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Rockhurst students put KC pride on display with Skye
May '10
Kansas City residents eager to show affection for their hometown can now puff out their chests with pride in vibrantly colored apparel from newly launched Skye Apparel. The first and only apparel company to include a KC-centric line in its collection, Skye Apparel was created by Matt Callegari and TJ Dailey, two high school friends currently enrolled at Rockhurst University.

"TJ and I both grew up here and are excited to celebrate KC and all its diverse components in a brand new way,” explains owner and spokesperson Callegari. “With Skye, we hope that people from every corner of the metro area will come together behind a Kansas City brand that everyone can identify with."

A Foundation of Professionalism
While its founders are themselves youthful in age and spirit, the Skye Apparel company stands shoulder to shoulder with older respected brands such as Zoo York and Ecko. “Some brands can churn out dozens of new designs a week if they want to, but there's no meaning behind them,” observes Callegari. “That's just how major brands flex their muscle...by flooding retailers with the most generic designs they've got.” When it comes to Skye Apparel, however, “We like to think that a lot of our goodwill comes from the fact that our tees are specifically designed for the people in the KC metro, so their appeal is much more relevant than that of major brands,” he says.

Unlike many start-ups in the apparel business, Skye has chosen to align itself with established, professional partners. The company works with a top design firm to develop concepts and takes time to perfect each design before releasing them. “Our designs are inspired by the sights and sounds of Kansas City, including its music, its people, and its history” says Callegari. "The x-factor here is that we aren't out to make generic Kansas City shirts, the key is taking the KC name and integrating it into modern styled designs that people actually want to wear," he adds.

Skye Apparel is currently available both online and in local stores, and is looking to expand. “We are currently in five locations in Kansas City and are talking with nearly ten additional merchants around the metro about offering our shirts in their stores,” reports Callegari.

Unity for the Community
“Skye Apparel is more than a clothing company; it's a movement to bring people together,” Callegari points out. He notes that the Kansas City metropolitan area is one of the most widespread in American, straddling the border of Kansas and Missouri, with more than two million residents in 15 different counties. So in a quest to promote KC unity, the new Skye Clothing apparel line includes eight 'signature' KC-centric t-shirts, with names such as KC Classic and KC Crown, and printed with logo art including slogans such as “I Am KC” and “Kansas City 913/816.”

Skye Apparel's KC-focused clothing fosters a sense of community and encourages residents to celebrate the shared identity that is sometimes lost due to the city's geographic size. “And we have expansion plans to introduce the Skye brand to other locations around the country with a similar goal of unifying and representing U.S. cities like never before,” he reports.

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