Welcomed by a crowd of fashionistas and Seahawks fans alike, Russell Wilson launched his clothing line Good Man Brand at Nordstrom on Monday.
The room was divided. On the right were fashionistas, many in fashion’s black. On the left stood Seahawks fans faithfully donning Russell Wilson’s number 3 jersey.
The crowd gathered in the downtown Nordstrom Monday morning for the launch of the Seahawks quarterback’s new clothing line, Good Man Brand, which Nordstrom is carrying in its stores. And, well, for a chance to see the man himself.
It was only a matter of time that an athlete as savvy as Wilson had his own fashion label, but it turns out that he’s a closet fashion geek. As he gamely fielded questions from Nordstrom co-president Pete Nordstrom, he admitted that in addition to obsessively collecting photos of homes around the world, he also collects photos of clothing. When the time came to collaborate with co-founders Dean Holly, Scott Bonomo and Tom Bonomo, he said, “I was already prepared — I had already saved photos and pictures of things I wanted to do.”
Wilson said not to expect images of his mug modeling the clothes; he didn’t want it to be “celebrity driven whatsoever.”
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“I’m not gonna be the guy in the pictures,” he said. “I have a day job.”
The crowd giggled.
The clothes, which ranged from the casual zip-up white jacket that Wilson was wearing, to dress shirts with checkered patterns that faded from dark to light blue, was designed with the 25-year-old guy, “searching for his first job,” in mind, Wilson said. “He doesn’t have much money; he just got out of college.”
Or, he joked, “It’s for the guy who is a 27-year-old like myself who is dating somebody way out of his league and needs to go out on a date,” prompting laughs for his not-so-veiled reference to Ciara, his pop-star girlfriend.
“It’s an aspirational brand,” he said.
Indeed, “aspirational” was an accurate description for the clothing line. The zip-up jacket Wilson was wearing was selling for $168. A sleek pair of gray suede shoes went for $328. And stylish button-down dress shirts were selling for $198.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Wilson venture without a do-gooder aspect. Borrowing the business model from TOMS Shoes, which gives a pair away for each pair sold, The Good Man Brand donates $3 per item sold to Wilson’s own charity, the Why Not You Foundation.
Afterward, the quarterback did his civic duty, handling babies, taking selfies and chatting up the crowd.
The steep prices weren’t a deterrence. James Campbell, 30, a University of Washington student who also works as an actor and model, seemed to be the guy Wilson was targeting. An admitted clothes hound, he was already sporting a Good Man Brand white dress shirt with small black dots (“$200-something,” he said). He praised the clothes for their versatility.
Robert Meek and his two teens came from Federal Way. He purchased a $168 shirt (“made of fine Italian threads, so it should be sturdy”) so his kids could take the day off from school to meet their idol.
Pam Heatherly and her daughter traveled from Parkland, just south of Tacoma, to meet Wilson. She purchased a $98 polo shirt. “I had to call my husband and see if it was OK,” she said. “It’s a little spendy but I get it. For one, it’s Nordstrom, and it has Russell Wilson’s name on it.”
If the line inside didn’t seem overwhelming considering the superstar’s status, the one that stretched down Fifth Avenue was a better indication of Wilson’s popularity in town. A security guard working the door said people started to arrive at 9 a.m. and the line inside was solely for people who purchased merchandise.
“Money talks,” he said.