The story of the collaboration that birthed custom duffel bags and woven blankets for the cast and crew of FX's The Bear is a tale woven with threads of admiration, creativity, and camaraderie. It all began with a simple gesture that stemmed from admiration for the show's sincere homage to our hometown of Chicago, and the hospitality scene that defines it.
The origins of the collab trace back to the initial connection made when the show’s set decorator, Eric Frankel, was a guest on our hospitality podcast, Joiners. In his episode, he mentioned they would begin production of Season 2 of The Bear in just two months. As a gesture of admiration, we designed and manufactured a run of hats for the cast and crew as they embarked on the new season.
The result were black wide-wale corduroy hats adorned with the now-iconic text logo of The Bear in 3-D puff embroidery on the front. The back featured the logo of IATSE (International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees), a nod to the unwavering efforts of those who toil behind the scenes to make the show extraordinary.On the side of the hat, the words "Season 2" and "Let it rip" were elegantly embroidered—a reference to the note Mikey left for Carmy in the Season 1 finale.
Shortly after the hats were delivered to the set, we connected with the show’s costume department to provide wardrobe for Season 2. After all, it wouldn’t be an authentic Chicago restaurant show without Stock uniforms, right? We provided shirting and aprons that were altered by the show’s in-house seamstresses, which made watching Season 2 a fun easter egg hunt for the Stock team.
With just a few weeks til wrap, the show’s producers reached out asking if we could make the wrap gifts for cast and crew, so we set a meeting for them to visit our West Town showroom, which coincidentally was just a few blocks from where they were filming at the time. After a few rounds of design, we landed on two custom gifts: a woven blanket, and canvas duffle bag. We made two versions of each; one for cast/crew, and a smaller run in a different colorway for the producers. Each piece featured The Bear logo, and Season 2’s tagline: Every Second Counts. With just 3 weeks to manufacture 250 bags and 250 blankets, the tagline rang truer than ever as we called in favors with our most trusted factories.
navy for cast/crew, natural for producers
navy for cast/crew, indigo tartan for producers
Just two short months later, Season 2 of The Bear was streaming and the talk of the town. Maybe the best part of watching was seeing cameos from industry friends (Donnie Madea, David Posey, Rob Levitt, etc.) and spotting the countless bars and restaurants that make Chicago the best city to eat and drink. We’re already looking forward to Season 3 of the show, while secretly hoping the tagline is: No Rush Jobs!