This article was originally published on ESPN.com.
You may have noticed Carolina Panthersquarterback Cam Newton always has a feather in his custom-made hats.
But did you know the custom-made bow ties he’s worn after most games this season are made out of feathers?
“Feather swag,’’ running back Fozzy Whittaker called it.
Feathers in hats aren’t unusual.
But feather bow ties are.
The NFL MVP was introduced to them when a representative of Brackish, a Charleston, South Carolina-based company that makes bow ties out of a variety of feathers, randomly sent him one before the season.
“The next thing we knew, he was wearing the tie after the Broncos game [Week 1],’’ said Jeff Plotner, the CEO of Brackish. “My phone was hopping on the table going up and down with text messages and phone calls I was getting when he was doing his postgame interview.’’
That led to a phone call from Newton’s representatives asking for more ties to showcase with the quarterback’s postgame attire.
“We make it a point to be able to start conversations with our product, and he’s somebody that is unique and can really step outside the box with his fashion sense,’’ Plotner said.
Newton’s ties started a conversation in the Carolina locker room on Thursday among several teammates who weren’t aware they were made of feathers.
“Really?’’ Whittaker said. “Nothing wrong with it. Whoever makes the hats and bow ties does a good job.’’
Said safety Kurt Coleman, “I don’t know how you make a tie out of a feather. Are they duck feathers?’’
Plotner and his partner Ben Ross got the idea of making colorful bow ties out of feathers five years after Ross made ties out of turkey feathers as gifts for his groomsmen in 2007.
Now they’re making bow ties out of feathers from peacocks, pheasants, turkeys and partridges.
“We think our product goes together perfectly with Cam’s sense of style,’’ Plotner said.
Newton began making a fashion statement this season with his hats made by a third-generation hatmaker in the Los Angeles area who said the 27-year-old star asked for a feather in each.
The bow ties take the feather statement to another level.
Newton has worn one of the feather ties after five games. The exceptions were the Atlanta game in which he didn’t have a press conference because he was in the concussion protocol, the Tampa Bay game he missed because of the concussion and Sunday’s game at Los Angeles because he wore a regular tie.
Newton likes the ties so much that there are discussions with Brackish about a custom Cam collection. Supporting a small company in the Carolinas makes it a natural fit for Newton, who likes to support the local economy.
Newton isn’t the only celebrity who has worn the feather ties. Bill Murray wore one to the 2014 Oscars and the wedding of George and Amal Clooney. Andy Samberg wore one when he hosted the 2015 Emmy Awards.
Don Cheadle, Tituss Burgess and Terrence Howard wore one to the 2016 Emmys. Craig Melvin wore one to the 2016 White House correspondents dinner.
Jack Nickelson and Ted Danson also have worn them.
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has one, although he hasn’t worn it to a postgame press conference yet.
But seeing Newton in one of the ties excited Plotner more than most. He grew up a Panthers fan and went to Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where the Panthers train.
The ties, like Newton’s hats that cost $800 and up, aren’t cheap. They cost anywhere from $165 to $295.
But Plotner believes Newton and his feather ties are a perfect fit.
“He’s unique and unconventional,’’ he said. “He’s not worried about what everybody else thinks. He wants to be himself. That’s what we admire about his sense of style, and that’s what we like to do with our product.’’
Posted on November 11, 2016
by Waterhouse General filed under