NFL draft fashion: It's a high-stakes game
The steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum went beyond being simply a grand stage for the NFL's newest players Thursday night. They also served as a red carpet for the league's rookies determined to introduce themselves with style.
The fashion was undeniable.
The Eagles' first pick, Derek Barnett? His burgundy three-piece suit couldn't be missed. The team's newest defensive end clearly has a definitive sense of swag.
Temple University's own Haason Reddick was extremely dapper in a checked smoking jacket with maroon tie and pocket square. And those dimples!
Those of us who follow sports and fashion can't get enough of Jamal Adams' navy-and-white windowpane suit. And there is something about a man that can wear a full-on light pink suit - that the young folks are calling millennial pink - that made us all take a double take when the young John Ross officially became a Cincinnati Bengal.
"These guys want to show off their personalities off the field," said Kesha McLeod, a New York-based stylist whose client list includes with athletes Serena Williams, Andre Iguodala, and Chris Bosh. McLeod was in Philadelphia earlier this week working with NFL players and hopefuls in a gift suite.
"Press conferences, personal appearances, and yes draft days are how these young athletes get to introduce themselves," McLeod said.
These stylishly flashy introductions, McLeod said, not only help young athletes gain attention from new fans, but are also among the ways they fund endorsements early in their careers.
"Brands are meeting these athletes, too," McLeod said, and "they are sizing up personalities. Their look goes in to how they make their picks."
And the guys who showed up to show out?
" I'm all about people taking risks all the time," McLeod said. "I'm happy in the dirction is going. It makes my job easier."