A professional athlete being into fashion is nothing out of the ordinary, and many supplement their salaries with endorsements from their favorite brands. Still, NFL linemen are spotted few and far between at the shows of the biggest luxury fashion houses, and offerings for men that large are limited too.
Davon Godchaux wants to change that.
The New England Patriots defensive tackle stood out at Paris Men's Fashion Week this summer -- by nature of his 6-foot-3, 311-pound frame and having had supermodel Chanel Iman by his side. But it's been a while since he let himself be confined to the small selection of the Big & Tall section.
"If you look good and play good, you feel good. And they pay good," Godchaux said in the locker room Thursday, two months removed from signing a two-year, $20.8 million contract extension with the team.
"I think they're just a part of the image, you know? Dressing up. I think you always want to have that kind of swagger, that demeanor, have a great smile. I always want to demand that attention once I walk into the room, but I think as a bigger guy, it's hard to find clothes for that. But I think there's a lot of resources out there to find clothes."
A resource for him came in the form of a late friend.
Godchaux was starting to find himself in college at Louisiana State University, and his friend taught him about the different brands and trends that suited his style and size. His first NFL paycheck only intensified his interest, and now, his relationship with Iman has exposed him to the fashion industry even more.
"I like to think had style before that, but you know, it's always easy once you're dating a supermodel," Godchaux said of Iman, who has walked and worked for Victoria's Secret, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Versace, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior – to name a few. Vogue Paris named Iman one of the Top 30 models of the 2000s, so the couple has been able to bond over that shared interest at shows this summer.
"It was pretty cool staying with my brands and seeing with things that I like, but it's always cool once you've got a beautiful lady like that. When I had an opportunity to go to Paris it was only right to have her on my side."
Godchaux saw spring-summer collections from Louis Vuitton, Rick Owens, Issey Miyake, Givenchy, and more at Men's Fashion Week.
The Louis Vuitton show stood out, with performances from Kendrick Lamar. Making it even more special was the tribute to Virgil Abloh – the acclaimed artistic director of Louis Vuitton who passed away in November and left a legacy that married streetwear and high fashion with his own label, Off-White.
"The music and the clothes from Louis were probably my favorites," Godchaux confirmed, and says he can't wait to see what Fall 2022 collections have in store.
He also points to other brands he's had success finding apparel that make him look and feel his best, listing Balenciaga, Yeezy, Issey Miyaki, and Jerry Lorenzo's Fear of God off the top of his head.
"I help out my teammates all the time with different brands I think would be good -- especially being bigger guys because it's so hard to find bigger clothes," Godchaux said. "When I go to stores, if there's a brand that I like and I find clothes, I have to have the piece because it's only going to be there for a certain amount of time. They don't make those pieces a lot. They're very limited in size. Once I find those pieces, I have to grab them ASAP."
Godchaux started his own Chauxdown brand, which he calls a hybrid line around fitness and street fashion. In doing so, he hopes to have some influence in brands increasing their selections for guys who find the same problem in the fitting room.
"I'm kind of giving the big guys some tips right now," he said. "There's a lot of brands to help you find your look. You just have to do the research."