The 7 Line calendar heats up Mets offseason


| tcullen@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen
THE COURIER/Photo by Terence M. Cullen

The 7 Line’s Darren Meenan (center) and Lizy Saroyan (far left) with some of the clothing company’s 2013 calendar girls at a launch party at McFadden’s Citi Field.

A few things happened for the Mets on opening day 2010: the team won; McFadden’s Bar at Citi Field opened its doors for the first time; and Darren Meenan officially started The 7 Line.

Three seasons later, the clothing line and the popular pub came together to celebrate The 7 Line 2013 calendar, adorned with some of the prettiest Met fans in the tri-state area.

The 7 Line, staffed by Meenan and longtime friend Lizy Saroyan, has taken off over the last two-and-a-half years, celebrating the culture of the team and the loyalty that makes Mets fans who they are.

Like the tradition of getting fan input on a new product, Meenan said he let fans vote on who would make the calendar, tracing IP addresses to ensure that selection was fair.

“The idea was, I don’t exclude anyone from trying out,” Meenan said regarding who made the 12 spots. “The fans actually voted on who would make the top 12. The first year was like a trial run, we weren’t sure what to expect. But…we knew it would definitely be something we’d want to keep doing.”

Last year, around 30 women tried out, he said, and the launch party was held at the significantly smaller McFadden’s in New York City. This year, the much bigger venue reflected the growing following of the line.

More than 50 striking young women tried out to fill in the 12 roster spots on the calendar. Courtney Fay, who will adorn the September page, was thrilled to be a part of something that was still so new, all the while so popular.

“It’s a really awesome experience,” she said. “It’s not something that everybody can say that they’ve done. There’s so many Mets fans, and there’s a lot of girls trying out for it. It’s an honor to be in it, to be honest. Especially to be in the second one: it’s so new, it’s still up and running…it’s really awesome.”

But while there was plenty to celebrate as The 7 Line christens another year of fandom, the brand has also given back in recent weeks. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, the small staff of two began drafting a T-shirt that not only sought to bring all New Yorkers together— regardless of their team allegiances — but lend a helping hand. The calendar launch party also took in supplies for victims that were later brought to shelters, and a donation bucket for Sandy victims was passed around.

Meenan started sketching the shirt while having lunch at the Bayside Diner the Saturday after the storm. He had a computer design later that afternoon and the shirts went on sale the following morning.

All revenue from the “uNitY” T-shirts will go directly to relief efforts in Queens for Sandy victims. So far, around $17,000 has been raised to go toward Sandy relief.

“We will be splitting the money up and donating it to different local charities,” Meenan said. “Being that The 7 Line is a New York brand we wanted to directly give back to our neighbors who were affected.”

Saroyan likewise said the pair wanted to do something that would help Queens, while bringing together the community.

“It’s tragic when things happen like that, and especially when it’s so close to home,” she said, “and we wanted to help and we know that with such a crowd and such a following, we were able to make something that somebody could hold on to, like a T-shirt, and also help out.”