From starting his own foundation benefiting childrens’ charities to opening a designer shoe store and starting his own clothing line, it seems like Adrian Wilson has a lot underfoot these days. This, of course, is in addition to starting his 11th season with the Arizona Cardinals after being named one of the Top 100 players in the NFL by his peers. We got a chance to talk with the Pro Bowler about the ups and downs of owning High Point Shoes, what’s hot in back-to-school kicks and what it’s like to finally join the Twitterverse. Read our full interview to get all the details and how to get a killer deal on some sweet sneaks.
What are you most looking forward to in your 11th season with the Arizona Cardinals?
I have been here for so long that I just really love to see how its changed over the years and how the talent has changed and evolved. We’ve worked really hard and getting the talent we have now is a step in the right direction.
During the lockout, what did you fill your time with?
I spent a lot of time working out and getting mentally prepared for the season. Everybody knew it was going to happen, we just didn’t know how long it was going to be so I spent a lot of time getting focused. I spent a lot of time in my store, too, and working on the private label I have that’s in the store now. I got my hands in a lot of things and I was really just trying to stay on top of everything.
Yeah, it’s called Dearly Departed and we sell it in High Point and twelve other vendors around the country. I started this two or three years ago and it started off small, but since then I have just told the guys to do whatever design-wise and creatively and I oversee the business.
You are very involved with charity work and the Adrian Wilson Foundation. Could you tell our readers what it’s about?
I have always been active in the community. The fans have been good to me so I really felt the need to give back. Our main focus is fundraising for children and we try to find causes that relate to that.
Not many people know that High Point Shoes is your store, but the name comes from your hometown in North Carolina. What made you want to open a shoe store and name it after the place you grew up?
To be honest, I wanted my store to be named High Point because it’s where I came from, where I grew up and I wanted to recognize that. I also said that when I started my own business, I would be at a high point in my life, so it has that double meaning.
What have been the best things and worst things about owning your own clothing/sneaker business?
The best thing is the free clothes, obviously. For me, that is number one. But also, I kind of proved to myself and others that I can do something other than just play football. I wanted to think outside of the box and do something that I am not comfortable with. It takes a lot of time and patience and I was happy to do it that way because it was something new. I would say the worst part is trying to stay focused with the economic times we have now by doing things the right way and not getting over my head and really giving the consumer what they want without falling behind.
With school back in session, what would you recommend for kids who want the trendiest shoe? How about the kids who just want the classics?
Trendiest shoes, I would say, are the Retro Jordan’s. They are always a really hot item. For the kids who want classics, you can’t go wrong with Vans. Everyone can afford them and they are just a classic shoe.
What’s your favorite sneaker at High Point right now?
Nike has a shoe called the Toki. I probably have about ten colors of those right now.
On a day off, what would people see you walking around in?
Pharell Williams has a line called BBC Ice Cream and I pretty much live in that. My favorite pair of jeans right now are James Shop Jeans and of course anything Dearly Departed. You can see me in that stuff everyday.
You recently joined twitter (@adrian_wilson24). How do you feel about the wonderful world of social media thus far?
It’s crazy. The social network is crazy period, but I am enjoying it. It gives you an up close and personal view of the fans and its also a good way to connect with the them. I think it’s entertainment, but then you have the people who take twitter so seriously and it’s really not that serious so I try to be careful in that aspect.
Get in any really good tweets so far?
I try to tweet relevant things and try to interact make it fun for the fans and the people who follow me. I also like to interact with my teammates and goof around.
Any parting words?
I am really excited about the season. It has been awhile since all of us have played together so we are just excited to be back and working together as a team.
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Adrian has been sidelined with an injury. We wish him a speedy recovery.
Images by J2 Productions