Kareem Jackson wears a tailored purple Devon Scott suit, pinstriped shirt and grey tie as he poses in the VIP showroom of Mercedes-Benz of Sugar Land. Flanked by well over one million dollars’ worth of super cars, the eighth-year Texan sits down with me to discuss his love of all things fashion.
“It’s about how I’m feeling that day,” Kareem responds when asked what inspires his style choices. “There are some things I’ll stay away from, but I’ll wear pretty much anything… It really depends on how I feel once I try it on.”
The Alabama defensive back turned NFL standout has long been known as one of the more dapper gentlemen in the Texans locker room. On Sundays during the season, Jackson arrives at the Texans’ facilities dressed to the nines in designer clothing. In the past, he’s been voted best dressed by his teammates, a title he has lived up to. He’s also been known to sport some impressive footwear throughout the week. When asked how many pairs of shoes he owns, Kareem chuckles before answering, “No clue.” His best guess is “five closets’ worth.” When you’re measuring your shoe collection by the closetful, it’s safe to call you a connoisseur.
I ask Kareem who some of his favorite designers are at the moment. “I’m a huge fan of the Fear of God collection,” he replies. The LA-based brand, founded by Jerry Lorenzo in 2012, is in its fifth collection and is a favorite of Kanye West and other Hollywood fashion elites. “Also Amiri, by Mike Amiri. I’ve been wearing that a lot lately.” Much like West’s Yeezy, both Amiri and Fear of God are known for focusing on oversized, grungy street wear that borrows aesthetics from both 90s punk and modern hip-hop.
A few years ago, the Texans organization came to Kareem with an opportunity to help design a line of exclusive Texans gear called “Kareem Jackson Fly Guy”. I ask him about that experience, and if he believes it opened the door for him to pursue fashion design as a career after football. “It was an opportunity they came to me with because they know how I feel about fashion. And that put me in a position to be able to start my own line called Fly Guy”. Kareem admits that, with a busy football and training schedule, he finds it difficult to devote the time necessary to help the Fly Guy brand grow. Still, “that’s something that when I do make the decision to one day retire, I’ll definitely devote 100% of my time to making [Fly Guy] a household name.”
Finally, I’m curious to know what the dynamic is like between Kareem and fellow Texan fashionista, DeAndre Hopkins. Do the two engage in friendly competitions to see who’s best dressed on Sundays? Or does he view their fashion interest as more of a shared passion? “I see the things he wears on a week-to-week basis, definitely have a ton of respect for him when it comes to that. I’d say it’s a shared passion,” he says. “For me it’s about how you feel. At the end of the day it’s what you like. I can’t say my fashion is better than his… It’s all fashion. It’s about what makes you feel good about yourself when you’re getting dressed.” It’s probably hard not to feel good about yourself when you dress like Kareem.