On Tuesday night, a crowd of denim-clad New Yorkers gathered at a candlelit Tribeca restaurant. But what else is new? The answer: football player Victor Cruz’s 5-piece collection for 3x1 denim, which is now available in stores and on Farfetch.com. Here, Cruz talks about the collaboration, his favorite jeans of all time, and why he doesn’t plan to quit football anytime soon.
What are you wearing?
I’m wearing Victor Cruz by 3x1. That feels so good to say! I love it.
How did you first connect with 3x1?
I first heard about the brand a few years back when a friend brought me in there to get a pair of jeans customized. I was like, “What is this place?” They really taught me about what they do there with bespoke denim, and I instantly became a fan. Speed up to today, when they asked me to do this I felt like it was a no brainer.
What was the design process like?
It was a lot of fun to really be in the trenches and see what these designers go through on a month-to-month basis. It was a lot of hard work, but it was fun because you get to see the end result and actually wear the clothes. Being able to reflect my personality through clothes was the best part.
How does it feel to see people wearing your pieces?
It’s amazing. I mean my stylist Rachel has on the ombré shirt from the collection tonight. And to see her walk in, I was like “Wow, this is real. People are wearing it, they like it, they are styling it with different things…”
Did you have a favorite pair of jeans growing up?
I had a favorite pair of jeans—they were Pepe jeans, actually. And I wore them constantly. Like all the time. Every day. Every chance I could I wanted to wear the jeans. They really gave me inspiration and ideas to put forth for this collection, as well.
Who are your denim style icons?
Two people come to mind. Johnny Depp is one, because he loves denim and wears it all the time, and Pharrell is the next one. He wears denim a lot, but for me he’s known for that denim jacket that he likes to style up or style down. He always kills it and does a great job.
Is it difficult to juggle sports, side projects, and a personal life?
Absolutely. My day job obviously is football. That’s what I do day in and day out. And I want to make sure that that stays at the forefront. But my passions are in fashion and other realms, so I want to make sure that is covered as well. It’s tough to juggle sometimes, but you have to make sure you’re doing the right things at the right time.
Do you have any other collaborations in the works?
Not yet, fashion wise. I am kind of taking it slow. I want to do the right types of collaborations, so we’ll see.