Tuesday, December 8, 2015

From Sports Stars to Designers

by Kayla Currin

Professional athletes get a lot of recognition for what they accomplish in their sport. However, sometimes they do not get a lot of recognition for what they do outside of the sport. Some professional athletes have been known to spend all of their money from their contracts on cars, houses, and other materialistic items. On the other hand some athletes have taken their money and turned into an entrepreneur by starting businesses. Some of these ventures become extremely successful as where others do not. The ones who seem to become successful are those of athletes who stay in the public eye on and off the court. Some of these popular sports stars to designers include David Beckham, Lance Armstrong, and Michael Jordan. Some of the lines that are not as well-known include lines by Steve Nash and John Salmons.

Photos via CNBC

What Makes a Pro Athlete Different from Other Designers?

So what does make a professional athletes designs so different of that from other designers? For one any professional athlete who is active in a sport has a fan base already, these fans generally follow what their favorite athletes do. Having this plethora if followers already puts the athlete ahead of other designers. Secondly, many well-known designers or brands look to collaborate with professional athletes because they know it could be beneficial expose an athletes fans to their product/brand. 

Also, athletes are able to bring a different perspective to designers when collaborating. Professional athletes tend to create things that they themselves would wear. For instance, John Salmons collaborated with Sherman Brown and they created an exquisite tailored line that includes sizes for men who are tall like an NBA player. David Beckham has been known to be an Armani underwear model. However, in February 2012 he launched a collection of undergarments in H&M that he had designed. These ideas produced by athletes definitely set them apart from other designers.

John Salmons (photo via CNBC)

Professional Athletes' Position within the Fashion Industry

I believe professional athletes do have a future in the fashion industry. Because they are always in the public eye, everything they do has an impact on fans. If they are seen wearing something fans are going to be curious as to wear they got that outfit or a particular item. This natural curiosity will lead to the promotion of the items. It is becoming more popular for designers to collaborate with athletes. This opportunity of collaborations for athletes gives them and inside view of what it takes to design a collection. This in turn gives an athlete a chance to design without placing a lot of time and money into the design process. I personally am excited to see what collaborations or individual lines that professional athletes come out with. I encourage everyone to keep up with their favorite athletes to see if they do any collaborations with clothing brands.

Kayla Currin is a senior fashion merchandising major at Middle Tennessee State University.