A GLAM SLAM TALKS NFL APPAREL, FAN FASHION FAUX PAS & BEST-DRESSED ATHLETES WITH STYLIST PHILLIP BLOCH
The NFL has celebrated the 2013 season with a range of fashion-focused initiatives. An updated NFL Women’s Apparel Campaign shot by Patrick Demarchelier, a new series of in-stadium “Style Lounges,” and a collaboration with Marie Claire to develop “The Savvy Girl’s Guide to Football,” were all part of the style-centric lineup. In addition, the league tapped celebrity stylist, Phillip Bloch, as it’s first Creative Fashion Director.
Bloch has been an integral player this season, in helping to fuse football fandom with style. He was also the force behind the “Back to Football” fashion presentation in September. The event, in collaboration with Vogue magazine, paired new team apparel with fashions from top designers, styled 33 different ways.
With the NY/NJ Super Bowl fast approaching, Bloch joined Junk Food Clothing to count down to kick-off in style. Last night, the company held an “NFL Tailgate” event together with Bloomingdales, at the retailer’s New York flagship store. Hosted by Bloch and New York Giants punter, Steve Weatherford, Junk Food’s latest collection of football themed threads were on display, including a specially designed NY/NJ Super Bowl XLVIII line, available exclusively at Bloomingdales.
A Glam Slam caught up with Phillip at the event, to talk about his role with the NFL, fan fashion faux pas, and best-dressed athletes. Check it out:
The NFL tapped you as the league’s first ever “Creative Fashion Director.” How did that come about?
Yes, I’m the first one. I do a lot of things with Vogue, I work with Vogue a lot. The NFL has a partnership with Vogue and they asked me to host an event for them last year, so I hosted their fashion show last year. We kind of did all t-shirts but with big, puffy ball skirts and we had it at the NFL Headquarters. They were so happy with what I did. They hadn’t seen it done that way and they really thought that was cool, so then they asked me to host a couple events at different stadiums, some of the Style Lounge parties. I had the idea for the concept in September to do a whole fashion show using those 33 designers and so they gave me the job. They created the job for me.
What was interesting was we had women from 16 to 60. We had every body type, we had every ethnicity. We had size 0 to 16, and just all the designers. It was very interesting to take one thing or the same kind of thing and be able to show it 33 different ways.
The Vogue fashion show and the NFL Women’s Apparel campaign married high-end attire with everyday team gear. From the casual dressers to the fanatic fashion dressers – do you have any tips for fans on how to merge luxe/designer pieces with their team apparel?
I think nowadays we break rules all the time in fashion, whether it’s white in the Winter, or whatever the old rules are. A lot of those rules are gone and I think you have to wear what feels comfortable. There’s no generalization. You have to be able to look in the mirror and say, that looks ridiculous with that, or those two silhouettes looks nice together, or those colors look good together.
When we were putting the whole show together, many things didn’t work with many things. It was interesting. I saw the dress that Lenay Dunn wore, that light green Angel Sanchez. I knew the minute I saw that dress that it was going to have a hoodie over it and I wanted the hoodie off one shoulder. Other things you had to play around with, like Vivica Fox’s outfit. We thought it was going to be one t-shirt, but it ended up being a tank top with it in the end. You wouldn’t think of putting a tank top over a gown. It just worked, that’s what worked together.
As a stylist, do you have any pet peeves when it comes to fan fashions in the stands?
There are a lot of things that make me cringe at the stadiums. They make me laugh because I love the fanaticism and the enthusiasim, and then they make me cringe as a fashion person. It’s always a bit of a contrarian issue. You have the mild fans to the fanatics. It’s the same thing with the fashion, you have people painting their faces orange. I get it, but would I do it and do I think it’s cute? Usually not. Not over 12. But I love the excitement and I think one of the things that drew me to the NFL and what was so exciting about getting to work with the NFL and to work with companies like Junk Food, is that level of fanatacism only exists at such a level, I think in music and sports. When you’re painting your face and your whole body a color and going out in a bikini in the middle of Winter, that a level of fanaticism, I was very impressed by that.
With the Super Bowl festivities coming to America’s fashion capital, are there any special events planned?
We have a really big event coming up here at Bloomingdales, where we’re doing something with the CFDA. All the different designers are doing helmets. We have an event going on at Macy’s in a little bit too. I think one of the great things about the NFL is that there’s something for every store. There’s something for the Bloomingdales customer, there’s something for a Macy’s customer, there’s something even if they had it at Bergdorfs or Barneys. It comes in all levels.
We have an NFL player [Steve Weatherford] here with us tonight. Fashion brands have been embracing NFL stars and other athletes across the sports spectrum. This is something that seems to have peaked especially in the last few years. Why do you think that is?
It’s kind of why I got into working with the NFL. I think in my career I’ve always been a little ahead of the curve. I saw this happening and I thought, this is the next frontier, the next movement in fashion. I think where it’s going is to sports. I think the NBA and the NFL are big. MLB a little. NHL a little less. And the Olympians. There are definitiely people gravitating towards the Olympians, but I think that’s in a little more of a commercial level. But CoverGirl just signed two Olympics athletes. So I think I’m at the precipice of a new fashion frontier and I like to do that.
Who are some of your best-dressed athlete picks?
Obviously I’m a big fan of Victor Cruz. Tom Brady, I think he has really great style. I’m a big fan of Amar’e Stoudemire. I think Amar’e has a great urban feel. Victor just has a great, strong style. He looks good in a suit. Amar’e is a little more trendy. Amar’e and Victor and Tom are probably my top three. I like Dwyane Wade and Reggie Bush too.
I wanted to create a clinic with the NFL and talk to players about how to dress. It’s not about the six button suits anymore, and the yellow suit. We’ll see if I come back next year or whether my role will expand. That was something I wanted to do because I feel like some of the guys could use that help. These are guys that come from small towns and suddenly they’re kicking off Fashion Week. A good friend of mine, Boris Kodjoe, has a clothing line which I suggest to a lot of the guys. You can go online and it’s built to your size. The prices are really great, it’s called ALFA.
Below are additional photos from the Junk Food Clothing “NFL Tailgate” event at Bloomingdales.