Miami Heat fans looking to show their team spirit through style have plenty of local options these days.
Instagrammer and Kendall resident Michael Guerrero has tapped into the Miami Heat fashion phenomenon after creating a popular Instagram page called @InstaHEAT_co and accumulating 23,000 followers in a year.
“When I first started the Instagram page, I did it as a fan and just posted images of Heat players and I grew a big following," said Guerrero, 29. “I decided after the Heat won the championship last year that it was time to turn InstaHeat into an official brand by making a T-shirt and selling it [via the social media network]”, he said. So he recruited some of his friends like Santiago Rompotis, 29, to invest in his idea and for pal Oscar Gonzalez, 29 to model his creations and offer his creative input in the design.
The tee that launched the company was based on a quote player Lebron James said to a reporter regarding how it felt to win the NBA Championship. “When he said 'It's about damn time' in an interview I knew I had to get it on a shirt,” recalled Guerrero. The tee was inscribed with the quote and featured a trophy image. Their followers bought them up. The success of the top was short-lived, however, when Guerrero got a phone call from an NBA representative telling him to take down the shirt because he wasn’t allowed to use any logos from the Heat. In fact, Guerrero can’t even use the word “Heat” or any logos affiliated with the team.
InstaHeat ladies tees. (photo by Alexander Tamargo)
“It’s caused us to become really creative with our shirt designs,” he said. His designs utilize numbers and wordplay instead of official logos. “I still check in with the NBA representative that told me to take down my first shirt. He is really nice on guiding me with what I can and can’t do,” he said.
On average, InstaHeat sells up to 60 shirts a day at its site www.instaheat.co/shirts. Future plans for the line include becoming a lifestyle brand. “I first want to make InstaHeat well known in Miami and then have it become a bigger brand nationwide. It’s not just going to be sports. It’s going to be Miami lifestyle brand."
Peace Love World Heat designs.
Another Miami brand, Peace Love World, creates a new shirt for every game the Miami Heat plays. Renowned for their active wear creations and for suiting up celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Britney Spears, the label has officially teamed up with the Miami Heat on the venture. At the moment, there are seven tee-shirts sold exclusively at the American Airlines Arena’s Heat store. All the tees are inscribed with the words “I am Miami Heat” and feature different designs. There’s a metallic version, a white long sleeve with a peace sign, a heart shape and Miami Heat logo and several V-neck options. The tees are unisex and are also available for children.They start at $35 for adults and $30 for children.
Sportiqe retro Miami Heat Grateful Dead T-shirt.
For the fashionistas who like retro looks, Sportiqe offers unisex Heat gear with vintage and rock-n-roll inspired prints. They have the original Heat themed tee that launched in 1988, a Grateful Dead dancing bear with the Heat logo and various silhouettes from sweats to raglan tops. Sportiqe is available at Bloomingdale’s and local South Miami and Aventura shop Tupelo Honey as well as online at www.Sportiqe.com.