Continuing his silent protest, Colin Kaepernick declined to be interviewed for his GQ Man Of The Year cover story. Instead, the magazine talked to activists and friends of the athlete, like rapper J.Cole, director Ava DuVernay, activist Harry Belafonte, and Women’s March co-organizer Linda Sarsour to talk about their relationship with Kaepernick and protests. When planning out the look of the images, Kaepernick and the editors wanted to pay homage to iconic moments of athlete activism in the past. According to Rachel Johnson, the athlete’s longtime stylist, Kaepernick requested that the clothes he wore reflected the spirit behind the photo portfolio.
I’m honored to be @gq Man of the Year! Thank you to @e_reid35 @nessnitty @ava @realcoleworld @msladyjustice1 @lsarsour @tamikadmallory @cfpetrella Ameer Loggins, and Mr. Harry Belafonte for being a part of this moment!
A post shared by colin kaepernick (@kaepernick7) on Nov 13, 2017 at 7:01am PST
“He wanted to wear designers of color and or designers who were women,” Johnson tells Refinery29. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s reasoning? “He wanted to give an opportunity for designers to be featured in the magazine who wouldn’t normally be, especially for a cover shoot of this magnitude. That was was the direction that he gave to [ GQ’s creative director] Jim Moore and I.”
From there, Johnson reached out to designers she had worked with before and knew that Colin liked. “There are not a huge pool of Black designers to choose from honestly, you know, it didn’t take very long to put our list together,” Johnson explains. From there, her office paired with GQ’s team to start the pulling process. “I reached out who I knew, they reached out to who they knew, and we all did research as well to see if there were other designers who weren’t on either team’s radar.”
@gq #citizenoftheyear #manoftheyear physical copies out tomorrow
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One label on Johnson’s radar was Harlem Haberdashery, who created the leather blazer the athlete is wearing in one of the images. “I love the fact that it’s all black clothing, I think that’s powerful,” Shay Wood, who co-owns the Harlem-based store with her husband Guy, tells Refinery29. “I knew we were doing a leather blazer but I didn’t realize the impact of …read more