This week’s DMTV Milkshake guest is Jasmine Maietta, founder and CEO of the sports lifestyle brand round21.
Jasmine Maietta is on a mission to reshape the world of sports. As a former basketball player and branding expert for brands like Peloton, Under Armor and Reebok, Maietta knows a lot about sports equipment: regular orange basketballs, monochrome soccer balls, boring table tennis paddles. With round21 she is re-introducing all these devices as blank canvases for extraordinary visual talent. The result: a limited-edition mini backboard that was redrawn as a galaxy by former tattoo artist Cory Bailey – better known under Sneaker Cognoscenti as Customizer Sierato. A table tennis paddle, illustrated with a raised fist and the words “We Will Breathe” by Brazilian-born, LA-based artist Adhemas Batista. And a basketball created by Maietta herself in pink, yellow and a multitude of colors that represent hope and certainty.
In this episode, we asked Maietta, after starting round21, why it took so long for the sports world to make visual adjustments and which sport she thinks is most ripe for a redesign: “I think all sports equipment could do a visual makeover using it when it did brings the player’s identity to life, ”she says. “But there is something so beautiful about football: its dimensionality, the small hexagons around the ball that can serve as mini-canvases for a multitude of artists.”
From the store
Maietta also shares how round21 produced table tennis paddles with socially conscious messages – like Batista’s design – for the NBA players isolated in the COVID protective bubble last year. “This was a great opportunity,” says Maietta. “The 2020 season was not about wins and losses, it was about the larger social movement and providing players with a platform to express their voice. So they hired round21 to use the screen we had back then – ping pong paddle – as another place to express the message of social justice and mental health. “
Diana Ostrom, who has written for Wallpaper, Interior Design, ID, the Wall Street Journal, and other outlets, is also the author of Faraway Places, a newsletter about travel.
Milkshake, the first regular series from DMTV (Design Milk TV), turns the traditional interview format on its head by asking designers, creatives, educators and industry professionals to randomly select interview questions from their favorite bowl or container. During their open discussions, you will not only get an insight into their personal housewares collections, but also valuable insights into their work, their lives and their passions.