Kris Bryant models in the Express spring campaign. (Photo: Courtesy of Express)
Along with being third baseman for the Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant has another gig this baseball season — as the menswear brand ambassador for Express (last year another standout athlete, Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors, had the job). Yahoo Style talked to the reigning National League Rookie of the Year about how he started working with Express, the best style advice he has ever gotten from Cubs manager Joe Maddon, and what he is wearing for his upcoming wedding.
Yahoo Style: How did you start working with Express?
Kris Bryant: When I was approached by them, I was a little surprised just because Steph Curry was the last guy [to be the face of the brand], and he’s a superstar. But I’m grateful they did. I like to do a lot of fun stuff off the field, and this is the epitome of it.
YS: Did you have any interest in fashion before?
KB: In college, I just wore whatever was clean. My interest in fashion has spiked a little bit since then, and partnering with Express has made fashion even more interesting to me.
YS: Though you’re always on camera — on the ball field — how did you feel in front of the camera for a big fashion shoot?
Standard baseball photo shoots are very different. With fashion shoots, you have to figure out your model pose and all that. I definitely wasn’t very good at that, but they told me I’m a natural.
Photo: Courtesy of Express
YS: Your manager, Joe Maddon, is one of the most original coaches in baseball. What’s the best sartorial or lifestyle advice he has given you since you joined the team?
KB: My favorite thing is “if you look hot, wear it.” That’s what he says all the time.
YS: Since you’re always on the road, what are three things you never leave without?
KB: I like to travel in a button-down shirt, even though we can wear whatever we want. I like to look nice and presentable. I also wear a nice belt and my favorite pair of jeans.
YS: You’re getting married soon. How did you propose?
KB: I proposed on Christmas Eve. My mom has always gotten me an ornament to open on Christmas Eve as an early present. Ever since I’ve been dating my fiancée, my mom has always gotten her one too. So this year, I got her one instead — and got it engraved and put the date on it and everything. She kind of knew it was coming, but I tried to find a way for it to be unexpected.
YS: What do you plan on wearing for the wedding?
KB: My fiancée’s going to choose what I’m going to wear, but I like a navy blue tux.
YS: The Cubs are actually being picked by a lot of people to win the pennant this year. How do you deal with expectations of a fan base that has dealt with a century of disappointments in that regard?
KB: Expectations. That word is a privilege to have on you and on your team, and you do things in order to get to that point. I think our expectations as a team are greater then anybody’s out there, and we just handle it by making our own expectations and making them pretty lofty. But we expect a lot out of each other, and we hold each other accountable. That’s a quality that makes a great team.