Fashion and sports are two categories that aren’t usually linked. I work at a sports television station, where the production crew’s uniform consists of sweats, oversized t-shirts, jeans, and jerseys. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have make-over aspirations for most of my co-workers.
Lately, the athletes we cover are stepping up their fashion game. It’s amusing to hear my co-workers comments on sartorial matters but they’re finally taking an interest in fashion. Male models don’t sell to guys who are more into their fantasy roster than photo shoots. Menswear brands are finally taking notice and bringing in athletes to endorse more than sneakers.
A notable example of an athlete as a model and muse is New York Ranger and Pickering native, Sean Avery. During the season, he’s known as a super pest who scores the occasional goal. Off the ice, he’s a fashion maven. He’s interned with Vogue-his experience is now a screenplay, and attends fashion shows front row with Anna Wintour. Ranger teammates have hilarious stories of Sean’s fashion influence and shopping trips. He’s guest edited Men’s Vogue and written for AskMen.com. Sean’s done all he could from a fashion media perspective.
Enter Commonwealth Utilities, a New York City menswear brand by Canadian Anthony Keegan and Australian Richard Christiansen. They signed Sean to serve as a design collaborator and marketing pitchman for one year. He received a percentage of sales and clothing as compensation. It was a first for an athlete to do more than model, but also to design and create. While Avery’s contract was not renewed, he did generate press and excitement for the brand. Does he have any design talent? Who knows, but a man who kicks ass, dates actresses and can dress you impeccably, was a winning marketing combination.
Perhaps the fashionable athlete is our generation’s renaissance man: the ruggedly handsome ideal. Would you be more inclined to buy a suit from New York Ranger than a male model? Are there any athletes whose style you’d like to emulate? Come in to Gotstyle or tweet me and we can help you become a fashion MVP.
Megan Wilson is the NBA fashion and style writer for Nothing Easy as well as an Assignment Editor at The Score. She also works as a fashion stylist and personal shopper and maintains a blog on sports and style called She Got Game. You can reach her on Twitter (@shegotgame).