AC78 and Paolini Garment Company Collaboration Overview
Aurelien Collin and Tom Paolini had their first meeting in 2010 when Mr. Paolini was selected to design and make custom suits for the Sporting Kansas City players, coaches and owners to wear on game day and for special events. It was apparent early on for Tom, Aurelien had a passion and more than a slight interest and awareness for fashion. During his fitting, Aurelien selected the details for his suit with care, most importantly the fit: tapered sleeve, pegged trousers cut just above his shoes.
Fast forward to the 2011 when, in the Field Club after a game, Tom approached Aurelien to offer a compliment on the patent leather shoes he was wearing, and to talk more about the appreciation of style and the fashion courses Aurelien was taking remotely in Paris. Tom recommended they talk about how Aurelien could show his tailoring skills and put his fashion knowledge to work.
After many cappuccinos, lunches and the occasional glass of wine, they decided the best way for them to bridge the worlds of professional soccer and fashion – and in the spirit of Kansas City’s focus on philanthropy - was to direct their project towards a non-profit in the arts. They concluded that their collaboration would be to put together a one-of-a-kind experience for a charity auction and they both gravitated towards the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Conservatory of Music and Dance’s “Crescendo” event at the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts. Aurelien would design a custom suit that was donated by Tom and include tickets to a Sporting Kansas City game with a tour of Sporting Park by #78 himself.
Their first collaboration provided great results with the unique auction item generating a handsome donation for the Crescendo event and the eventual winner, an award-winning Kansas City architect, having a stunning new look and experience to share. That success coupled with the passion for updating the menswear available in Kansas City (and across the U.S.) inspired them to find more ways to continue their partnership.
Aurelien debuted his first suit design (for his own closet) during the nationally televised MLS 36 on NBCSports in early July of 2013. The suit being a single breasted, 2-button, 2 ½” notch lapel, ultra-slim fit, Prince of Whales plaid pattern suit with what Aurelien calls “clear blue” (and what Tom refers to as “sky blue” lining). During this taping, the President and Co-Owner of Sporting Kansas City tapped Aurelien to design a suit for the upcoming MLS All-Star game being hosted in Kansas City, with their goal to have the President as the best-dressed of all the GM’s in town for the festivities.
Currently, the duo is attacking their latest project, which will be their most ambitious yet; a fashion show during the MLS All-Star Week at the Power & Light District in front of thousands there to participate in the festivities. They are collaborating, with Aurelien as the designer and and Tom as creative advisor and suit maker, to design and make over 20 looks to be modeled off by fellow Sporting Kansas City players, as well as the two men themselves.