Griner Breaks Mold as Model for Men’s Apparel

Published On June 6, 2013 | By Francesca Pelletier

Brittney Griner has spent her career battling in the paint while also battling the criticism that comes with being the first openly gay athlete endorsed by Nike. The controversy surrounding her off the court may continue since, as part of her contract with Nike, Griner will appear in fashion advertisements aimed for men’s apparel.

The Baylor grad said she was happy to find her spot in the fashion world modeling men’s apparel.

“It clicked for me,” Griner told ESPN the Magazine. “I used to do the whole baggy, hard-core, I’m-a-boy look. Then I went through a preppy phase. Now I have the athletic, bow-tie look. I found my style.”

Griner will wear Nike apparel that will be branded as menswear, including the skateboarding line Nike SB.  Androgynous models are in high-demand in the fashion industry, and the trend of gender-neutral clothing has only just begun in the high-end fashion world. Nike seems happy to have Griner represent their new lines.

Nike spokesman Brian Strong offered some slam-dunk praise for the star rookie.

“We can’t get into specifics”, says Strong, “but it’s safe to say we jumped at the opportunity to work with her because she breaks the mold.”

Griner isn’t the first to make waves in the fashion world, of course. Other athletes have also stretched what might be perceived as the limits of fashion. If audiences have paid any attention to Dwyane Wade’s press conferences, Wade has definitely blurred some lines with bright colored sweaters and skin-tight jeans.

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