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Suzanne Johnson, Marchesa Make a Fashion Statement


It was opening night for another glitzy Jets franchise at NFL headquarters in New York City on Tuesday night. The new NFL Women's Marchesa T-Shirt, designed by Suzanne Johnson and Georgina Chapman of Marchesa, was unveiled during a show on the sixth floor at 345 Park Avenue that brought out celebrities from football, fashion and even politics.

Suzanne, who has been integral in the growth of the NFL's For Her program and NFL Women's Apparel Fit For You line over the past few years, said during a brief quiet moment away from the party that she noticed "a hole in the marketplace," an absence of a higher-end eveningwear look.

"I turned toward Georgina, whose husband, Harvey Weinstein, is a big Jets fan, and asked her if she wanted to collaborate," Suzanne recalled. "She said  yes right away. So I want to take this time to say thank you because she was very courageous."

Courageous because Georgina's gorgeous Marchesa gowns have made her a "red-carpet staple." But she said she was "really excited" to undertake something new to the brand.

"We've never done anything like this before," Georgina said. "It's just been so much fun. It's been such an out-of-the-box experience for us, and it's just brilliant, absolutely brilliant."

The premium white viscose T-shirt, generously covered with black Swarovski crystals, was the star of the show, but there were a number of highly recognizable supporting stars on hand. Suzanne and husband Woody Johnson, the Jets owner, were early arrivals for news and fashion photographers.

In short order, the Johnsons were joined by Jets quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Greg McElroy and tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson, as well as general manager Mike Tannenbaum and team president Neil Glat.

Many NFL executives also showed up to lend their support, none bigger than Commissioner Roger Goodell, who of course "back in the day" was a Jets public relations intern and is also close with the Johnson family.

"I've never met anybody with the kind of energy and enthusiasm that Suzanne Johnson has shown, and she's taken it to a new level," Goodell said. "She's really been the enthusiasm behind this whole effort. She took it under her wing, brought her own touch to it and has driven it."

As for the league's entry into the business of designing, making and selling women's wear, the commissioner said, "What we're really all about is embracing fans and bringing them into the game. By being a part of that, you can be a part of something very special."

"This is such an exciting event," said Michelle Tannenbaum, wife of the GM. "Who would've thought that the NFL and fashion would come together in such a hip event? We've come so far with women's apparel for games. The Fit For You line is so fashionable, and I think this is the start of something really fun."

As for the political football component to the gathering, "The Donald" also dropped by. Donald Trump, in addition to his real-estate, public-affairs and television pursuits, is a good friend of the Johnsons and the Jets.

Where might a stylish female Jets fan wear this statement? Suzanne had several ideas.

"Oh, out to parties like this, out to cocktails," she said. "I think it's a great look to wear out on the town, maybe after your team wins, you want to go out to dinner, and you tell your husband, 'I'm all dressed up. Take me out.' And you're all ready to go."

The event was actually designed to kick off the T-shirt's debut in the marketplace. It's debuting today at the Jets Shop at MetLife Stadium and on with a price of $110, which, Suzanne said, "is a great entry point for a Marchesa product."

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