Isabella Escribano is the teenage girl behind Britney Grenier’s hoodies

Isabella Escribano sat on the orange couch inside her garage for more hours than she can remember, iPad in hand, creating outfit designs that she hoped would help one of her favorite basketball players.

This player, Phoenix Mercury Center Britney GreinerI was Arrested in Russia in February After customs officials said they found cannabis oil, a derivative of cannabis, in her luggage at an airport near Moscow. In May, the US government said Greiner was unjustly detained, but on August 4, she was found guilty of a drug charge in Russia and sentenced to nine years in a criminal colony. She has appealed her conviction.

Griner’s agent, Lindsay Kagawa Colas, reached out to Escribano in March to collaborate on clothing she hoped WNBA players would wear to raise awareness of Griner’s position. Kagawa Colas said she chose Escribano for two reasons: Escribano, 14, is a popular girls’ basketball player with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram, She has her own WNBA clothing brand called break the curse.

Eighth grader Escribano said she “wanted to make Britney Grenier’s shirt as loud as possible.”

Working from the garage at her parents’ home in Santa Clarita, California, Escribano and older siblings, Marco Escribano and Anthony Lizaraga, are working on a colorful theme designed by players across the WNBA this season.

The front of the design, which appears on hoodies and T-shirts, shows a smiling Greiner in a Mercury jersey with a basketball that reads “WEAREBG” – the phrase that became the rallying cry of the public campaign for her release. Griner’s shirt number, 42, is wrapped around the left side, and on the back, her first and last name are printed in large letters.

“I wanted to make sure the shirt meant something,” Isabella Escribano said. “Like, when you see it, it’s a big thing. It’s basically a statement.” She added, “What we want to do is start a conversation, like who’s wearing it supporting it, and basically saying, ‘Free Brittney Griner.

Sidney Bordonaro, who has designed clothing for many WNBA players, including Las Vegas AS guards Kelsey Bloom and Chelsea Gray, said the distinctive look of Griner’s clothing made them attractive.

“It’s just a super fly,” Bordonaro said. “Like, you can wear it to the club or to an event. It’s not like a T-shirt or, you know, just a corny T-shirt.”

Connecticut Sun point guard Jasmine Thomas packs the jersey or hoodie for every game. She said that having Griner’s face in the foreground gives the items an intense, emotional side that makes them stand out.

“I think for someone who isn’t even a fan of the WNBA, they automatically see her face, and then if they don’t already know what’s going on, they look for BG to get to know her, what she’s about, who she is, and why,” Thomas said.

Marco Escribano, 24, said 215 T-shirts and jerseys were sent to NBA players, professional athletes and coaches for free. Break the Curse and Wasserman, the agency representing Griner, split manufacturing costs ($75 for T-shirts, $80 for sweaters) and shared some of the shipping costs.

Break the Curse also sells the jersey for $120 and the sweatshirt for $150 on its website. The proceeds are used to cover the company’s portion of production and shipping costs for clothing sent to WNBA players and others. About 250 T-shirts and sweatshirts were sold; Marco Escribano said that so far hasn’t been enough to cover the costs of Break The Curse, but having players wearing the design has significantly increased site traffic and led to other merchandise sales.

The quick turnarounds of some requests were a challenge, like when Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul wanted a shirt during his team’s playoff game with the Dallas Mavericks in May.

At that time, only two shirts were made, and they were samples. One was shipped to Paul overnight, but he never got there, somehow getting lost in the delivery process. So the brothers washed the other – which they planned to keep for themselves – and shipped it to Paul, who… She wore it in Game 5 of the series.

“I was just like, ‘We’re just going to send him this, brother. “Sprinkle some cologne on him and let it go,” said Marco Escribano, laughing. “It’s crazy that Chris Paul was wearing our shirt.”

None of the family had experience making clothes before last year, and Marco Escribano said they learned new aspects of the fashion industry with each design.

The fame of Isabella Escribano attracted athletes and others to the brand. to her YouTube videos Show off the tight grip and tricky moves that earned her the nickname Jiggy. She has more followers on social media than some WNBA players, and many professional men and women basketball players have followed her journey since she was 10 years old.

Utah Jazz goalkeeper Jordan Clarkson wore her first ever design – Chicago Sky Logo Hoodie – last year, and Chance rapper wore it on stage at a concert. Plum, the ace keeper, was wearing unreleased jacket Which Escribano worked on for four months in Game 2 of this month’s Las Vegas vs Phoenix match series. The jacket featured various WNBA team logos and had “STOP WNBA HATE” in red on the inside.

Thomas, the sun keeper, remembered meeting Escribano years earlier after a game, so when she found out that “Little Isabella” was behind Griner’s design, she felt more inclined to support the brand. “I am very proud of Isabella for being able to understand and use her platform at such a young age,” Thomas said. “That’s exactly what we want to see from young girls, and she really is a role model and a leader in so many ways.”

But as the brand grows, Escribano’s primary focus is still playing basketball and getting to the WNBA when she’s not creating designs, spending most of her time in the gym, training with her. elephant handy, assistant coach for the Los Angeles Lakers, among others. She said she would keep the brand going for as long as she had a passion for it.

“There are a lot of girls like me or other people who love the WNBA and want to support the WNBA, but there’s not a lot of clothes to do that,” Escribano said. “So, I just want to give anyone who loves women’s basketball the chance to be able to buy it and wear it.”

She added, “Most of the time, I think about when I’m in the WNBA and how I won’t have to go buy clothes. I can just wear my own stuff.”

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