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Michael Strahan has managed to transition from an NFL superstar to an entrepreneur, co-host of ABC's Good Morning America, a two-time Emmy winner, and the head of SMAC Entertainment, a multi-dimensional talent and production company. But while that impressive resume may sound like more than enough to most people, you can also add another job to his bag: fashion designer.
Strahan's love for fashion began in his early days as a football player for the New York Giants.
"You cannot show up around a bunch of brothers looking busted, especially on the football team," Strahan tells Tiffany Lee of :Blackprint, the Black employee resource group for Meredith Corporation. "If you come in there on that Saturday travel day and you're not right, you might as well not even go. Just tell the coach, 'I ain't going to the game. These guys are going to talk about me too bad. I can't even get on the bus!'"
The need for his outfits to be fire eventually led Strahan to create MSX by Michael Strahan, a brand that mainly consists of athleisure wear that's relaxed and casual, as well as men and women's team apparel. On the flip side, he also has a tailored line of clothing - suits, ties, and skivvies - under the name Collection by Michael Strahan. Pieces are sold at JC Penney or Men's Wearhouse, and with Father's Day around the corner, Strahan gives his opinion on what to grab from his line for gifting this year.
"A nice polo always goes well," he recommends. "Dad loves a polo. And if he's a golfer, go on and get him some of our chinos to go with it. The dads are going to be looking real fly on the golf course."
Part of the reason Strahan has so many ventures, he says, is because of his kids. As a dad of four himself, his goal is to lead by example.
"If I had retired and just sat at home, my kids would never see me work hard. I think it's made it a lot easier for me to have them understand what hard work is from watching me do it, instead of pointing out examples."
Still, Strahan is continuing to learn as he goes. When asked about the hardest lesson he's learned as a parent thus far, he had the perfect answer ready.
"That little girls grow up," says Strahan. "The boys are calling and daddy don't like that!"
However, the former football player understands the importance of fathering with compromise - letting his kids know that they have their own voice, they're individuals, and they can be trusted to make their own decisions. "You have to trust your kids and let them know that their opinion really does count."
With Father's Day and the Juneteenth holiday landing on the same weekend, Strahan tells us he's going to spend his time "burning" on the grill (in a good way).
"I don't think there's a guy, no matter where you are, who thinks that he can't get on the grill and do some damage - even if he can't."
As a Texas native, Strahan understands the importance of the commemorative holiday, which began in his home state and signifies the end of slavery.
"The younger generation - even my generation - didn't know if we could, or would, or should celebrate it. But we're finding out that America has so many layers of history that have been hidden. Now is the time, if we've ever felt it, to take what is our own, make the most of it and run with it. There's so much pride in being Black. Juneteenth hasn't been something that I can honestly say we celebrated every year. But it's something that I know I'll celebrate from here on."
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