Five Fits With: New York Giants Cornerback Adoree' Jackson
The New York Giants are in the middle of training for the upcoming season, but their star cornerback and NFL veteran Adoree’ Jackson took a few hours off on a recent Friday afternoon to do this feature with me. In meeting Jackson, you might not know he’s as accomplished or skilled as he is. Born in Belleville, Illinois, he landed at USC to play college football and was drafted in the first round to Tennessee in 2017. In 2021, he signed a three-year, $39-million contract with the Giants. Despite his success, Jackson has a humble and unassuming presence, plus a fairly subdued manner of dress—something rarely seen from athletes of his stature (and part of the reason I am cautious when considering athletes for this column). “My journey’s been a wild one, but I appreciate it because it was never given to me,” he says. “I worked for it and earned it.”
Below, we discuss what drives him to succeed, the outfit he wore for his televised college signing, style’s role in the NFL, and plenty more.
How have you been able to persevere through various hardships in your life and career?
My mentality is to keep my head down, to work, and I pray a lot. I grew up in the church and went to a Catholic school. My biggest motivation came when I left Illinois. I didn't want to go back home and have people think, “Damn, what happened to you?” I wanted to be the hometown hero, but I didn't want people to think I went to California and it didn't pan out. I didn't want to hear those questions asking, “Was this you? You did that?” I've been that guy. I always worked hard. I’m respectable and genuine. I think abiding by the Lord and trying to do right as best as I can has worked for me. Talking to my mom and my dad gives me strength, and my girlfriend helps me out a lot as well. It's a crazy evil world we live in, but to have great people, a great structure, and a great team around you keeps you sane. Because it's easy to try to handle things yourself, but everybody needs someone to lean on. And I say those three helped me out tremendously. They make life easier.
Can you remember when you first fell in love with fashion?
When I was a kid, my dad and my mom always had me dressed up in nice clothes: Sean John, Fat Albert. And my older brother, who was seven years older than me, wore the Red Monkey jeans, the Girbauds, the NASCAR jackets, the different Air Forces—being from St. Louis, how Nelly and the St. Lunatics used to dress. I just gravitated towards fashion early. My dad always dressed sharp. My mom can be going anywhere, she’s going to put something nice on; that's just who she is. She passed that down to us. Every day, I always try to be conscious of making sure I don't look tacky. In my mom’s words, “You don't want to go out the house looking crazy because you never know who may see you, or what may go on.”
What was your first big purchase?
My first, which I still have this to this day, is this Gucci belt. Marvin Pollard—I call him my uncle—took me to Bloomingdale's in Beverly Hills right before I was about to sign to USC and got this belt and I got the Gamma 11s. That was the first time I ever purchased Jordans. That was one of my favorite moments. I had a little leather jacket and a little button up and some black pants. So it was an all-black fit for signing day. My aunt also came and made sure I was right, since it was going to be televised; they made sure I was looking clean. I wear this belt with every outfit. Just a little reminder of where I came from, how it all started, and to keep going.
How have you honed your personal style over the years since being in the NFL?
I think it’s always been the same. I don't want to say I don't care; I'm just not into wearing crazy stuff. Veronica, my girlfriend, she'll show me a couple things she likes and she'll look at my face and know I'm not comfortable in it. I really just go off of how comfortable I am and I just like things to look clean, comfortable, not too loud. I really don't like too many eyes on me. I just like putting on clean fits, matching, being coordinated. I think I’ve always been like that, even as a kid—simple, subtle, but smooth, stylish.
What role does style play in football on and off the field?
I think it plays a huge role. I really don’t have any swag on the field. That never was my thing, as much as I idolized and looked at everybody else on the field. I tell them, "Dang, you look fly today. Your swag look clean. You look nice." But for me, it just doesn't feel right. I like to go out there and play ball. I remember my first time when I moved out to California, I wore Nike Land Sharks, basic cleats. This guy was giving me a hard time like, "Nah, if you going to play with us, you can't wear those. Those nasty." So my first fashion football purchase was Nike Vapor Talon cleats. That was my first time actually getting into cleats. As Deion Sanders said, “You look good, you feel good, you play good.” So fashion on the field and off the field plays a part. When you come to the game, if you’re feeling good, nine times out of ten, you’re going to play good, too.
What are some of your favorite brands and why?
Jordan. Grew up big on that. My favorite Jordan shoes are the Fours. My actual favorite Jordan shoe are the ones that he wore in Space Jam. The Nines. Nike, obviously just Air Force Ones. As of late, man, I don't really have a favorite brand. I just really like clothes that feel good. I just like putting pieces together. I don't really need all name brands.
If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it consist of?
Shit. What I got on. Some nice little pants, not too tight, like these Nike carpenter pants. Some nice shoes, like Air Forces. A nice T-shirt. And then you can throw a jacket on over it. Really just something simple, something everyday.
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