He Said / We Said: Game-changing Style

Football and fashion fans, hold on to your bow-ties because dapperQ is excited to present our 14th edition of He Said/We Said (HS/WS), featuring the sideline styles of the New York Sharks! The Sharks are one of approximately 50+ teams in the Independent Women’s Football League, a full-tackle professional women’s football organization. (Did you know there is such a league? Are you supporting pro-women’s football in your city?)

Amanda  Jerkeida  Jennifer Rae

Photo by Hafeez Raji

The Shark’s season started last April and is now over. But, we wanted to celebrate their season and introduce them to newbie women’s pro-football fans by showcasing their off-field swag. This called for a slightly different game plan for selecting an inspiration for the photo shoot.

SHIANTE Caprece Erika Charonn

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Usually, HS/WS creatress Anita Dolce Vita selects a high fashion menswear collection as inspiration and asks each of the models to style their very own individual interpretations of their favorite ensembles from the collection. However, in recent years, athletes, such as Brittney Griner and Dwyane Wade, have become style icons, joining the ranks of musicians, models, artists, actors, and socialites whose wardrobes we covet. Just take a look at the NBA Style Wars and you’ll see that the competition is spilling onto the sidelines, with athletes vying to be the style icon du jour. So, instead of Anita selecting the inspiration for the Sharks, she asked each of the participating Sharks to fashion an ensemble inspired by their favorite athlete style icon. With women and members of the LGBTQ community still being so heavily discriminated against in sports, Anita could not think of a better time to feature this incredible group of athletes in the HS/WS project.

Creative director, designer, and photographer Hafeez Raji shot at Bushwick Inlet Park in Brooklyn, New York to capture the amazing images of the participating members of the Sharks team.

Inspiration: Derrick Rose

Inspiration: Derrick Rose

Erika Cottle

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Alias: Cottle
Position: Wide Receiver
Age: 22
Preferred gender pronoun: She/her
Occupation: Personal trainer
Outfit details:

Shoes from Converse. Shirt from H&M. Jeans from Levi 514s. Tie from Express.

Whose wardrobe would you raid?

I would raid Jay-Z’s closet. His style is always on point no matter where he is or what he is doing.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said?

It took me a very long time to come into my personal style. Coming out as a lesbian was easy, but finding a comfortable style — not so much. I played around with outfits and wore what I “thought” I was supposed to wear as a “stud.” I went from baggy clothes and sneakers to skinny jeans and high tops to now — fitted button downs, skinny jeans, cardigans, sweaters and boat shoes. The shoot was cool to do because I was able to be proud of and express who I am without trying to fit into a “stereotypical” look or style.

What accessory or article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

I always need to have my gold “5″ chain on, whether it matches or not…for sentimental reasons.

Inspiration: Russell Westbrook

Jerkeida R. Grant for Russell Westbrook II

Jerkeida R. Grant

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Alias: #52 Keetz Da Kingstress
Age: Thirty-something. Young at heart
Position: Linebacker
Preferred gender pronoun: She/her (I am a woman who feels like a young man sometimes.)
Occupation: Master Mason, Audio Engineer, Pro Football Player, Musician
Outfit details: Shirt and cardigan from Gap. Denim from Levi Blk Label. Louis Vuitton Sneakers and Belt. Ray-Ban sunglasses.
What were your favorite moments from the shoot?

I have two awesome memorable moments from the shoot. The first was when Hafeez got me into character; it became a dream come true at that moment. The second was when Hafeez asked my teammates and I to chat about a rival team in order to capture a specific feel he was trying to achieve for one of the images. It was classic!

Where are your favorite places to shop?

With the funds, the entire 5th Ave. strip down to SoHo. Otherwise, the Gap and American Eagle.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

Either cap or shades (hater blockers). Gotta have em’!

Inspiration: Dwayne Wade

Inspiration: Dwayne Wade

Jennifer M. Melendez

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Age: 30
Position: Wide Receiver
Preferred gender pronoun: She/her (I’m an aggressive stud.)
Occupation: Professional football player. I also work in the meat department for Stop & Shop.
Outfit details:

Air Force One sneakers. Gianni Uomo suit. Daniel Ellissa shirt. Vestuvio Napoli vest. Brand Q bow-tie. Michael Kors watch.

Song that best describes your look:

“Started from the Bottom” by Drake

Where are your favorite places to shop?

Jimmy Jazz or Hyper Active

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

I can’t live without my sneakers because, with them, I make any outfit fresh.

Inspiration: Richard Sherman

Inspiration: Richard Sherman

Rae Baum

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Age: 25
Position: Cornerback
Preferred gender pronoun: I don’t prefer anything gendered but if you say She/Her or Sir/Handsome, I’ll answer.
Occupation: Unemployed Teacher; Champion Nail Biter
Outfit details:

Shirt, pants and belt from Express. J. Ferrar bow-tie. Shoes from Aldo. Watch from Nooka. Hair from Tomcats Barber Shop in Brooklyn.

Song that best describes your look:

“Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said?

It is a complete honor to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said. As a member of the Autostraddle community and an alum of the first ever Dappy Hour, I’ve been immersed in this world for several years now. So, when Tay told me about an opportunity to be a part of a He Said/We Said with players from our football team, the New York Sharks, two of my worlds collided. Thanks to dapperQ, there is such a great exposure of women rocking men’s fashion. (More often better than the men who tried to rock it in the first place, amirite?!) Then, to tie that in to the world of professional sports, where women continue to struggle to achieve the same recognition as men and being gay is a faux pas, well, I think we achieved something great here and I am blessed to be a part of it.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

The one article of clothing that I cannot live without is a hat. I’ve been wearing hats ever since I can remember and they have been a huge part of my identity. I never liked wearing ‘girls’ clothing, but even if I was, I could immediately offset that with a backwards hat. I’ve always been a tomboy and there is little that is more empowering than a hat. Shout out to my ‘Timon’s Deli’ hat that I’ve had since elementary school that is riddled with holes and is adorned with an ‘I’m not weird, I’m gifted’ patch.

Inspiration: Ocho Cinco

Inspiration: Ocho Cinco

Amanda M. Cantave

Amanda M. Cantave 9

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Alias: Mandown, Mandez
Age: 22
Position: Fullback (full player profile coming soon on the Shark’s website)
Preferred gender pronoun: She/her (stud)
Occupation: Forensic Employee Evaluator/ Cert. Quality Assurance IT
Outfit details:

Michael Kors Shirt. Van Huessan Pants. Joseph Abbord Shoes. Giorgio Bru Tie.

Song that best describes your look: 

“Suit & Tie” by Justin Timberlake

What was your favorite moment from the shoot?

I was able to show the photographer my ballerina skills when I was posing on an uneven rock and one foot on the football. My posture and balance were pretty helpful back then and now.

Whose wardrobe would you raid?

I would raid Aubrey Drake Graham’s closet.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

I can’t live without my watch and rings. I need to know the exact time and play with my ring in case I’m in a deep thought.

Inspiration: Chris Paul

Inspiration: Chris Paul

Shiante (Tay) Wilson

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Age: 30
Position: Defensive Back and Wide Receiver
Preferred gender pronoun: She/her (Tomboi or AG or Aggressive)
Occupation: Forensic Employee Evaluator/ Cert. Quality Assurance IT
Outfit details:

Stacy Adams hat. K&G shades. Michael Kors shirt, tie and watch. Pants from Express. Giorgio Brutini shoes. Blazer and socks from H&M.

Song that best describes your look:

“Touch the Sky” by Kanye West

What were your favorite moments from the shoot?

My favorite moment from the shoot was when my teammates and I posed with a high level of confidence together. That moment had a similar feel to when we are on the field together against another team and doing damage…except we got to pose this time. Another favorite moment would definitely have to be the great energy behind the camera, and on the sideline, discussing networking ideas regarding women’s professional football gaining a greater awareness in society, while simultaneously supporting other organizations and their goals.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said?

I’m very appreciative to have been a part of a project that appreciates Studs/AG/Tomboi females. Society sometimes frowns upon us for not wearing feminine specific clothing, so it’s a relief to have dapperQ focus on it and show it in a positive light. We don’t have specific clothes for our style, but we make the best of it, and it’s great to have dapperQ recognize that.

Inspiration: Victor Cruz

Charonn for Victor Cruz (1)

Charonn Sutton

Charonn Sutton 2

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Alias: The Ron
Age: 30
Position: Defensive Back and Wide Receiver
Preferred gender pronoun: She/her (AG or Aggressive)
Occupation: Cook for NYC public schools
Outfit details:

Stacy Adams shoes. Shirt from Gap. Holiday Edition blazer. Slacks from Victorio Cuture Collection. Tie from David Taylor Collection.

Song that best describes your look:

“So Fresh, So Clean” by OutKast

What was your favorite moment from the shoot?

Sitting there putting on make-up for the first time in 12 years since my high school prom. Also, taking pictures with NYC behind me was incredible. And when I took my first photo on top on the rock, I thought I was going to fall in the water because my shoes were slippery. But the best moment for me was the second to last picture where I spun the football on my finger like it was a basketball.

Whose wardrobe would you raid?

If there was one celebrity’s closet I would raid, it would be Lil Wayne’s. His whole fashion sense is trendy. He is open to trying different forms of fashion; he can wear baggy pants to skinny jeans and still portray his same image.

What did it mean for you on a personal level to be involved in a project like He Said/We Said?

It meant a lot to me because many people don’t know that professional women’s football exists. And, being part of this project can put us out there, making us more recognizable. And hopefully get the attention of females that want to play.

Inspiration: Victor Cruz

victor-cruz-05

Caprece Gray

Caprece Gray 10

Photo by Hafeez Raji

Alias: Muzyk
Age: 26
Position: Running Back 
Preferred gender pronoun: Cir or she
Occupation: Retail Merchandiser/ 2013 New York Sharks Offensive Back of the Year / Co- creator of C.I.R Nation
Outfit details:

JF J. Ferrar suit and tie. Shirt from Express Men.  Socks from Target. Pocket Scarf from Men’s Warehouse. Belt from Old Navy. Shoes from Call It Spring.

Song that best describes your look:

“Change Clothes” by Jay-Z (featuring Pharrell)

Talk a bit about your favorite moment(s) from the shoot.

I have so many favorite moments from the shoot. The energy on set was amazing and the weather was beautiful that day – well minus the wind. The wind would just not cooperate with us. It was blowing hair and ties all over the place. Another favorite moment was when we tried our mid-air jump pictures while trying to stay injury free.

What accessory/article of clothing can you not live without? Why?

Crazy socks and fitted hats. These two are a must!!

 

Stay tuned to dapperQ next week for additional images from the shoot!

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14 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

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    Love that women’s pro football is getting coverage, but if you want to cover women’s sports, what about rugby? The olympics are bringing rugby back in for 2016, and there is a huge queer population in the sport! (Plus it’s way bigger than women’s football.)

  2. Thumb up 1

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    After getting a ticket in London (I know, right?!), this is exactly what I needed! Bad ass women’s football! I’m singing… ♬♬

    “The tough get rough in a primetime fight
    The last one standing gets to turn out the lights
    Cause I been waiting all day for Sunday…” ♬♬

    FOOTBALL!!!!

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