This weekend in Las Vegas for Sunday’s Super Bowl, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker is certain to be looking sharp when he arrives at the stadium.
Butker is one of the four co-founders of the new menswear brand Shepherd’s. He told Fox News Digital in an email exchange that he’d been interested in menswear, and in particular its impact on elevating society, for “quite a while.”
“For the last few seasons I’ve enjoyed dressing more formally for games and I guess I’ve gotten a bit of a reputation for it,” he said.
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Anyone who scrolls through Butker’s Instagram account can see that at the start of the 2020-2021 NFL season, his postings began to shift from mostly game-day and practice action shots to — well, a bit of a fashion show.
“Pregame photos are going to look a little different this year,” he wrote as the caption for a photo taken prior to the Kansas City Chiefs game against the Houston Texans. In the photo, Butker is wearing a suit.
The pre-game suit pictures have continued ever since — with Butker wearing a variety of suit cuts, colors and patterns in each shot.
“I’ve always been drawn to dressing well, but not necessarily ‘fashion,’” Butker said.
For him, his clothes are part of a season-long process that begins once the team’s schedule is released.
“We plan out everything together and go through a lot of fabric options to select ones that fit the weather, the location and the time of year,” he told Fox News Digital. “Once we have the fabric picked, we’ll select everything else about the suit — things that don’t stand out to the casual observer but make a difference when they come together.”
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Butker cited the dark green double-breasted suit he wore at the recent playoff game against the Buffalo Bills as an example of the small details that otherwise go unnoticed.
“We picked a dark green Prince of Wales flannel, which is a very English fabric, and gave it a more British styling with strong shoulders and double-breasted peak lapels and a nod to the countryside with pockets that were originally designed for hunting jacket,” he said via email.
While he acknowledged that these touches “wouldn’t stand out to most people,” he appreciates how it “all fits together.”
“It’s been a fun experience and has allowed us to showcase the great work that Shepherd’s can offer,” he said.
Shepherd’s other co-founders — Chris Cottrell, Nathan Price, and Austin Wright — said the company was a way for them to elevate men’s style, as well as live out their Catholic faith.
While the company’s founders are practicing Catholics, they reject the label that Shepherd’s is a “Catholic company.” Its products, they said, are for all men seeking to elevate themselves and the world around them.
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The company’s showroom is in Kansas City. Each garment is measured for the purchaser, and the clothes are made in Portugal.
Price told Fox News Digital the four co-founders have very different skill sets, which he believes help the company mesh together well.
“I’ve spent a lot of my career in menswear, from a corporate retailer in high school to working at one of the biggest menswear voices in the world,” said Price by email.
Butker’s professional football career means that he is used to being able to move in a garment, Price said.
“Whenever [Butker] tries on something new, the first thing he does is start to move in it — and that pushes us to ensure everything we make is fit to be lived in and moved in,” he said.
Additionally, Butker’s athletic talents mean that Shepherd’s clothes are “on such a big stage,” said Price.
“And that’s an honor for us.”
Cottrell and Wright are both military veterans, said Price, which “brings a lot of attention to detail and an eye for quality” — and “a few Army vs. Navy jokes.”
At Shepherd’s, however, faith is paramount.
“Being Catholic is central to everything I do and everything I am,” Butker told Fox News Digital. “I love being able to bring Catholic virtues into any business that I am involved in.”
Price offered similar sentiments, saying, “My Catholic faith has shaped how I approach every part of our business.”
Dressing well, said Price, “shows respect for ourselves and for others, reflecting our belief in the dignity of human life.”
That commitment to human dignity extends to the companies that Shepherd’s uses to source their materials.
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“Since the day we founded Shepherd’s, we’ve prioritized working with manufacturers who treat their workers well,” he said.
Price continued, “I am proud that all of our garments and materials are made in mills and tailoring houses that have been around for centuries. The workers there are paid fair wages, and can afford to buy homes and cars, and go on holiday.”
Additionally, the act of making something, even something like a suit jacket, is participating in God’s creation, said Price.
“We’re taking the incredible gift of God’s creation and making beautiful fabrics and high-quality garments from it,” he said.
With Shepherd’s, the goal is to “elevate what guys usually wear while staying approachable and authentic,” Cottrell told Fox News Digital.
“For us, that means clothing that fits incredibly well and is genuine to who a guy is and what he does in life,” he said.
“We’ve done our job if we make a piece for a guy that is a notch above what he normally wears and it fits so well that he really wants to wear it.”
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Men’s clothing, said Wright, provides an opportunity to elevate the culture.
“There’s a certain feeling when you put on a suit or a sports jacket, and you know you’ve put care into how you’re presenting yourself in the world, and we want more guys to have that feeling and get in that habit,” he said.
As a made-to-measure brand, Shepherd’s is the opposite of “fast fashion.” Clothes take about a month to arrive after they have been fitted.
“I think a lot of guys perceive made-to-measure clothing as a luxury, when actually it’s how clothing has been made for most of history,” said Price.
At Shepherd’s, “we want to make clothes that a guy can throw on and forget, that he can be a husband and a father in, and that he can feel proud to wear, maybe even that he’d feel like standing up a little taller when he puts on something from us,” he said.
Cottrell concurred, telling Fox News Digital the brand aims “to be approachable and make elegant garments that are easy to wear, not garments that feel like a costume.”
Butker did not reveal which of the suits he plans on wearing on Sunday in Vegas before the big game — but he told Fox News Digital that “all of the suits and sports jackets from this season have been exceptional.”
His two favorites, however, were a “brown-on-brown striped suit last week from Baltimore that definitely stood out a bit,” he said — as well as a brown houndstooth suit designed by Price.
“I wore [that suit] the last time we played in Las Vegas,” he said.
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Source: Fox News