February 13th, 2023

Customer Feature: Old Smoke Clothing Co.

When the creators of Old Smoke Clothing Co. first came to us with a unique vision for their apparel brand, Threadbird eagerly accepted the challenge and couldn’t wait to bring their product ideas to life!

Old Smoke Clothing Co. / Customer Feature Highlight

“Many others said no and Threadbird didn’t hesitate to figure out how to make it work.”

- Kurt Rossner
  (Founder of Old Smoke Clothing Co.) 

In their ongoing quest for a reliable screen-printing partner, the Old Smoke creators quickly grew frustrated and felt defeated by the low-quality results with other printers. Cheap shirts did not align with the vision of the brand, so it was time to narrow down their search. 

“Truly Threadbird came to us from a google search of ‘highest quality apparel partners.”

You may be asking, who and what is Old Smoke Clothing Co.?

Celebrating the ‘Sport of the Kings,’ the Old Smoke apparel brand culminates the spirit, tradition, and culture of the sport of horseracing. What sets their brand apart is the storytelling within their timeless designs and range of

“different products that have a certain synergy to racing."

Within every design that Old Smoke creates, is an intentional tribute to the sport of racing and its rich history. Partners of the brand strive to make products that not only honor the equestrian lifestyle but also reflect their innate passion for the sport. Their hope is for all of their designs to

“tell stories we love through apparel that we want to wear.”

Having grown up in an iconic racing town like Saratoga Springs, NY, horse racing is in the blood of locals like Kurt Rossner. Following his college baseball career, Kurt and his former teammate noticed a significant lack of branding within horse racing. This realization sparked an epiphany for the two friends, and thus a need for them to step up to the plate. 


“Our inspiration was born with the idea of creating something we wanted and could not find for ourselves, therefore we knew there was a need and an opportunity.”

Like many startups, Kurt Rossner and his business partner initially wanted to pursue a less expensive route to get their brand off the ground. With zero prior experience in the apparel industry under their belts, the Old Smoke partners knew they needed to start simple. 

In offering affordable products such as t-shirts and hats, they could first gauge if their ideas would ultimately work. 

Inspired by the famous founding father of the Saratoga Racetrack, John Morrissey (nicknamed ‘Old Smoke’),

"Old Smoke Clothing represents a subtle nod to our roots.”

This name stuck because the founders wanted to enable their brand with the flexibility to eventually transition into new and different types of products. Throughout their journey, the two founders of the brand have maintained all creative control of their design process, collaborating with Threadbird designers to bring their style and concepts to life. 

“What first stood out was the quality for sure, but also after 3+ years of working with Threadbird, it is truly the service they provide.”

- Founders of Old Smoke 

With the annual Kentucky Derby, the Old Smoke partners feel inspired to create and sell new custom items for the event each year. By far, Old Smoke brand's most successful products to date have been their custom button-up collection.

Ideally, the brand founders wanted to design high-quality, button-up shirts that horse racing fans could not only wear to derby events but also in everyday life. Kurt and his partner worked closely with our Threadbird team to construct one-of-a-kind button-ups with their original patterns and personalized features. These full-pattern button-ups are all designed with 95% poly and 5% spandex, to create a lightweight, flexible fit.

All of Old Smoke’s button-ups include custom apparel finishings like branded woven labels and custom patch neck tags that you won’t find anywhere else! 

The fan-favorite design from their button-up collection has been this ‘Saddle Cloth’ Button Up shirt, which has even sparked the attention of a famous Sports commentator with his tweet, 

    Arguably the greatest shirt ever made.”

In addition, Old Smoke recently created a colorful custom silk tie with this same, fun pattern as a unique accessory item to offer.

As the years have gone by, Old Smoke brand's partnership with Threadbird has continued to blossom in new and different ways with their continuous growth. In retrospect, 

“all has been made easier having a partner such as Threadbird. We provide products now that Threadbird helped us with on a custom basis, and has ultimately changed the trajectory of our business.” 

Partnering with Old Smoke Clothing Co. is truly a joy, with the creativity and passion they bring to the design table. Threadbird is thrilled to collaborate with the brand as they continue introducing innovative products to the market.

“Mainly, we want to continue to create products our particular industry has not seen. Creativity is what drives us and what we are most proud of.” 

The year 2023 is here, and so are all the cool, new Old Smoke products to come! All of Old Smoke’s merchandise can be found and purchased on their website: oldsmokeclothing.com. Tune in to @oldsmokeclothing to follow their story! 

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