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DeVonta Smith Stays Fly With VRST

The Eagles wide receiver discusses working with the Dick’s Sporting Goods-powered athleisure brand to create products that athletes worldwide can enjoy.

Philadelphia Eagles wideout DeVonta Smith always wears a suit on game day. That much is clear with a simple scan of the 2020 Heisman Trophy winner’s Instagram page.

But in his leisure time, he is normally fitted from head to toe in VRST, an athleisure fashion brand Dick’s Sporting Goods launched in 2021. The brand creates a wide variety of apparel, from T-shirts, button-down shirts, jackets, parka coats, sweaters to shorts, dress pants, jeans, and beyond.

Upon visiting the site, Smith’s face is the first image a user sees on the landing page.

“From his persona and his lifestyle, we were really excited to have him because he is like our muse when it comes to who this guy is and the products that we are developing so it was a perfect fit as far as what we were looking for when we are designing the product,” Alycia Scott, VRST’s Vice President of Vertical Brand Design, told Boardroom in a Zoom interview.

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Coming out of college, Smith was one of the most highly anticipated receivers in his draft class; only LSU’s Ja’Marr Chase and Smith’s former Alabama teammate, Jaylen Waddle, were selected higher. With a Heisman and two national championship victories to his name, Smith naturally had sponsorship suitors calling his phone by the dozen.

So, what did it ultimately come down to?

“How comfortable it was and the material of it,” he said of VRST. “You have these big-name companies that come after you and I had never heard of VRST, but once I tried it on and it was comfortable, I knew it was the one.”

But It wasn’t just the comfort that was alluring to him; the idea of being the brand’s premier athlete also spoke to the entrepreneurial Smith.

Photo via VRST

“I wanted to be different from everybody else and go my own way, and hopefully, I can bring some guys with me,” he said.

In order to stand out to an up-and-coming athlete like Smith, Scott and the VRST team knew they had to offer more than just practical performance, however.

“We don’t want to design something that only works for one use. So much athletic apparel is built on function and not necessarily look. We want to give him amazing style as well,” she said.

And while Scott said she doesn’t believe VRST has found the perfect product, Smith would beg to differ. Both the bomber jackets and the jumpsuits are some of his favorites.

As it relates to the potential ongoing relationship between the two parties, Smith, who hopes to eventually design his own suits one day, is excited to see what the future holds at VRST.

“From where we started at to now, I’ve seen things change and grow. The main thing is to keep the relationship strong and keep getting better,” he said.

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About The Author
Randall Williams
Randall Williams
Randall Williams is a Staff Writer covering sports business and music for Boardroom. Before joining the team, he previously worked for Sportico, Andscape and Bloomberg. His byline has also been syndicated in the Boston Globe and Time Magazine. Williams' notable profile features he has written include NFL Executive VP Troy Vincent, Dreamville co-founder Ibrahim Hamad, BMX biker Nigel Sylvester and both Shedeur and Shilo Sanders. Randall, a graduate of "The Real HU" - Hampton University - is most proud of scooping Howard University joining Jordan Brand nearly three months before the official announcement.