From touchdowns to touchups, we’ve seen Michael Strahan continue to grow as a household name long after retiring from the NFL (as a Super Bowl champion).

He’s a television mainstay (appearing on-camera for various sports shows), and was a previous co-host on Live! with Kelly and Michael. Strahan has virtually done it all, but he’s not finished yet! He is now gaining ground in the fashion design business, launching his eponymous label Collection by Michael Strahan and MSX by Michael Strahan (both lines sold exclusively at J.C. Penney).

To ensure that ESSENCE was up-to-speed on the ‘Strahan strategy,’ the man himself dished on his fashion philosophy, why menswear is so important to him and more!

ESSENCE: How and why did you get into fashion from playing in the NFL and currently working on TV?

MICHAEL: I’ve always loved fashion and I know how important looking and feeling good helps build confidence. I know I need to like what I’m wearing and feel comfortable in it to be my best self. When J.C. Penney came to me with the idea of creating a new apparel collection, I saw an opportunity to help other men dress for occasion[s], so they too can look and feel their best. Creating stylish yet comfortable fashion for today’s men continues to be a big passion of mine.

ESSENCE: What’s the thought process when deciding to start a fashion collection? And, in this case, what inspired you to add new designs to both Collection and MSX lines this season?

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MICHAEL: I’m constantly thinking about how to enhance both lines and add items that give men more

options to work with. It’s exciting to launch my first footwear line for COLLECTION by Michael Strahan, it has a wide range of shoes, sneakers and boots to help complete any look. And (in the MSX line), I’ve added a fall collection that introduces lightweight shell jackets and vests, while offering core items in soft wool (in a wide range of colors). These fall styles can be layered with some of the staple pieces offering a new look and providing warmth to your athleisure wardrobe.

@ Tom Corbett

ESSENCE: Do you wear your own brand, and if so, what’s your favorite piece?

MICHAEL: Yes, absolutely! I always wear suits from COLLECTION on Good Morning America, FOX

NFL Sunday and The $100,000 Pyramid. I wear MSX pieces to meetings, run errands, workout and in my daily life. The great thing is that MSX can be worn without looking out of place in any of those settings. Since New York is home, the entire city is our backyard; we love Central Park and rack up a lot of miles walking. The kids and I are always on the go, so I like to mix one of the long-sleeve, quarter zip jacket(s) with a pair of four-way-stretch pants for a clean, easy look that allows some flexibility as well.

ESSENCE: What’s your biggest piece of advice for staying active as we transition into the colder months?

MICHAEL: It’s important to stick to your workout routine, even when the weather gets colder and the days get shorter. If you’re an outdoor runner, keep it up, but make sure to wear layers and do a proper warm-up so that your body and muscles are ready for the cooler temperatures. It’s about still being healthy, safe and active so that you can be energized and focused throughout the day (even if the weather is pushing you to be otherwise).