Whirl Magazine, June 6, 2014 - CLICK HERE FOR FULL ARTICLE

When Hines Ward walks out of the dressing room during this photo shoot, decked out in his freshly pressed, new custom-made suit, all heads snap in his direction. Of course, when Hines Ward walks into any room, people pay attention, but Ward’s confidence in his bespoke attire was absolutely magnetic. We’re firm believers in the adage that when you look good, you feel good, and it was clear that Ward was feeling fantastic.

The suit, tie, shirt, and pocket square were dreamt up for the former Pittsburgh Steeler, now sports broadcaster on NBC, by Master Clothier Amy Baron Brourman, founder of Samuel Baron Clothiers. After a closet consult and fitting with Ward at his Atlanta home, Baron Brourman took stock of the athlete’s style, noting that his suits, in particular in the shoulder and through the leg, were not as fitted as they could be. Ward admits that he typically gravitates toward wide-leg pants with cuffs and loose-fitting jackets; however Baron Brourman decided to guide him to a more streamlined style. “He felt uncomfortable in something that was more fitted through the thigh, and I felt it would be more complementary to take him from a pleated trouser to a flat-front trouser. I said that I wanted to design a more complementary look for his style, and I asked if I could use my own judgement, and he said, ‘OK, I’ll put this in your hands.’”

The resulting design is definitely a different look for Ward. “When I wear a suit, I always think about being comfortable — sitting on a plane ride and being able to just hang loose when I travel, but, you still can be comfortable and fitted at the same time.”

All of Baron Brourman’s consultations include a 34-point measurement profile to ensure the fit is impeccable, and when working with Ward, it was important for the pair to review videos of his NBC broadcasts to determine what is appropriate for TV. It’s a gig that requires a more conservative look. Says Ward, “In broadcast, it’s all about the suit. Playing for the Steelers, when we got on the plane to go on our road games, it was a fashion show. Everybody critiqued you, from your cufflinks, to your belt, to your watch, to your shoes. Now that I’m on television, working with NBC, I can’t go bold and wild. A lot of color doesn’t work.” Instead, he opts for a look that’s “conservative, but still clean and classy.”

Though it’s a sartorial change for Ward, based on his happy, trademark grin in these photos, Baron Brourman’s collaboration with the athlete was clearly a successful one. “This is style, this is fashion. This is something that’s new for me, but I like it,” says Ward. “Who knows? This may be an opening day suit on Sunday Night Football.” Stay tuned!

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