The era of celebrities turning themselves into entrepreneurs is becoming an enduring one. Beyoncé has her fashion brand Ivy Park, Mariah Carey has her Irish cream liquor Black Irish, and now NFL star Tom Brady has thrown his hat into the ring with his new sportswear line aptly titled BRADY. And he appears as determined to succeed as a fashion entrepreneur as he is on the field.
Brady began by enlisting 10 NCAA and newly drafted pro-athletes for the campaign for the collection including Freshman of the Year Shedeur Sanders, son of famed football player Deion Sanders, and Cade McNamara of Tom Brady’s alma mater, University of Michigan, and the first quarterback to beat Ohio State in a decade. Of course, bringing in top talent for his brand launch was to be expected, but he did not stop there.
Brady went as far as to create his own Pantone color, Brady Blue. This bold blue tone was described by the brand as embodying “the brand’s founding principles to be the best you can be while inspiring fearlessness, resilience, and confidence towards achieving peak performance. Exuding strength and confidence, Brady Blue is an impressive blue shade with an intensity emblematic of Tom Brady’s self-determination and commitment to precision.”
Brady was co-founded with entrepreneur Jens Grede and is co-designed by Dao-Yi Chow, who is best known as one half of the duo behind Public School, a brand that was once one of the hottest tickets at New York Fashion Week and has been carried by retailers including Bloomingdale’s and Ssense.com.
While it might be easy to accuse Tom Brady of just slapping his name on a fashion line for profit, he is also clearly doing whatever he can to ensure the line’s success. (No one would invest time and effort into having the Pantone Color Institute create a shade of blue exclusive to you if they weren’t trying to score a touchdown in the fashion industry.)
With 142,000 followers on the brand’s Instagram account, the customer base is already there. In an interview with Good Morning America, he also said, “I loved doing it. I mean, I’ve always kind of loved fashion and apparel, and I wanted to be hands-on as possible.”
As for the reasoning behind Brady wanting to launch a fashion line, he hinted to NBC Sports about retiring from the NFL. “I’ve always said 45 was the age that I wanted to reach and that was my goal,” Brady said.
When he left the New England Patriots, whom he played for from 2001 to 2019, he signed a two-year contract with his current team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This August, Brady turns 45 and there is high speculation he’ll be retire once his contract with the Buccaneers is up.
And so, with a potential life off the field on the horizon, he’s turning to other projects. He’s no stranger to the fashion industry either, having married supermodel Gisele Bündchen in 2009, and co-chairing the Met Gala with her in 2017. He’s also made the cover of GQ.
Now for the perennial multi-million-dollar question that haunts every celebrity fashion label: How badly do Tom Brady’s fans actually want his clothes?
Waltham, Massachusetts-based fashion designer David Josef told WCVB the collection features pieces fit for both working out and everyday life. “He has broken it down into Live, Train, BRADY,” Josef said to WCVB. “‘Live’ is when you’re going to the supermarket and you want to wear those kind of clothes—it’s less tank tops and more shirts and easy pants, but not quite gym wear. ‘Train’ is when you’re doing yoga or in training at the gym. There’s something for everybody.”
A quick trip over to bradybrand.com already shows that the brand’s cool touch short-sleeve T-shirt is already selling out in certain colors and sizes. The T-shirt in a color described as storm, which is a shade of blue, is completely sold out and there is a waitlist to be announced about restocking.
It truly is just a classic blue T-shirt at that too. The unique details include a “BRADY” logo between the neckline and sleeve and a “T” symbol for Tom on the sleeves. At $75 it’s not quite luxury, but expectedly above what you would be expecting your average American to be paying for a T-shirt given inflation and the rising cost of living. Still, Brady has proven his customer base is there and they are already as loyal to his fashion line as they are to football Sundays.
The general appearance of these clothes could be described as ready for the football field, track course, or tennis court. While the “BRADY” branding might stick out as obviously as the Lacoste alligator, on other items, like sweaters, it’s not present. The line does include a full collection of hoodies with “BRADY” splattered across the chest, and it likely won’t be long before the paparazzi photograph Brady himself in one of these. This is a collection perfect for people who want to tell you they are wearing Tom Brady’s new clothing line.
A quick Twitter search for “Brady Brand” offers a myriad of opinions ranging from people happy to order to “support their favorite person” to people complaining that the prices are too steep. At the end of the day, he couldn’t please everybody, but he’s already got people talking and buying. In a quest to bring logomania into 2022, Tom Brady appears to be succeeding.