SNEAKERS & FASHION

Inside Kwity Paye’s NFL Gameday Style

The Indianapolis Colts defensive end takes Boardroom through his gameday fits and provides a special look at his prized Jordan collection.

Right after he entered the NFL as a First Round draft pick for the Indianapolis Colts, defensive end Kwity Paye was planning to get fresh for his weekly stadium entries.

He thought some shorts, vintage tees, and Jordan 1s would do the trick as he started to make his way in the league. He had already started to build up his collection of Js as a star tight end at the Jumpman-sponsored University of Michigan before entering the 2021 NFL Draft. 

“Growing up for me, I didn’t really have the money to just go into Nike or all of these stores and just buy anything that I wanted,” he told Boardroom. “For me to sign with Nike was a dream come true.”

That more casual plan shifted as the season approached and he looked to elevate his business-setting style as a pro and invest in a wardrobe of tailored suits. Adonis Jennings, a former Packers wide receive-turned-suit designer and stylist, has helped Paye map out his upcoming looks and suits for the regular season, after crafting his Black Panther-inspired Draft Day suit. 

“For the home games, you can kind of be more relaxed with the wardrobe and not really wear a full suit,” Paye said. “You can be more comfortable. For the away games, [I’m going with] a really nice suit.”

As the two began to plan out his weekly slate, Paye had one demand: The kicks would stay. 

“I want everything to go with my 1s,” he said. “All of the suits, all of the fits, are based around the 1s.”

As he told Boardroom in a tour of his sneaker collection and preview of his gameday style, Paye will pull from his rotation of over 30 pairs of Jordan 1s throughout the NFL season. 

From Shattered Backboards to the more recent Storm Blues, and, of course, a clean pair of Chicago 1s, Paye has been going all in on tracking down his favorite Jordan Retro in its original high-top cut. One of his favorite 1s are the navy and maize Wolverines exclusives he left Ann Arbor with that are now worth more than $5,000 across several resell sites. 

“[These were] the parting gift that Michigan gave their graduates before they left,” he said. 

While each of the original colorways and new looks atop the iconic AJ 1 represents a different story or theme, it’s the Dior edition that Paye perhaps holds most dearly. Crafted and made in Italy, that was the pair he wore on Draft Day with the Black Panther suit. The outsole still has small pieces of rice wedged throughout the grooves, a prideful remnant from the traditional African celebration his family took part in of throwing money and rice during his draft party. 

“We were dancing all night,” he said.