Appeared In
Special Issue
Men'sWeek issue 09/22/2011

BOSTON — Coming off an NFL record-setting start for passing yards, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady showed he can be just as nimble plugging fashion and a good cause.

Brady showed up Tuesday night to fete Ermenegildo Zegna’s move from Newbury Street to a slightly larger store at Copley Place. The 2,300-square-foot Zegna door balances sleek technology (a flat-screen showing runway clips) with walls inset with hand tailoring vignettes (a deconstructed jacket, a series of collar shapes) that show the 101-year-old brand’s craft. The larger footprint will allow the store to carry an expanded accessories section and more specialty pieces, including items designed for the brand’s 20th anniversary in China.

This story first appeared in the September 22, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Brady, dressed in Zegna Sport’s lambskin black jacket, dark jeans and Zegna shoes, shunned the store’s back entrance in favor of a public stroll through the mall. He greeted young fans from the Boys & Girls Club of Boston, teasing them about being out on a school night. After the kids departed, he reminded attendees that 10 percent of each dollar spent through Sunday would benefit the after-school and camp programs BGCB runs. (In truth, most partygoers seemed more intent on capturing No. 12 on cell cameras than trying anything on.)

Brady, who hosted Zegna’s Newbury Street opening six years ago, called himself a longtime fan of the Italian label, particularly Z Zegna and Zegna Sport pieces. “I like dressing young,” he said. Of his relationships with Ugg and Under Armour — brands where he appears in the ad campaigns — he said he’s proud to be associated with companies that make distinctive products.

Last year his flowing locks mystified (and annoyed) some in the Boston sports crowd, but Brady belly-laughed when asked about it. “I just like to change it up,” he said. “I don’t take it too seriously.” (For the record, this year’s ’do is much shorter.) He teased a friend, “Look at this guy, same haircut for eight years. There might be some cute girls out there who’d want to see something different.”

But for all the style talk, Brady made it clear that football, not fashion, comes first. “What I do on the field brings me the most satisfaction,” he said. “I’m invested in that every day of my life.” And as for his record-setting start of 940 passing yards in two games? “It’s been fun,” he said. “Winning is fun.”

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