The Chicago Fire hosted their 2nd annual Soccer & Style Fashion Show last week at Revel downtown, proving once again that these footballers are just as well-footed off the field as they are on.
With proceeds benefitting the Chicago Fire Foundation, the second year event drew Fire fans, family, friends, socialites and fashion admirers alike, providing an evening of sophistication, fashion and sport like no other event in Chicago.
Elizabeth Stanton and I had the opportunity to attend this year and arrived about 20 minutes before the players took the stage. Upon arriving, we immediately grabbed two glasses of wine from the open bar and cruised the perimeter of the venue, visiting several vendor booths that included designer eyewear and hats.
One of my favorite local news personalities, Natalie Bomke took the stage as the emcee and welcomed the crowd that included a solid mix of men and women and a few bonafide fashionistas. Attendees sat in chairs lined up against the catwalk that was appropriately placed in the middle of the event space.
One by one players and coaches emerged from a back room behind the stage and each took their turn walking the runway in looks by Mens Warehouse, featuring Joseph Aboud, fashion-forward street and athletic wear by Bumpy Pitch and Chi Boys, eyewear trends by Eye Candy Optics, and hats from BlaQ ZinQ, the luxury headwear brand created by Fire forward Robert Earnshaw.
While some of the ballers were better cat-walkers than others, each player and coach had their own sense of style as they took their turn posing for fans and snapping cameras as the DJ pumped out great beats and kept the crowd engaged.
My only issue with the program this year was that the players were not announced prior to taking the stage and there was no mention to what they were specifically wearing. The event could have been more engaging if each player had been introduced, including his position – and perhaps an interesting anecdote or two (…resides in the UK in the off-season…enjoys cooking in his spare time, etc.) as well as what exactly he was wearing. This was a missed opportunity to market the players, and the clothing, to a diverse group that may not be attending games on a regular basis.
Overall, it was another successful event for the Fire, providing fans an opportunity to see players in a different light and enjoy a night of sport and fashion in an intimate setting. While the Fire may not have had the season they had hoped for, they still know how to bring their A-game for lifestyle-focused events that fans have come to love and expect from the sophisticated and international team.