Self-discipline is a weapon seldom used by this generation.
Transitions are a part of our lives that we will forever have to grow accustom to. It really doesn’t matter what it is, our lives are a succession of transitional bridges. We crawl and then soon walk, we babble and then soon talk. From baby face to bearded bandit, from mama’s boy to ladies man, we encounter multiple opportunities to transition in our lifetime. Nonetheless there’s that “in between time”, and for many of us it can be filled with uncertainty, lack of motivation, or even depression. Nonetheless, we all have to transition through the struggles and walk those burning coals as this plays a vital part in our maturation. Nonetheless, it would behoove us to pass down our successful strategies of transition to help us to become our best selves. Goodpeeple caught up with NFL player turned fashion designer Duke Ihenacho (@duke) to coach us through a few of his best plays on how to be aligned on every down as well as what he has under his sleeve for his next step.
As a Carson, California native Duke has played football since his formative years. Following his older brother to San Jose State, he spent his college days between playing NCAA football and his fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha. After college ball, Duke was picked up as a free agent by the Denver Broncos where he made his national introduction playing in XLVIII. His career led him to play for the Redskins and Giants franchises before he made the decision to tackle the runway.
As anyone can image, the NFL is a lifestyle full of transitions and uncertainty. However, Duke sees this transition as a seamless opportunity: “Sports and fashion go hand in hand,” he explains as he welcomes the opportunity to enlighten the non-believers of the multi-talented ball player. “People aren’t confident that athletes can branch out and do anything non-sports related.” Contrary to belief, Duke has an arsenal of abilities under his sleeve and is plotting for the perfect time to infiltrate the industry.
Anyone that has been watching sports the past few decades will understand how influential the collaboration of sports and fashion are. We can look at the past and salute MJ’s suit and hoop earring combo or A.I.’s XXXL white tee with the durag. Even more of us can admit to tuning into Sports Center to see what bold outfits Russell can harmonize or the fashion trend that Cam is about to set off. Either way as Duke shared, its no secret that there is a bridge between sports and fashion.
As of now Duke is in the midst of transitioning from grinding for a football championship to building his fashion empire, L.A.W. 17. However, Duke is eager to take his time with this one. “The premise is to build something from the ground up, giving it a strong core and taking the necessary time to do it correctly.” Interestingly enough we are knee deep in a generation consumed by instant gratification, simply put by Duke as the “microwave generation”. Taking a page from Ancient Roman architecture and Sun Tzu’s Art of War. “I thought it would be especially important for young people like us, young creative people that are trying to find their way. The Art of War teaches patience, the guidelines is something that we have lost touch of.” However, distractions and thumbs up emoji’s hold no place in Duke’s mindset as he has a war ready mindset for the journey ahead. Duke has a war-ready strategy to conquer the urban upscale kingdom.
Be on the lookout for L.A.W. 17 coming to stores near you Fall ’18.
Check out the full conversation between Duke and I below: