Sports Illustrated

Designer Philipe Winston-Weeden tackles football and fashion with attitude.
Philipe Winston-Weeden shows off his swag and his clothing at Silk nightclub. Style is all about “maintaining your swag,” if you ask Philipe Winston-Weeden, the designer behind the Kartier Couture line.

“It’s pretty much how you carry yourself,” Winston-Weeden says. “Style isn’t about the clothes, it’s how you act and who you are in the clothes. The first thing that you’ll catch is the walk, the attitude, then the dress. The whole shebang.”

Winston-Weeden’s influences are Ralph Lauren and Gucci, and Kartier Couture is a crossbreed of preppy and bold. Think cardigan sweaters, bow ties, button-down shirts and vests. For Winston-Weeden, a regular getup for dinner out could mean a cardigan sweater with a button-down shirt and bow tie. He’ll punch up these preppy basics with colors like turquoise or lime green (two of his personal favorites).

“For years, people were saying, ‘Hey, man, I like your style. You need to come out with a clothing line,’ ” he says.

When he was growing up in Garfield Heights, his mother was a prom dress seamstress. A twin, he began modeling at age 5. “Then, modeling was more marketable if you were a twin,” he says. “We were the only kids who went to school with two-piece corduroy outfits and bow ties.”

After graduating from John F. Kennedy High School, he suited up in tougher gear, playing semiprofessional football for the Cleveland Cardinals and now the Cleveland Cobras.

In 2007, Winston-Weeden launched Kartier Couture, named after his 6-year-old son. But Kartier isn’t his first foray into fashion. He started modeling for NFL player London Fletcher’s line, The Craig Anthony Collection. The two partnered on some designs, then Winston-Weeden went out on his own.

During the football season, Winston-Weeden spends about seven hours a day focusing on football. The rest is Kartier time.

Winston-Weeden is proud that his clothes are reasonably priced. This fall, look for upscale linen suits in his Distinguished line. His philosophy: look good, feel good and don’t drop your paycheck on a piece of clothing. “There’s no sense in going broke over a T-shirt,” he says. “Why not have money in your pocket and still look nice?”
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