While watching college athletes be selected in the NFL draft may be entertaining, what’s even more fun to watch is what goes down on the red carpet.
But what exactly is going down on the red carpet? To the naked eye it may appear to be a circus of colorful and crazy suits but behind the scenes it’s all business for fashion brands.
Before the draft players attend what’s called the NFL combine where they put their talent on full display in front of NFL scouts from every team.
But once draft day comes, these same athletes will be observed by a different set of scouts and they don’t care anything about a 40 yard dash, bench presses or how well they can handle a set of drills.
No, these scouts only care about bodies and the clothes they can envision on those bodies. These scouts are fashion labels, designers, and stylists and they only measurements they care about are the ones that go on a tech pack.
But what are they looking at exactly?
“I’m always looking at what guys coming out of college believe fashion is” said Kevin Lavelle of Mizzen + Main.
However they don’t just pick any athlete, they pick the athlete that they feel fits the culture of their brand.
Jennifer Leppla who is head of global PR and marketing at Philipp Plein says, “We really like the people who are courageous with the way they dress, people who want to make a statement and who are in your face.”
The brands aren’t the only ones who get in on the action, stylists are too.
Stylists like Rachel Johnson (@livingrachel) are the ones behind the stylish and sometimes crazy outfits we see players wearing on game day.
For stylists, the NFL draft is a perfect opportunity to earn a name for themselves. For stylists the best thing to do is grab the athletes early and work with them throughout their careers.
For the players the NFL draft is mostly about when they are getting picked and by who. But in reality the NFL draft is about more than seven rounds of tactical picks; it’s about selection of style and the business of fashion.