The NFL’s newest young stars stepped out in designer gear at the start of the 2022 NFL Draft in Las Vegas on Thursday night.
After two years of hybrid formal dressing at home and at the draft venue, this year’s talent spree focused on bespoke tailoring, including suits from Dolce & Gabbana and a number of designer brands. luxury designer shoes, such as Louis Vuitton and Alexander McQueen. .
More remarkable than the labels is how each top pick has created its own style moment with deep stories and nods to culture, family and alma maters.
Grayscale’s BJ Gray and Ian Pierno designed New York Jets draft pick Garrett Wilson’s two-tone suit which the athlete paired with Prada boots. Designer Adonis Jennings has put together meaningful bespoke suits for Ikem Ekwonu, the North Carolina State offensive tackle who was picked sixth in the draft by the Carolina Panthers, and Michigan defensive end Aiden Hutchinson, who was drafted by the Detroit Lions.
Ekwonu wore a white double-breasted tuxedo with a subtle monochrome pattern and green and white striped cuffs and lapels nodding to his Nigerian roots, and Hutchinson wore a black tuxedo, also with a subtle pattern and an inner lining that had protests that he has logged over the past five years. Both players also sported Hublot watches.
Jameson Williams, another Detroit Lions draft pick from Hutchinson, stepped out in Louis Vuitton sneakers to match his crimson Alabama suit; Kayvon Thibodeaux, the defensive end drafted by the New York Giants from the Oregon Ducks, wore a black Dolce & Gabbana suit with ruby crystals, and New York Jets 2nd pick Jermaine Johnson wore a tuxedo jacket patterned gold.
This year, the players especially stood out with their accessories. Washington Huskies player Kyler Gordon wore McQueen sneakers, and University of Cincinnati corner Ahmad Garner, who also joined the Jets, duplicated his viral sauce chain and jewelry and sneakers Spiked Christian Louboutin.
Mississippi State Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Charles Cross caused a stir in the Travis Scott x Fragment Air Jordan 1 sneakers and, according to stylist and creative director Kesha McLeod, Cross’ suit from athlete-favorite designer Waraire Boswell assembled in 72 hours.
“I bumped into Charles a few weeks ago and he showed me the suit he was wearing” at the draft, McLeod said. “A few days later he found out the suit he had on was going to fall out and he needed another suit.”
McLeod, who has clients including Serena Williams and PJ Tucker, called in Boswell and tailor Soyoung Shin to work on the new suit Cross wore on the red carpet, a black and white gingham style with blue accents to match his sneakers. He also wore a Jason of Beverly Hills black mamba lapel pin, Chanel pearls and a Rolex presidential watch.
“It’s important to have an amazing tailor who understands costume construction,” McLeod said. “We had three-hour FaceTime try-ons and went through every detail. Charles is a great boy and he understood men’s suits. Sometimes you have to educate the guys, but he practiced getting up, putting the hat on. It helped with the fit and we adjusted the armhole or the biceps because we knew how he moved on stage.
McLeod thinks the draft was very personalized, but rookies played it safe this year, opting for details inside suits. But overall, the next generation of gamers know what they want, even at a relatively young age.
“With designer sneakers in different sizes, sometimes as tall as 13 and 17, styles are easily accessible to this generation,” she said. “They can get what they want and social media influences everyone. They know what they want. »
And the media is also paying more attention to the draft, according to McLeod.
“I met an editor who doesn’t cover sports at all, but said she had the Met Gala, the Billboard Awards and the NFL Draft and she mentions the draft as a pivotal moment style means the world is watching.”