Sure, you’ve watched and rolled your eyes from the corner of the couch, as your boyfriend yelled obscenities at the screen because his favorite football team fumbled; but you’d always perk up when your favorite tight end jetted across the field, tackling other Herculean hunks. Chances are, you didn’t know who’s on what team or what positions they played, but those brawny bods battling always got you excited about football. Imagine those same bulging biceps, ripped abs and tight buns draped in the latest Ferragamo V-neck and Dior jeans. Salivating yet? San Francisco 49er, Vernon Davis, is out to get women excited about football, beyond us staring down the players’ tight ends. Mixing up a strong cocktail of fashion and football, Vernon hopes that he will be able to merge the two worlds, maybe even dabble in design. So now Honeys, we can actually pay more attention to the gridiron gangs as Vernon takes us from running backs to runways. He’s hosted this year’s 2nd Annual Styling the Modern Man Opening Gala, where he was able to check out everything a modern man would need to maintain class and style. When Honey sat down with Vernon, he let us in on when it’s appropriate for a man to carry a murse (man purse), overrated designers, how he plans to start the love affair between fashion and football and a little more.
Honeymag: Most underrated/overrated designers?
Vernon Davis: Dolce, Gucci and Louis Vuitton make excellent accessories and leather goods, but it’s usually hit or miss with me. I’ll contradict myself here, but I got a chance to preview Gucci’s menswear Fall ‘09 and woooo! An underrated designer, in my opinion is Salvatore Ferragamo the classic loafers and dress shirts mixed with their trenches is dope.
What are three basic items that every man needs to have in his closet?
A Suit, Casual Dress Shoes, and a pair of crisp jeans.
Do you see yourself diving deeper into fashion, joining a fashion house or interning like Kanye?
I think if the right opportunity presents itself I definitely could see my diving deeper in. Maybe if I was to intern at a major fashion publication like GQ or Men’s Vogue. Also I wouldn’t shy from getting my own clothing line or becoming the face of a line. I’ve considered becoming an interior decorator full time once my football career is over.
When you’re going out without the help of a stylist, how long does it take you to get dressed?
It takes me around an hour because I have to make sure what I have on really reflects my personal style, and then it has to be perfect, or close to it.
That’s not too long for a man who cares about the way he looks. Do you get any grief from your fellow teammates for being into fashion?
Sometimes [I do], because they can’t see themselves wearing a lot of the stuff I wear. They think it’s too different, Jeans that are a tailored to my body, Swarovski crystals on the back of my jeans, the color combinations I choose and some of the sneakers that I decide to wear. I once wore a blazer that was made out of Godiva wrappers that this young designer asked me to wear. I thought it was extremely different, but that’s just the lane I’m in—separate from everyone else.
Do you have a style icon? Who?
Kanye, because he’s open to trying new things in fashion. I don’t want to dress like him, necessarily, but I admire how he takes risks and doesn’t change to how people perceive him
Football and fashion typically do not go together. How do you plan on marrying the two worlds?
Well, I definitely make sure my look is on point whenever I step out. I attend a lot of red carpet events and do quite a few on-camera appearances, so I try to wear things that will help people say, “Vernon really has style.” They already know I’m a football player, but I want to also be known for my style. So far, I’ve seen that the best way is to attend fashion-related events and become a part of that scene is to wear something that people can remember.
What have you gotten to see thus far?
I got to see the way different designers wear and make their pants. I got to see how things work behind the scenes. It was also my first time seeing organic clothes as high fashion.
How did you get involved with the Styling the Modern Man event?
I’ve been working to be known for my style, and the people organizing the event recognized that, so they asked me to host the opening night gala.
How did the event go? Any highlights of the night?
It went great. I had a great time. The highlight was teaching people there that all men, no matter their income, can be stylish. The event really let them know the importance of style and grooming these days, no matter your income or status.
Do you follow any trends or do you prefer playing around with different pieces?
Say I have two suits. I might wear them the way I bought them one time, and then the next time switch around the jackets and pants (if they look right together), or wear the jacket with jeans, etc. I’ll experiment with different types of shirts, add accessories, dress it up or dress down—depending on occasion
When is a murse appropriate? Do you carry one?
Yes, I carry one only when I am going to the beach, pool party or outdoor event.
Haha! That’s confidence, I love it! Biggest fashion don’t for a man of brawn like yourself?
Don’t try to wear the outfits you see on TV because it does not depict your individuality. Don’t wear your jackets so tight that you can’t button your jacket.
Finish this sentence. I love it when a woman wears….
High Heels because it shows off her nice legs and her feet.
What’s the best thing about fashion? The worst?
It’s great that it’s always changing and reinventing itself. I love that. I hate that they don’t have enough high fashion designers for guys with my build.
Biggest fashion purchase?
Jewelry, like my Bentley Breitling watch.
Sometimes women sacrifice comfort for fashion, would you? What would you sacrifice for fashion?
No, I don’t think I could sacrifice comfort for fashion because looking uncomfortable isn’t stylish. I give props to women for standing in heels all night. I don’t think I could.
What’s next for Vernon in the fashion world?
The next thing for me is to keep growing and getting better. I’m getting more into suits and different looks for special occasions.