Fashion, music and sports has always gone together. Whether Deion Sanders wore gold rope chains and leather jackets on the stage rapping with MC Hammer or Michael Jordan and Michael Jackson appearing together in the Jam music video—you can’t have sports without a flair of music and fashion to match!
Philadelphia Eagles’ Brad Smith has worn numerous hats during his NFL career. Drafted in 2006 by the New York Jets, he’s been a kick returner, quarterback and wide receiver. To date, he is the only player in NFL history to score touchdowns by rushing, receiving, passing, on a kickoff return and on a blocked punt.
With football being both his love and profession, it takes up a bunch of his time. But it’s also not the only thing that he’s interested in. He’s also into the fashion scene. “I grew up in the church,” Smith told The Source. “All the older guys had suits on and looked nice. They had their shoes shined, their shirts were pressed, it kind of set the standard for the way you’re supposed to dress.”
Smith spent two summers interning at Men’s Health magazine while he was a member of the Buffalo Bills. As a fan of stylish rags, he wanted to gain practical knowledge of the business. “I really wanted to learn about the fashion industry and the business,” he said. “ The design—whether it be cars and watches—I wanted to learn about it.”
After the internship, he became a contributor to the publication. With fashion week in New York City this week, the Youngstown, OH native launched his “Design for Brad Smith” design competition for emerging U.S. Fashion designers. Having learned the ropes as an intern, he’s excited to pass knowledge and experience on to others. The nationwide competitions goal is discovering the next up & coming fashion designer. In addition to creating opportunities, using its established network to further the new designer’s media exposure and assist with introductions in the fashion industry.
So what advice would Brad give to participants interested in catching his attention in the competition?
“I’d tell the participants to keep it simple,” said Smith. “I like clean, classic lines, with a bit of an edge. Someone took a chance with me and I always want to pay it forward,” he said.
The prize package gives the winning designer a broad, well-rounded opportunity to learn from fashion industry professionals and garner significant exposure in the process. The total package value is worth $20,000 and includes an exclusive one-month internship with Intricate Concepts Inc. in Manhattan and a chance to score a manufacturing deal with Intricate Concepts Inc. Lastly, the winner of the competition will receive a one-year brand management representation with Destined for Success Management.
For more info on Brad Smith and his “Design for Brad Smith” competition, visit: www.designforbradsmith.com
About the Author (Author Profile)
Brandon Robinson is a contributor to the Source. He’s a digital journalist who covers pop culture and sports. You can find his work in Ebony, SLAM, MadameNoire, VIBE, Regal Radio and CBS Interactive. He is also a multimedia journalism lecturer at NJIT in Newark, NJ. You can follow him on Twitter @Scoop B.