On Monday evening, Stefon Diggs went from shining on the field to shutting down the red carpet at the 2023 Met Gala.
I’m not one to fan girl anybody, especially a dude, so let’s keep this in perspective. I’m simply giving the man credit where credit is due.
If you aren’t familiar with the annual Met Gala, its guest list tends to favor the who’s who of Hollywood and celebrity status. The clothes strutted on the red carpet range from muted and conservative to outrageous and skimpy. But art tends to be the focus.
Sometimes referred to as the Met Ball, this annual extravaganza started in 1948 and benefits the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute in New York City.
The average eye may not always appreciate what high-fashion choices land on the Met Gala red carpet. But these designs often trickle down to inspire mainstream commercial fashion. The word “fashion” implies “new,” so it’s understandable the industry constantly evolves and the visual presentation that comes with it can be difficult to adapt to. In other words, you may not like what you see in front of you but someone else will.
What I understood after seeing the Buffalo Bills wide receiver step out at the red carpet was that this man’s fashion choices are demanding attention, and Monday’s Met Gala appearance may have finally earned him the spotlight for his style. Kudos to his stylist if he has one. Stefon may be deserving of more magazine covers and endorsements. If he can continue the momentum and take smart fashion risks, I don’t think it would hurt his prospects to succeed in other areas off the gridiron.
Getting back to the suit.. Initially, when the cameras were zoomed out, at a distance the white specks seemed to sparkle. I couldn’t tell if the Stefon’s Met Gala suit reminded me a disco ball— in a good way. The way the light reflects off the glass surface, bringing the atmosphere to life. It seemed to be radiating on Stephon, if you ask me. The black lapels looked high class, while the velvet-colored leather wallet chain added some edge and broke the conventionalism of the suit — in a good way.
It’s important for me to note how much I appreciated the modern tailoring of the suit because it really could have gone sideways. The only complaint I had about the construction of the suit was the jacket being taken in a little bit higher than I prefer, but it still worked. He also wore the perfect glossy, black shoes to bring your eyes back to the suit. This is why I say smart risks are important, one wrong choice, particularly with the flower-shaped pin, could have made him look like a disco clown.
I like clothes that are going to age well, and if I had to knock the suit for one reason, it would be because I don’t see myself opening a magazine in 10, maybe even 5 years, and declaring “I could still wear that!” There’s nothing wrong with wearing fashion for the now — within moderation. As I established earlier, the clothes that make it on the red carpet run the gamut in appearance, and perhaps even in purpose. Not every design was meant to stand the test of time, and that may be the case with this suit. Time will tell, of course.
No word yet on the price tag, but I think it’s safe to say it’s probably out of reach for the average financially-responsible adult.
I think Stefon’s 2023 Met Gala appearance on the red carpet was a breakthrough moment, which is fitting since he was a breakout star in the NFL. And apparently, other people have taken notice as well, which is why Esquire Magazine added Stefon’s name to it’s 2023 Met Gala “Best-Dressed Men” list.
At 29 years of age, Stefon should have a lot more gas in the tank… and that’s more important than ever right now, in my opinion. Part of the reason I write this blog is because sports don’t just happen on the field. People are watching star athletes off the field. Many athletes have become social media stars. Having an army of followers is big business, and the NFL has proven that for decades. This year’s draft was one of the most expensive ceremonies in history. It doesn’t surprise me, it just reinforces why it’s important to manage your image if you’re a pro athlete.
Stefon’s fashions are well documented on Pinterest, like many other professional ballers, but for me, his Met Gala officially put him on the map. I look forward to seeing what other tricks Stefon has up his sleeve.
Special Shoutout: Dwyane Wade
Truth be told, I never set out to write about every sports pro who got dressed up for the 2023 Met Gala, but take a look at Dwyane Wade and tell me he doesn’t deserve special mention for holding it down for the NBA players. His wife Gabrielle Union must be working her magic. Flip through the photo gallery to see Dwyane and Gabrielle making their presence felt at the Met Gala.
If this was a contest, I’d have to give the title to Wade for best dressed. But with the amount of ball players taking their style game to new heights on social media, a fashion review may not be a bad idea.
J.E. Stone is a contributing blogger and sports zealot who explores the intersections (and calamities) that connect pop culture and professional sports. NFL, NBA, MLB, PGA, MLS, MMA, UFC, WWE, AEW… virtually no three-letter sports brand is safe. He’s also a gamer who will take any challenge. Follow him on Discord.