Cultural: News, Travel & Trendsetters

With NFL Deal, Kristin Juszczyk Is the Super Bowl’s Clear Winner

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Taylor Swift helped Kristin Juszczyk turn the stadium tunnel into the new fashion runway, and Sunday’s game will be the ultimate show.

A woman in a long red coat with the number 44 on it holds one arm up while posing for a photo with a woman in a black tank top and jeans covered in feathers.
Kristin Juszczyk, left, and Claire Kittle are both married to players on the San Francisco 49ers. Ms. Juszczyk went viral on social media for her custom clothing that she upcycles from official team merchandise.Credit…Kelley L Cox/Reuters

Whichever team takes home the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Super Bowl LVIII, the San Francisco 49ers or the Kansas City Chiefs, there is already one indubitable winner. Not Taylor Swift, whose interest in football has attracted almost as many conspiracy theorists as fans, or even the N.F.L. itself, which is trying to figure out how to hang onto its sudden influx of Taylor-related female fans, but rather another player’s significant other: Kristin Juszczyk.

In the last month, Ms. Juszczyk, the wife of Kyle Juszczyk, a 49ers fullback, has gone from little-known football spouse with a sideline in customizing old team jerseys (and T-shirts and footballs) to rising fashion star, with an N.F.L. licensing deal, a “Today” show interview and stories in Harper’s Bazaar and Footwear News. Vogue has also reportedly been in touch.

On Sunday, as her husband takes the field, Ms. Juszczyk, 29, will be in the stands, modeling one of her creations to an estimated 200 million viewers. And she may not be alone. De facto brand ambassadors who have worn Ms. Juszczyk’s made-just-for-them products at games include Olivia Culpo, the fiancée of 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey; Brittany Mahomes, the wife of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes; and Ms. Swift.

Fashion brands have been wooing sports stars for a while now, transforming their “tunnel walks” into catwalks and signing them as official “faces,” but none of them has had a promotional opportunity like this one. And Ms. Juszczyk didn’t even have to buy a $7 million 30-second ad spot to get it.

A brief recap of how it happened: Ms. Juszczyk first burst into the public eye thanks to Ms. Swift, who wore one of her customized jackets to support her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, during a game on Jan. 13, generating the same sort of buzz around the jacket she has created around friendship bracelets.

Though the look was mistakenly attributed to Nike at first, Mr. Juszczyk took to social media to set the record straight. His wife refrained from most formal interviews after the brouhaha started, so he stepped in as a sort of fashion proxy, talking her up to reporters and replying to numerous social media posts to make sure she was credited for her work.


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