After wearing the exact same uniform as all of their teammates during games, professional athletes have made postgame press conferences their version of the red carpet. Stars like Dwyane Wade and Tom Brady have led the fashion push, wearing outfits that often sparked their own stories.
And come playoff time, with the eyes of the world upon them, stars know they have to step up their game.
That's what makes Colin Kaepernick's wardrobe choice after the San Francisco 49ers' victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday so special. Kaepernick, no stranger to well-dressed ways, eschewed all the top designers for a vest designed by a 13-year-old fan from just outside Los Angeles.
Colin Kaepernick postgame style http://t.co/gkvLPKOMwe
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) January 12, 2014
"It was massive," Jeremiah Jones, the teenager behind the company JYoungin, tells ThePostGame. "I was blown away. It was a miracle."
Jones was watching the 49ers game with family Sunday when his sister noticed Kaepernick wearing one of Jones' signature vests at his postgame press conference. They rewinded the TV and sure enough, Kaepernick had on the JY Collection Vest.
Upon seeing his vest on his favorite player, Jeremiah called his father and business partner, Ed.
"He just started screaming," Jeremiah says of his father's reaction. "I was speechless at that point."
Jeremiah, who started the JYoungin line five years ago, is far from your average seventh grader. He runs and operates his own business, which includes a website (JYoungin.com) and a store in Long Beach, Calif. He's got more than 27,000 followers on Twitter and has created animated characters and cartoons to go along with his apparel line. Going forward he says he'd like to explore TV and film opportunities.
A huge 49ers fan, Jeremiah noticed that Kaepernick's birthday fell in November, just like his. So last fall Jeremiah took advantage of some connections to send Kaepernick a birthday package that included a vest and a Positive Achiever Award, which he normally reserves for classmates who've made the honor roll or scored perfect attendance.
Jeremiah didn't hear back from Kaepernick and had no idea whether the quarterback had received the package. That made this weekend all the more satisfying for Jeremiah and his family. In the aftermath of Kaepernick wearing his vest Jeremiah says he received more than 200 text messages along with numerous pats on the back in the hallways of school.
"I just want to thank him for wearing my brand," Jeremiah says, "There’s not too many 13-years-olds out there that can say Colin Kaepernick wore their brand."
For Jeremiah the brand is about more than clothing. He says he enjoys inspiring others and has used his company as a tool to give back. His Positive Achievers program rewards students for their hard work and many of his T-shirts have a positive message.
"I like to help people give back to the community," he says. "I want to change lives."