NFL wide receiver Plaxico Burress is doing his best to not be part of that staggering Sports Illustrated statistic which states that 78% of NFL players are bankrupt or in severe financial distress just two years after retirement. The 35-year-old Pittsburgh Steeler is diversifying his income stream by launching a new collection of luxury socks. A private event held at Manhattan’s XVI Lounge last Friday served as the debut for the line.
When asked why he chose to create a luxury sock line, Burress told BlackEnterprise.com, “A lot of guys out here have clothing lines and things like that, but I wanted to do something different and something that I’m passionate about. This doesn’t even feel like work to me because it’s something I love to do.”
Burress elaborated on how he selects his socks.
“I love to be colorful and outspoken, so that’s how my socks are too. I don’t care if they match my outfit. I wear socks everyday that match how I’m feeling.
Looking quite dapper in a tuxedo and Louboutin shoes, Burress lifted his trouser leg to show that he was wearing pink socks with blue polka dots.
“The day I decided to start my sock line, I said ‘One day, I’m going to be on the cover of Black Enterprise,” said Burress with a wide grin.
But beyond luxury accessories, Burress also has a philanthropic side. The Plaxico Burress Foundation helps at-risk youth and provides scholarships for students in need of financial aid.
“ I recently saw the mother of a young lady who I gave my first scholarship to back in 2003. She got a $10,000 scholarship. She chose Hampton University and her mother just told me that she went on to graduate from Harvard Law School. Her mom hugged me and had tears in her eyes. I really appreciated that because that’s what it’s all about, giving somebody a chance,” said Burress.
Socks from the Plaxico Burress Collection (which retail for $24-$39) are available online at the company’s official website.
Demetria Irwin is a New York City-based freelance writer/editor. Follow her on Twitter, @Love_Is_Dope.