Steelers Fashion Show fundraiser highlights off-the-field style of players
By JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Published: Monday, Oct. 7, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Nucky Thompson, the powerful figure played by Steve Buscemi in HBO's “Boardwalk Empire,” is always impeccably dressed.
Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons admires his style.
“I like those three-piece suits he wears,” says the 6-foot-1, 235-pound Timmons. “He looks sharp.”
Timmons plans to sport a similar dapper look when he and teammates walk the runway for Steelers Nation: Black & Gold Style fashion show Oct. 11 at Heinz Field. Timmons and wide receiver Antonio Brown are honorary co-captains of the event.
“It's a big-time event and raises a lot of money to help make a difference,” Timmons says. “As players, we are happy to show our support. I support all of my teammates' charities, too. These charities are extremely important to the Rooney family.”
Timmons' personal style includes adding an extra touch like a printed pocket square or a polka-dot tie to his outfit. He will strut the runway in a suit from custom clothier Astor & Black, alongside his 5-year-old son, Lawrence Timmons Jr.
“I like to dress up nice, especially on game day,” Timmons says. “I like a nice custom suit. This show is also a good time for the fans who can see our off-the-field style.”
Brown, who orders suits from Astor & Black, embraces accessories, too.
“I am a bow-tie and fedora kind of guy,” says Brown, whose favorite stores are Saks Fifth Avenue and Barneys. “We guys like to dress up. This show helps raise a lot of money and is a great team-bonding experience.”
Brown plans to bring his young son, Antonio Brown Jr., and possibly his daughter, Antanyiah, 5.
Players and their families will walk the runway, and models will showcase fashions by Kiya Tomlin (wife of Steelers coach Mike Tomlin), Michael Kors and Robert Graham. Tuxedo Junction will provide formalwear for Steelers rookies. Nordstrom will dress the players' wives.
Since 1994, the fashion show and Taste of the Steelers, a food event in September, have raised more than $5 million. This event benefits two Pittsburgh charities: the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and the Cancer Caring Center, says Greta Rooney. She and her husband, Art Rooney II, and Kiya and Mike Tomlin are event chairmen.
“Most importantly, this event is to thank our fans who have a great sense of style whether at Heinz Field or invading another team's stadium at away games,” Greta Rooney says.
The evening is all about wearing your team's colors — from a black-and-gold jersey on game day to the finest black-and-gold silk for that special evening soiree, says Kiya Tomlin. The show's message is: Football has never been this refined, and fashion has never looked so tough.
“This is not just a show about wearing Steelers logo type of apparel,” Kiya Tomlin says. “It's about showing there's a way to show support of your team at a party or an event in a stylish way. A lot of people don't want to wear a standard jersey beyond game day. But they may want to still wear their black and gold.”
From black-and-gold jumpsuits made from jersey material, to a gold skirt and jacket set, lace gowns, striped dresses, embellished tops and shorts and so much more, the runway will be quite stylish.
“This is going to be fun for me because I have never done this many looks for one show before,” says Kiya Tomlin, who designed 16 outfits. “This will be like a New York fashion show.”
Fashion show director Demeatria Boccella and stylist Darnell McLaurin, co-founders of Utopia Model Agency, are working with the models.
“We want the guests to see football and fashion can mix,” Boccella says. “Fashion is embracing sports. Look at athletes such as LeBron (James) and Victor Cruz on the cover of GQ magazine. We need to embrace who we are with our fashion. I love the idea of sports and fashion together. I love the energy and enjoy events like this where people appreciate good style.”
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at email@example.com or 412-320-7889.
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