The New York Giants wide receiver talks about adjusting to the NFL, New York City and of course, his style.
Sterling Shepard tries to keep the focus on football, but after moving to New York from Oklahoma to play for the Giants, it's understandable that the city has helped him grow. The Big Apple is one of the reasons why he's developed a passion for fashion.
In his first game for the Giants last season, he had three receptions for 43 yards and one touchdown, kicking off a breakout rookie year. After coming back from an injury that forced him to miss two games this year, Shepard had five receptions for 70 yards in the Giants loss to the Los Angeles Rams last weekend.
Sports Illustrated caught up with Shepard to chat about adjusting to the NFL, New York City and of course, his style.
Charlotte Carroll: Did you watch the Bedlam (Oklahoma-Oklahoma State) game?
Sterling Shepard: Yes I did, I watched it for the most part. I had to go to meetings towards the end, but it was pretty much over after that. I got to watch it.
CC: Is it always fun to watch your old team? Especially in a game with that significance?
SS: Yeah it was a huge one for us, we had to win that one, I was pulling for my guys. It’s always good watching GameDay, especially with it in Stillwater.
CC: How’s the transition from Oklahoma to New York City been the past year, two years?
SS: It’s been great; I’ve had some help along the way. I had my sister out here my first year so that was good for me, and it’s a lot different than Oklahoma out here. There’s a lot more people, a lot more going on. It was a pretty big adjustment for me, but I’m pretty settled in now. It’s been going good.
CC: Do you feel like a true New Yorker now?
SS: I wouldn’t say that but I do catch myself here and there, honking the horn more than I used to. I think it’s kind of grown on me.
CC: What was it like having your sister her as you adjusted?
SS: It was cool, I mean I came home to a clean house all the time and everything was taken care of. It was definitely taking a lot of weight off my shoulders, which I kind of needed because I had to get the playbook down.
CC: What’s like adjusting to life post-college, but also adjusting to life as a NFL player? How did you deal with that?
SS: I just took it for what it was worth; I just tried to keep my focus on football, not on some of the outside distractions that can happen when you’re in the NFL and you have a lot of eyes on you. I just tried to keep to the main thing and that was football and just concentrated on that.
CC: What’s your favorite part of New York City?
SS: The different personalities, there’s so many different people out here. It’s a big melting pot so you get to see different cultures. Everything is different. It’s just cool being around everybody. You meet some pretty cool people.
CC: Do you have a favorite neighborhood that you find yourself in a lot?
SS: I like the SoHo area, that’s where I’m at most of the time. That’s where most of the shopping is and good food too. My girlfriend (model Chanel Iman) and I, we like to eat a lot so when we go there, that’s where we’re at.
CC: What’s your guys’ favorite meal to get?
SS: We like sushi, so we go to Sugarfish.
CC: How do you describe your style?
SS: My style is comfy for the most part. It’s real relaxed. I love wearing jeans, sneakers and t-shirts. So if it’s anything to do with those three things, then it’s all for me.
CC: Who inspires your style? Do you take inspiration from NYC?
SS: I kind of just take different stuff from different people that I like. I wouldn’t say there’s just one person. I love Jerry Lorenzo’s style. I’m in track pants all the time.
CC: How is your fashion different in Oklahoma verses New York and do you change what you wear based on where you are?
SS: Yeah I think it all depends on where you are. On the east coast, I tend to wear more dark colors. I mean everybody wears black out here so I’m always doing that. When I get to the west coast, I kind of lighten it up a little bit, wearing different colors. So I definitely think it depends on where you are.
CC: Do you like east coast or west coast fashion better?
SS: I like to wear all black, so I think I’d go with the east coast.
CC: When you got here, did you find yourself buying a lot of new things to fit in with that east coast aesthetic or did you wait it out?
SS: I just picked up new stuff as time went on, had to get stuff for pregames and stuff like that so I picked it up as the season went on.
CC: What’s your go-to look?
SS: Probably just Jordan sneakers, black jeans and some type of hoodie. Something like that.
CC: What’s one thing you pack when traveling?
SS: I’m always packing, let’s see. I always pack a pair of jeans everywhere I go, I don’t know which brand or anything. But I’m always packing a pair of jeans just in case.
CC: How did the partnership between the NFL men’s lifestyle campaign and you arise?
SS: My agent brought it up to me and I kind of just jumped on it, I was pretty excited. It sounded like a great idea. I thought it’d be a great chance to kind of influence some of the fan base and just to showcase their fandom and show them they can wear the fan apparel not only on game day, but also everyday.
CC: With your girlfriend being a model, how has that changed your outlook on fashion? Has she helped you at all?
SS: Yeah, I man it’s kind of like a team deal. I’ll put something on and she’ll critique it or tell me that looks like it’ll go better with that.
CC: Have your ever found yourself helping her get dressed or is she pretty good about that herself?
SS: No she’s pretty good, but she will come in every now and then, asking “Should I wear this bag or this bag?” she’ll ask me that. So I’ll tell her what I think.