release day as the Odyssey team made the 20-25 minute drive south from the Carlsbad offices to the theatre in Del Mar.

“When the theatre lights came on I remember Michael coming over and giving me a big hug”. – Vikash Sanyal (Vice President Marketing Odyssey Sport Inc.)

Happy Gilmore hit theatres February 16, 1996 just 2 months prior to Nick Faldo’s 1996 Masters using the Odyssey Dual Force Rossie II mallet putter – the companies first major win on tour.

“We knew it was just a matter of time. We had several major championships on the Senior and LPGA tour; many PGA tour victories. We were confident it was just a matter of time. So much so that we had a full page advertisement already laid out and ready to run in the Wall Street Journal. We ran that ad when Nick won”. – Michael Magerman (President Odyssey Sport Inc.)

One year later Odyssey and Callaway reached an agreement on acquisition and the team parted ways. Fortunately, nothing arose during the filming of the movie and the two putters found new homes. Michael’s hangs out in his garage to this day while Vikash’s wenting missing during a house move a few years later. I can only assume it was Jesse’s Moving Co.

“Someone out there has a great keepsake. Fortunately, I got to hold on to the memories.” – Vikash Sanyal (Vice President Marketing Odyssey Sport Inc.)

If you’re in Winnipeg Happy Gilmore kicks off the Movies on Memorial festival on August 6th. If you have money to burn you can grab the putter off eBay now.

Afternoon Well Spent | The Game of Wolf

The sun is on the horizon, rays glistening off the dew perched on that creeping bentgrass. The phone buzzes and your squad has just rolled up in the driveway with the clubs, cooler and a wad of cash in the their back pockets. Tee time is at 9am and you’re ready to harness your inner 2000 Tiger Woods (a far cry from last weeks Charles Barkley performance).

The game today is Wolf.

Wolf is a strategic four player golf betting game that that creates a different team or match-up scenario on every hole of the course. On each hole one golfer takes on the title of Wolf and chooses whether to play the hole out in gutsy 1-vs-3 fashion, or to partner up and play 2-vs-2.

First, determine the hitting order for the day, one through four. If you get to the course early this can be determined by some sort of putting competition on the practice green or you can throw fists in some sort of rock, paper, scissors affair. Whatever the determined order is, it will remain the same and roll over during course of the round, alternating tee shots (so if you are 1st to tee off on 1 you will be 4th on hole 2, 3rd on hole 3, 2nd on hole 4 and pack at 1st on hole 5).

On each hole, the first to tee off is designated as the “Wolf”. He/she will hit their ball and then proceed to watch the other golfers hit their tee shots. The Wolf must decided after each tee shot is hit if he selects that person as his partner. Once the next person hits the previous person is not available as a partner.

If the Wolf doesn’t like any of the other drives or feels he has a good chance to win the hole out-right, on his/her own, they can go at it alone and face off against the other three golfers for that hole. The side with the better ball score wins the hole (single best hole score – if the Wolf scores 5 and the others put up respective scores of 5, 7 and 4 they would beat the wolf with a low score of 4).

Example: if player A (Wolf) hits his drive. Then player B proceeds to blast it into the rough. Player C is up next, and hits a bomb down the centre of the fairway the Wolf may decided to partner up with C before player D tees off. Once player D tees off, player C is not available as a partner. If the Wolf claims a partner on the hole, then it is 2-vs-2 match for the hole, the wolf and his claimed partner against the other two golfers.

On every hole, the side with the lowest better ball score wins the hole. If it is 2-vs-2 then the golfers on the winning side each win the betting unit. But if it is 1-vs-3, the Wolf wins double or loses double.

Example: Let’s say the betting unit is $1.

– If the Wolf partners, for a 2-vs-2 hole, then the golfers on the losing side both pay $1 to each of the golfers on the winning side. (We’re using $1 just because it’s easy, obviously Wolf winnings/losings can add up, so be careful where you set the bet.)

– If the Wolf plays the hole alone, then the Wolf wins $2 (double the bet) from each of the three golfers on the other side, or loses $2 to each of them.

If it’s 2-on-2, then the golfers on the winning side each win the betting unit. But if it’s 1-on-3, the Wolf wins double or loses double.

A tie score on a hole in Wolf is typically declared a wash—no winner, no loser, no carryover, no money changing hands.

Wolf strategy is as much about self-confidence as it is about faith in a partner. A good player will go it alone as often as possible, especially on par 3s and par 5s.

With four people in the playing group this would mean an unfair advance for holes 17 and 18 given the rotation can only go through part way. What do you do in Wolf with those two remaining holes?

From Chi Chi’s book: “Because the 17th and 18th holes are left over after four turns of the rotation, the player in last place is generally given the courtesy of teeing off first and being the wolf on the final two holes.”

Want to add a twist or two.

– Add the ‘Lone Wolf’. You can announce before anyone tees off on that hole that you are playing the hole 1-vs-3. This decision triples the bet.

– Along with each hole wager you can add an overall round wager or even front 9, back 9 wager. This forces you to monitor hole wins and adds another layer of strategy.

– If you’re not too in the bag you can have a side game of “Bingo Bango Bongo” going. This game is based on achievements and being the first to do something on each hole. The first player on the green gets a bingo. The closest to the pin when all four balls are on the green is a bango. The first in the hole is a bongo. Each one is worth a predetermined amount (maybe $1 each from each player). If one player does all three first, then that player wins double.

And most importantly. You will want to be using these.

S/S 19 Pop-Up

Join us for the launch of Spring/Summer 19 on May 3rd-5th at 807 Corydon Ave hosted by our friends at the Peg Authentic.

Friday, May 3 – 11am – 7pm
Saturday, May 4 – 11am – 5pm
Sunday, May 4 – 12pm – 5pm

The Humble Masterpiece | History of the Hoodie

The hooded sweatshirt is one of the most iconic menswear wardrobe staples ever created. For almost 100 years it has solidified itself as an essential participant in daily life. Accompanying our bodies on trips to the gym and grocery, our workplace and dressing down a social evening out with friends.

When asked to describe the hooded sweatshirt, Senior Design curator of MoMA Paola Antonelli, refers to the fashion staple as “the humble masterpiece”.

Like many utilitarian garments, the hoodie is very basic in its design but in this simplicity it has offered a canvas of unending possibilities. The hoodie has graced the high-fashion runways of Paris Fashion Week to the order forms of local high school athletic programs. Turn on the TV and you might catch Bill Belichick hiding under the dome of his chopped sleeve fleece or Kanye dodging the lenses of TMZ in his latest Yeezy creation.

The earliest “hoodies” can be dated back to ancient Greek and Rome. In medieval Europe Monks wore tunics with hoods (then known as “cowls”) and labourers wore capes with hoods known as “chaperon”. It is widely believed that the short cape (“capa”) was imported to England in the 12th Century during the Norman Conquest, as the cape was particularly common in Normandy. Interestingly enough the word “hood” derives from the Anglo-Saxon word “höd” which has the same root as the word “hat”.

During the 1930’s Rochester New York bothers Abraham and William Feinbloom found themselves at the helm of Knickerbocker Knitting Company (later to be known the world over as Champion Sportswear) attempting to develop a garment that would offer athletes and labourers protection from the elements. They would first take the crewneck and introduce elastic cuffs and waistband in an effort to trap and harness the heat. The next logical step, the attachment of a hood, would lead us to the modern day hoodie (though at that time referred to as the ‘side-line’ sweatshirt). The development of the hooded sweartshirt lead to an agreement with the Michigan Wolverines to produce uniforms for their teams. The hoodie would soon after be adopted by the US Military Academy to be used during training exercises and physical education classes.

In the mid 1970s and early 1980’s the hood would transition its associations, aligning itself within the inner circles of hip-hop and skate and be adopted by youth-driven communities. Depicted in the 1976 classic, Rocky, the hoodie became symbolic of hard knocks, work ethic and working class and enter into mainstream fashion.

The hoodie is a garment with unrivalled ability. For some it serves as a cloaking instrument, offering anonymity and concealment. For some it simply can be boiled down to comfort. For others it’s a pretence of protection. On the flip side of the spectrum, the hoodie has become an object associated with tragedy and instillment of fear. It has represented accomplishment and hard work and at the same time become a national symbol of injustice – early renderings of the unabomber to the tragedy of Trayvon Martin. In 2015, Oklahoma state representative Don Barrington went as far as to proposed a bill to criminalize wearing a “robe, mask or other disguise” in public that would “intentionally conceal the wearer’s identity”, a bill which was criticized as an attempt to criminalize the wearing of the hoodie.

And like many garment before it, it has been adopted and adapted. From traditional fits to the here and now trends of boxier silhouettes and over-sized fits made popular by a bounty of street style stars. It ranges from “how is that possible” Walmart prices of $9.99 (a comparable cost to a slice of pizza and drink) to emblazoned $3,0000 Gucci hoodies (the equivalent of a couple mortgage payments).

The person in power once wearing the suit is now the bodyguard and the person concealed to his right, dodging the bright lights under the cotton jersey with drawstrings pulled tight, the person of power.

Here’s our most recent take on this iconic silhouette.

Conference Hoodie | 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective

Conference Hoodie | 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective

The 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Conference hoodie is available in Navy and Black 400gsm heavy-weight cross grain cut 100% cotton fleece. They are accented with a 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Voak logo on centre chest.

3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective is the pioneer in developing the science behind retroreflection and has been advancing the technology in new and groundbreaking ways for over 70 years.

Retroreflectivity helps the eye perceive objects in low-light conditions when illuminated by a light source. In more scientific terms, retroreflection occurs when light rays are returned in the direction from which they came. Retroreflective materials appear brightest to an observer located near the original light source. Since very little light is scattered when the light is returned, retroreflective materials enhance the contrast of the wearer for an observer located near the original light source.

It is available now for $160 exclusively on

Time Out | Adam Lowry

We caught up with Winnipeg Jets forward, Adam Lowry, to chat his go to recipe in the kitchen, pre-game jam and his favourite memory growing up the son of long time NHL left winger, Dave Lowry. You can follow Adam at @adam.lowry.

Dinner with any athlete past or present.

Tiger Woods.

Most memorable moment as a Winnipeg Jet.

Scoring my first NHL goal against Carolina.

Atop the bucket list.

A lot of places I want to visit – The UK and Mediterranean first though.

You know your way around the kitchen. Go to recipe.

The best mash potatoes ever recipe. Or sugar cookie bars.

Majority owner of any professional sports team.

New England Patriots.

Sum up your fantasy football season in 3 words.

Injuries screwed me.

Organize a concert with 5 acts.

I cheated and went with 6.

Garth Brooks


Red Hot Chili Peppers

Lady Gaga


Third Eye Blind

Favorite game day, drive to the rink song.

Ric Flair Drip – Offset.

Best road trip playlist song.

Post game flight…Always Remember Us This Way – Lady Gaga.

Best read of 2018.

Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari

Best going to work with Jungle Dave story.

Going on the ice with him after they won the Western Conference Final in 03/04 with the Flames.

Best Instagram follow.


Top 3 recipients of the Four Broncos Memorial Trophy

Joe Sakic, Jarome Iginla, Cam Ward.

Range Rover or G-Wagon? Aventador or 488 Spider? Nike or adidas? Barstool or Bardown? Happy Gilmore or Superbad? TSN or Sportsnet? Blue Jays or Cardinals? Worse – Broken wrist or mono?

Ranger Rover, Aventador, Both – oops, Barstool, Superbad, don’t make me pick haha. Mono.


Time Out | Colin Wilson

We caught up with Colorado Avalanche forward and Winnipegger, Colin Wilson, to chat bucket lists, playlists and his favourite James Neal story. You can follow Colin at @colinwilson89.

True or False: Your grandfather is largely credited for recruiting Anders Hedberg and Ulf Nilsson from Sweden to the Winnipeg Jets during the WHA days?

True, he recruited them while practicing medicine in Sweden.

Most memorable moment from your time as a Terrier at BU.

Winning the National Championship, we were down 3-1 with 1-minute left, tied it up and won in OT.

Hardest you’ve laughed during your time in the NHL.

When Patrick Eaves bit it and went down in the corner during a shoot out.

Best James Neal story.

After every shift he would tell me how open he was, he was 7/11, always open.

The funniest chirp heard during a game.

A teammate told one of the Sedin brothers that his brother was extremely ugly.

Four best players in the NHL right now.





Best 7th overall pick since 2008: Nazem Kadri, Jeff Skinner, Mark Scheifele, Mat Dumba, Darnell Nurse, Clayton Keller?


A movie about the life and times of Colin Wilson hits theatres. It’s called what and you are played by who?

Kind of fast, not too furious, played by the late Paul Walker.

The gram would say you have a passion for travel and adventure. Where or what is atop your bucket list?

I plan to travel around the globe at the end of my career, my top spots are Peru, Patagonia, Norway, India, Bali and Japan.

Organize a concert with 5 acts

Pearl Jam

Kendrick Lamar


Kanye West


Best road trip playlist song.

Cocaine Jesus – Rainbow Kitten Surprise

Best read of 2018.

The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins

Best Instagram follow.


Best going to work with Carey story.

When he used to tell kids at the camp to play safe hockey by using a TPS Rubber (for people who remember that stick).

It’s #flowbackthursday and you have to be enshrined by one hair style. You chose: Monarchs curls, Hobey Baker Presentation Night finesse, Draft day frosted tips or 2017 Stanley Cup Finals flow?

Monarchs curls, any picture of my draft day frosted tips needs to be destroyed.

Video game rate yourself (0 to 100)

Shot: 80

Beard game: 90

Chirps: 10

Culinary Skills: 10

Playlist: 100

Game Day Attire: 95

If you could interview any athlete who would it be.

Roger Federer

Boxing Day Sale

One day only capitalize on our Boxing Day Sale.

For all orders of $100 receive a free script keychain

For all orders of $200 receive a free toque

For all orders of $300 receive both a toque and towel.

Must be before tax and excluding shipping. All orders of $200 or more qualify for free shipping within Canada and the US.

Please allow an addition 2-3 days for packing and shipping.

Fall/Winter Pop-Up

Fall/Winter Pop-Up

To commemorate the release of our inaugural collection we will be hosting a holiday pop-up at 300 Ross in the heart of the historic garment and manufacturing district.

Doors will open December 13th with the shop running through end of day on December 15th. Inside you will find the first collection in its entirety including our Canadian made offering. Come on out and browse the collection, stay for a visit or just loiter in the space. We are excited to share with you the items and products we have been meticulously working on for the better part of a year and share some stories from along the way.

December 13, 2018 – 11am-7pm

December 14, 2018 – 11am-7pm

December 15, 2018 – 10am-5pm

The pop-up is located next to Hut K in the Hut K Event Space with private entrance at 300 Ross Ave.

We look forward to seeing you there.

Player Introductions.

Player Introductions.

Voak Sportswear was founded in the spring of 2018 upon a foundation for creating wearable, well-considered, elevated basics. Each collection we bring to market is a reflection of our own ideals that are firmly influenced by the practicality of sportswear. Through our design process we strive to create timeless and versatile apparel that allow us, and you our customer, the ability to curate a comprehensive and effortless wardrobe.

Every garment and product exemplifies our commitment to exceptional workmanship, ingenuity and quality. Our garments and product offerings strive to be simplistic in nature, meticulous in detail and practical in functionality.

The core assortment of our collections are manufactured and sourced in Canada. From the cut and sew of our garments to the sourcing of our highly sought after fabrications like our heavy weight 400gsm fleece and versatile 200gsm 100% ring spun combed cotton, both proudly milled in Canada. By keeping the core of what we do in our own backyard we maintain the ability to be hands-on ensuring consistency, quality and fit. We are proud to be a part of the rich manufacturing history in Canada and partner with the skilled craftsmen and women that share the same core values, work ethic and integrity, that accompany us as creators, athletes and fathers.

It is a great pleasure to have you a part of the team as we set forth to tell a story that is uniquely ours.