Football and fashion are two things that don't often go together, but when they do you get spectacular results.
That was exactly the case on Friday night when Rock Steelers Style took over Stage AE, and Steelers players hit the runway for the team's annual fashion show.
In a setup that would make New York Fashion Week attendees jealous, Stage AE was completely transformed from concert venue to fashion mecca for a high-energy, stylish night.
From the red carpet, to a style lounge featuring the hottest Steelers fashions and more, to a runway show to beat all runway shows and included international fashion model Stacey McKenzie, it had it all.
"It's always a good opportunity to get out there together as a team, in the community, with family and friends," said receiver Antonio Brown, who was joined on the runway by his family. "And this year having it Stage AE was a lot of fun. It's was a great opportunity for us all to get together for a good cause and have fun with fashion."
While the event, which was chaired by Art and Greta Rooney and Mike and Kiya Tomlin, was about fun and fashion, it had a much deeper meaning. All proceeds benefited the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and the Cancer Caring Center, two charities that have a long relationship with the Steelers.
"The most important thing about this night is it's for a good cause," said William Gay, one of the show's co-captains along with Markus Wheaton. "It's all about helping others and doing our part.
"It's fun too. It brings out another element. It's not on the practice field, it's not in the stadium. It's a different light. We get to show our personality. We see in the locker room how guys like to dress, but now the public gets to see it."
The show began with a little 'pre game' action, featuring musical performances by Brynn Williams and Allie Trimm and dance routines by the University of Pittsburgh Dance Team and the Jungle Boogie Crew. Honorary co-captains Chris Hoke and Aaron Smith, representing the 10th anniversary of Super Bowl XL took the stage, as well as Gay and Wheaton in fashions by Larrimor's.
Check out photos from the Pittsburgh Steelers annual charity fundraiser, "Rock Steelers Style," which benefits the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and the Cancer Caring Center.
Then…it was game time. The '1st Down' scene featured players, and their kids in many cases, taking the runway in what everyone is accustomed to seeing them in, their jerseys.
Black and gold remained the theme for '2nd Down: Where What We Wear,' as players, families and models sported Nike and Steelers apparel, having fun in an array of styles that fans can purchase from the Steelers Sideline Stores.
"We got a chance to mix it up," said Brown. "Guys looked good, put on different stuff and had fun. We are competitive. You want to work the runway and make a good impression."
Kiya Tomlin's fashions took center stage in '3rd Down: Rock Steelers Style,' which featured her latest Uptown Sweats line, a fashion line that has taken off as it combines style and comfort for at the office, for an evening out or a day of running errands.
The players went for broke on '4th Down: Friday Night Lights – Behind the Steel Curtain' when they showed off their own styles, as well as rookies in Tuxedo Junction's finest with a touch of pink to support breast cancer awareness month.
Players' wives were shining in styles from Ross Park Mall's Macy's, BCBG, Bebe, Nordstrom, with jewelry from Tiffany & Company, while the kids sported Macy's and Crewcuts fashions.
"It was so much fun just to show our other side," said linebacker Arthur Moats. "Everybody sees the football side, where we are all aggressive and in that competitive mindset. We got the opportunity to come out here and show our fashion sense, show our style. Plus the family side of it, having your family do it with you, it makes it all good. I feel like it draws us closer to the fans and vice versa."