Victor Cruz Named World's Most Stylish Athlete

Posted Apr 13, 2016

VICTOR CRUZ NAMED WORLD'S MOST STYLISH ATHLETE

Giants’ wide receiver Victor Cruz grew up idolizing athletes like Michael Jordan and Deion Sanders, superstars who transcended their sports and became fashion icons.

The six-year NFL veteran has done more than just walk in their footsteps.

This week, Sports Illustrated chose Cruz as their Style MVP after unveiling “The Fashionable 50”, an issue dedicated to identifying the world’s 50 most stylish athletes. Cruz took home the top spot followed by Russell Westbrook, Lebron James, Serena Williams and Henrik Lundqvist.

The magazine was put together by a special group of fashion experts, athletes and SI editors who voted on a number of set criteria, including what athletes wear, how they wear it, designer collaborations and social media presence.

“It’s pretty next level,” said Cruz, who first found out two weeks ago that he had earned the top spot. “When you see some of the names on the list, you’re like ‘okay, this says something to the hard work that I’ve been putting in.’ It speaks volumes for the overall love I have for fashion.”

Cruz wasn’t the only Giant to make the list. Fellow wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. and former defensive end Michael Strahan also made the issue, although SI only ranked the top ten.

“Odell is still wet behind the ears a little bit, but he’s making it happen,” Cruz joked. “Odell has his own style, which he’s owning and he’s really taking it to another level.”

To celebrate its inaugural Fashionable 50 list, SI hosted a star-studded event Tuesday night at Vandal, an upscale restaurant/lounge located in the heart of New York’s historic Lower East Side on the Bowery. Cruz and Strahan were both in attendance, as were several other members of the list, including Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller, WNBA player Swin Cash and NBA player Mike Conley.

I think now athletes have a great sense of what style is, and they're not ashamed to express themselves with it," Strahan said at Tuesday's event. "Victor is definitely a guy who I follow on social media and that I pay attention to that I think has a great sense of style."

For Cruz, fusing fashion and football has always come naturally. The 29-year-old New Jersey native has been working in the industry since he broke through with the Giants back in 2010.

Cruz worked with Nike to launch the Nike Air Cruz sneaker line last fall to widespread industry praise. He’s appeared on the cover of coutnless magazines, such as Athletes Quarterly and GQ, and was the face of French brand Givenchy’s fall/winter 2015 campaign. He also launched the successful clothing line called Young Whales and last July served as one of eight ambassadors for the inaugural New York Men’s Fashion Week.

In tandem with his efforts to return to the field in 2016, Cruz has multiple fashion projects lined up that should only further cement his status as “world’s most stylish athlete”.

“I’m doing some collaborations,” Cruz said. “I did my first with 3x1, the denim company, and I’m working on a couple more which I’m really excited about. I’m just ecstatic and excited to use this platform to bring more eyes and attention to NFL guys, and I’m just extremely humbled.”

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