Alabama running back Josh Jacobs walks the red carpet ahead of the first round at the NFL football draft, Thursday, April 25, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)AP
When the original plan to hold the draft amidst the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas had to be altered because of the coronavirus, the NFL also altered its dress guidelines for the draft prospects. Rather than custom-made power suits that scream “I made it,” this year’s NFL Draft fashion will take on more of an at-home, “this is where I started” vibe. This year, players can grab whatever outfits out of their closets they feel most comfortable in.
While some of the less fashion-minded players might welcome the reprieve from fittings and fabric selection sessions, the majority seem to be “bummed,” David August Hiel, the founder, creative director and CEO of David August said. His company has dressed draft prospects for every major sports league, and he also designed Conor McGregors “F— You” suit he wore for the Mayweather fight.
This year, David August has significantly less orders for suits than it normally does—in fact, almost every player Hiel has talked to is going casual for the draft and the majority of Auburn and Alabama players have no special plans. Hiel said that seems to be the case across the industry, and TMZ also reported that custom suit designers are seeing a serious drop in orders. But Hiel gets the sense it’s less about wanting to be comfortable in a t-shirt and more about the lack of time to create a suit.
“I think that all these guys have been looking forward to this day for their entire lives,” Hiel said. “It’s something where they can really show their personal style, and they get very excited about dressing … Even if they’re not a fashion guy, they know that this is the time to strut your stuff and stand out.”