How two young men from Akron created the most notorious hat on Instagram
by Ali Burden
Where were you when they finally did it? When our Cavs broke the 50-year “Cleveland Curse?”
Frank Miller and Preston Clark were watching from St. V, filled with more optimism than could be previously found in the whole state—they’d taken the gamble and came with pre-made championship shirts at the ready.
And while Ohio was losing its collective mind after the historic win, Frank and Preston couldn’t keep their shirts on the shelves.
Frank and Preston, both alumni of Firestone High School and lifelong locals, literally wear their hometown pride like a badge of honor—and while most businesses know humble beginnings, especially here in Akron, Frank and Preston took striving for greatness to a whole new level when creating 7th Floor Clothing. With creative flair and unshakable focus, they’ve captured the essence of our town in a number of designs we’re dying to wear. But the show-stopping moment came in August of last year, when the one and only LeBron James himself posted two back-to-back Instagram photos sporting one of Frank and Preston’s signature hats.
Affectionately nicknamed “King Kermit,” the “Kiss the Trophy” hat features the popular Kermit the Frog tea-drinking online meme with a little twist—he wears a crown, Cavs jersey, and in his hand sits the coveted NBA Championship trophy.
Frank and Preston found out about LeBron’s legendary Instagram posts through a friend while they were having lunch—and understandably, it was kind of a big deal to friends, family and news outlets.
Like handing off the Olympic torch, Frank and Preston had passed their hat off, and after what we like to imagine as a wild ride, King Kermit appeared on ‘Bron’s brow soon after.
Just like that, two young men with a screen-printing company and a dream had just become part of Ohio’s proudest moment in half a century.
And if you think that level of publicity was a boost for the brand-new company…you’d be right. 7th Floor Clothing, though at just about a year old, has some projects coming down the pike to watch for. Along with a new collaboration with Fast Five actor Luis DaSilva, they’ve also got some things in the works to honor a recently fallen gorilla from Cincinnati, whose name I dare not repeat, but will live in infamy forever.