Suits Him Fine

Jay Lombardo designs sports' spiffiest uniforms

"I was winging it the whole time and thought I had pulled it off," Lombardo says with a giggle. "Until the guy couldn't get his pants above his knees."

But for every embarrassing moment—like having to Scotch-tape together two measuring tapes around Nate Newton's considerable waistline or borrowing a stepladder to properly size up Yao Ming—there are the Michael Johnson moments.

"The kid was still in his 20s, but he went to the ESPYs and out-dressed everyone," Lombardo says. "For him to pick a style that helped with his confidence and aura, it's very rewarding."

Jay Lombardo helps Avery craft his larger-than-life image.
Jay Lombardo helps Avery craft his larger-than-life image.

Come Saturday Lombardo will begin doing for high-end rookies what he's done for high-profile veterans in the past: Possibly get them on the cover of GQ. Definitely keep them off Mr. Blackwell's notorious list.

"People want you to stand out and to stand for something," Lombardo says. "Deion Sanders was too flashy for some, but he appealed to young kids and younger markets, so the folks at Pizza Hut and Pepsi thought he was perfect. Troy Aikman started out in boots and jeans, but we gave him a more upscale, All-American look, and next thing you know Kroger was giving him a lot of money. All these guys have a perfect fit and an appropriate image, and we can help them find it."

And with his first pick in the 2007 NFL Draft, Brady Quinn selects...Jay Lombardo, clothier, Dallas.

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