Winning Way’s student athlete show features NFL quarterback


Adriana Gasiewski

A model during the Winning Way’s Student Athlete Fashion Show shows off his outfit to the crowd.

Adriana Gasiewski, Reporter

As the lights dimmed, DJ Smillz’s music blasted, and the crowd cheered in anticipation for Kent State student athletes to take the KIVA stage. 

Mario Nunez, senior entrepreneurship major and founder of the Winning Way, then made his way onto the stage to speak briefly about why he felt the need to create a student athlete fashion show.

Nunez had organized The Winning Way’s student athlete fashion show to not only allow student athletes to showcase their fashion senses, but to also create a good time.

“I wanted to create an event where people can come together, people can laugh, smile and have a good time,” Nunez said. “I thought it was a good idea to give athletes the platform to actually show what type of fashion they have instead of just seeing how they are playing their sport.”

Junior accounting major and track runner Donovan Hines came to support his teammate and brother.

“My teammate on the track team, my lil bro, Asa Hodrick is here, and I got to see what he brings to the show,” Hines said.

Sophomore psychology major and track runner Antoine Brown was also there to support his teammates.

“I’m excited to see my teammates show out today, Dante, Q and Asa,” Brown said. “That’s the reason I showed up.” 

Other people came to the event in hopes of seeing special guest judge Justin Fields. Fields is the starting quarterback for the NFL’s Chicago Bears and played for Ohio State for two years. He made the College Football Playoffs twice and led the Buckeyes to the National Championship once. 

Fields said he wanted to attend the fashion show to support his friend Nunez’s company. The two have been friends for about six or seven years and are from the same hometown. 

“Just talking with him and kind of knowing for a long period of time now,” he said. “He’s just been talking about this company, The Winning Way, and what he’s passionate so I just had to come and support. Definitely it being the first public thing he did with this company — had to be there and support him.”

Nunez showed his passion with the message of The Winning Way when talking to the audience during the two intermissions. He encouraged people to be confident about their goals and purposes.

The fashion show served as a way to show that student athletes have more style than their practice outfits. Track and field’s Benja Duff, a graduate student sports administration and business management major, won the fashion show.

She wanted the audience to learn about dressing with confidence.

“I hope that people take away that no matter what someone says is fashion or style, have your own style,” she said. “Do it with confidence, and that’s always going to show in what you’re trying to present. Walk with confidence, wear what you have with confidence and be yourself.”

Second place went to visual communication design major and football player Tyler Dixon, who wore all of his own clothes from his clothing brand Honey Drip. Senior criminology and justice studies major and softball player Alexandra Whitmore took third place.

Another takeaway from the event includes helping people understand their ability to accomplish their goals, Nunez emphasized.

“I hope that people take away from the event that any goal that you have in mind you are able to accomplish it as long as you pursue it at a constant rate and you keep a smile on your face,” said Nunez.

Adriana Gasiewski is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].