Notre Dame Students Launch Footballs—and Fashionware—with Thom Browne ('88)

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Recently, 30 undergraduate students participated in a historic football game on campus of the University of Notre Dame.

It was not the Irish's dramatic 35-14 upset over Clemson. Rather, in this game, both teams had home field advantage. The field was the South Quad. The spectators included reporters from GQ and Vogue. And the uniforms—which included not cleats and helmets but cashmere knits, waffle-knit long johns, and striped rugby polos—were the real star of the show.

The game was the latest iteration of an event hosted each year by Notre Dame alumnus and fashion designer Thom Browne (‘88). Since 2014, Browne has hosted pre-Thanksgiving football games in Central Park where teams include actors, models, and other celebrities.

This year, the players were all current Notre Dame undergraduates. The students applied and were selected on the basis of their own creativity, individuality, and interest in fashion, including their interest in the course "Strong Suits: The Art, Philosophy, and Business of Thom Browne," which will be offered at Notre Dame in the spring 2023 semester.

In addition to those on the field, some students acted as cheerleaders while others helped with dressing and styling. Many other students and faculty turned out to watch from the sidelines alongside fashion journalists and Thom Browne's staff.

The football game was just one part of a series of events Thom Brown will participate in as Artist in Residence at the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study during the 2022-2023 year. In addition to his involvement in the spring 2023 course, Browne will host a public conversation with longtime friend and fellow Notre Dame alumnus Michael Hainey, following up on a similar event hosted this fall.

Although the game was fun, the competition was real. Fitness trainer and GQ columnist Joe Holder officiated as Team Onslaught (wearing navy) earned victory over Team Rockne (wearing gray) in a game of two-hand touch.

For more information about other events featuring Thom Browne and other NDIAS Fellows, visit

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