RALEIGH, N.C. – One would think that when it comes to sports and fashion, that there is no possible link or connection between the two. While sports do include fashion in the form of uniforms, outfits, etc, one would never be able to make a connection between them.
While the 27-time World Series champion New York Yankees helped inspire and make their trademark pinstripes popular, the 17-time NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers helped make bright colors such as yellow hip and cool—while channeling SoCal cool—and the Miami Dolphins injecting South Beach vibes with their aqua and orange color scheme, perhaps sports and fashion DO have a connection.
Thanks to big-name A-list superstars such as LeBron James, Tom Brady and notable events such as the recent Pro Football Hall of Fame Fashion Show that included notable athletes, models and designers down in Canton at the Civic Center, sports and fashion are more connected than the casual fan or fashionista care to realize.
Thanks to Raleigh-based #SportsFashion fashion designer, model and sports personality, Kelly Calhoun, the fusion between sports and fashion is here to stay.
A stunningly beautiful and fiercely outspoken fan of both fashion and sports thanks to being featured on Business Insider, 99.9 the Fan ESPN Radio, Raleigh News & Observer, MSG Networks and Sirius XM Radio, Ms. Calhoun is primed to become one of the new and very influential names and faces in both.
A proud fan and graduate of North Carolina State, Calhoun—the daughter of a former NFL cheerleader and NFL player—knows as much about wardrobe styling as she does power plays and cover-two defenses.
Below is my Q and A with Kelly as we talk fashion, sports, her designer line #SportsFashion, her beloved Wolfpack and settle the non-stop argument over leggings being pants.
Who Is She?
Name: Kelly Calhoun
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, PA
Notable Publications/Media: Business Insider, 99.9 the Fan ESPN Radio, Raleigh News & Observer, MSG Networks, Sirius XM Radio
For those who don’t know about you, tell us a little more about you?
Well, my brand is #SportsFashion. Let’s face it, Fashion truly is a Sport and it’s an ultra-competitive industry. I am competitive; but altruistic. I believe in including everyone and making people feel welcome while looking good.
Congrats on launching your new fashion line with your Mom, what inspired you to do so?
I think a quote will sum up my answer very well. From a feature in Business Insider on our Fashion brand, “Amid the pandemic, the fashion industry is among the most affected. Milan, one of the top fashion meccas in the world, suffered greatly because of the postponements of fashion’s most significant events. In light of the circumstances, CKC House of Design chose to amplify the company’s cause to the rest of the fashion industry when they released its Duomo di Milano A-line Midi Dress to the world through its first public auction.”
How has the coronavirus pandemic affected any other pending or upcoming shoots? It has changed the industry entirely. So much work is done remotely now. I’m into it though.
How have you adjusted to being inside? Has your workout and daily routines suffered? I’m a huge fan of Yoga with Adrienne on YouTube and I live near a lake so I try to get out and jog as much as possible.
You are a real firecracker! Who do you get your go-getter personality from? I think you have to make life fun while accepting its inevitable challenges. I like to laugh a lot! And I don’t take myself too seriously. 🙂
Your mom is a former NFL cheerleader and your dad was a former NFL player, that’s quite a gene pool, who do you take after the most? My Mom for sure.
What was it like making the front page of the Raleigh News & Observer? I love that photo! It was very special because it was taken of my grandmother who is no longer with us and my Mom while I was prepping for the annual Art 2 Wear Fashion Show at NC State.
As a woman in The Age of #MeToo, do you feel that it has affected your modeling, sports writing and other creative endeavors? Absolutely. I have been blessed with some amazing mentors who help me navigate, but kudos to all of the strong women pushing for progress in the sports industries.
Fox Sports, ESPN or NFL Network? What is your dream job and why? Honestly, I like doing things on my own terms and I know when its time to work hard but for now I am totally fine with where I am at, dabbling into various networks. As you know, Rob, I’m not the best with deadlines lol. 😉
In terms of sports writing and reporting, who are your influences (past and present?) John Forslund and Erin Andrews
Since you’re a BIG sports fan like me, who are your favorite players and teams? I really like what’s going on right now with the Carolina Hurricanes and Rod Brind A’mour is so classy. We threw him a celebration when he won Coach of the Year a few months ago. Class act. Well deserved.
Since you’re a NC State fan and alum, who’s the all-time G.O.A.T. QB? Russell Wilson or Philip Rivers? It’s a tie.
Duke or North Carolina? Who is the lesser of two evils, if you HAD to cheer for them? Ugh! My stomach just turned ha-ha. I have to say Duke. I will get crucified in Raleigh if I even utter the words UNC!
Since you’re a BIG Carolina Hurricanes fan and I’m a Pittsburgh Penguins fan—our biggest rival is Philadelphia—who is the ONE team you love to HATE? The Bruins. But don’t tell them because they scare me.
What are you doing now to adjust and stay in such great shape? LOTS of yoga and meditation.
Athleisure: Fashion or fad? Forever Fad.
Leggings: Are they pants or not? I’ll let the photo speak for itself.
What is your best feature? All of them.
You come across as classy and have a really nice runway/fashion and lifestyle look and portfolio. What is your opinion of the rise of Instagram modelling? Aw, why thank you! I’m into it. As long as people are having fun!
Fashion, runway or editorial? What is your favorite theme to shoot and why? Runway is so in-the-moment and exciting! It’s like DJ’ing. Making music in the moment. I love being on stage.
What’s on your playlist? Jai Wolf and Dolly Parton
What is your must-listen zero-fucks-given workout song for when you need to get through a bad day/breakup etc. “Pop Star” by Drake
Monday Motivation! What drives you to succeed? My innate competitive nature. I like to win.
Outside of modeling, what do you like to do for fun and hobbies? I take a lot of business classes, and obviously sports. I recently teamed up with a lovely brand called Neolastin Skincare. They are the real deal. Products were formulated at Clemson University.
Any parting words for those also hoping to stay in shape during the #StayHomeLockdown and how to stay focused and motivated? Don’t be too hard on yourself.
Special thanks to Ms. Kelly Calhoun for her time and assistance during the interview.