ON RAPOPORT: Custom-made three-piece suit ($1,195), custom-made shirt ($140), and tie ($85), Astor & Black. Shoes, Loake ($295). Astor & Black, 230 N. Second St., Suite 1B, 610-733-2455
ON JUSTICE: Custom-made jacket ($800), custommade pants ($350), custom-made shirt ($140), and tie ($85), Astor & Black. Astor & Black (see above). Shoes, Winston’s own.
Winston Justice: Growing Bolder
The excitement of wrangling two coveted seats to Vera Wang’s runway show during New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week might be lost on most men. But not on Winston Justice.
Admittedly, it was his wife’s idea to take in the see-and-be-seen sartorial thrills, but Justice says he enjoyed the experience all the same. Fashion—like writing for local news outlets, surfing in exotic locales like Costa Rica, experiencing Philly’s latest restaurants (he even has a sushi roll named after him at Zama), or savoring coffee at Elixir, the Center City coffee bar he co-owns with his brother-in-law—is just another hobby of the larger-than-life professional football player.
As the starting right tackle for the Eagles, Justice spends most of his time dressed in helmets and pads. But on the occasions when he does get to wear suits, for team travel or for evenings out, he takes full advantage of his well-edited wardrobe, starting with shoes. “I’m a shoe fanatic,” says Justice. “It started with sneakers, but now I have all types of footwear. I’ll wear the same shoes with suits or jeans.”
For his suits, Justice has worked with Berel Rapoport of Astor & Black, a boutique custom clothier with locations across the US, including one in Old City, for the past three years. Thanks to Rapoport’s careful consult—and more than 5,000 fabric swatches to choose from during one-on-one appointments— Justice has abandoned basic black and brown ensembles for patterned ties, velvet sport coats with elbow patches and contrast stitching, and three-button suit jackets featuring contemporary roll-down collars.
Rapoport, who at just 29 years old is an uncharacteristically young tailor, left his former life in advertising to pursue a career in clothing. For this self-described people person, it has been as much about building relationships—Rapoport and Justice’s kids play together, and the two will meet up occasionally in Florida, where Justice lives in the off-season—as it has been about helping clients take ownership of their look.
In that aspect, Rapoport has certainly helped Justice do just that. Maybe even too well, he says. “He’ll go through GQ and snap a picture with his phone and send it to me, saying, ‘I like this jacket,’ or ‘Let’s use this pattern,’” says Rapoport. “His wife says I’ve created a monster.”