METAIRIE, La. — Should this football thing not work out for Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins, he has stumbled into an alternate field.
And it’s one that will allow him to still have hits, albeit not the ones he’s used to.
Jenkins unleashed his fashion sense on the world this past Friday, unveiling his new company Rock Avenue bow ties.
“Rock Avenue is the street I grew up off of in New Jersey,” Jenkins said Monday, still dressed in his full pads after training camp practice. “It’s like we embrace people to come into the neighborhood type of thing. Rock Avenue is what influenced me so come join the neighborhood.”
Known in the locker room for being one of the team’s most fashionable players, Jenkins at first balked at his wife’s suggestion that he get into the bow tie business.
“I’m always looking for stuff and I can’t really find ones that I like to wear so my wife was like, you should just make your own,” Jenkins said.
Morrisa, his wife, told him her mom was a seamstress and she knew how to sew. That led to the purchase of a sewing machine, which led to Jenkins – the 6-foot, 204-pound starting free safety for New Orleans – to get behind the machine and use it.
“I had one home economics class in the third grade and that’s it,” Jenkins said. “I knew all I had to do was press the pedal and it would go and the little thing would go forwards and backwards.”
The initial batch of ties were good enough for him to wear, he said, but not good enough to sell.
So, this offseason, Jenkins spent time in New York, going to the fashion district to find fabric, which he found. Mounds and mounds of it, he said.
Jenkins now has a manufacturer in the New Orleans metropolitan area and a Metairie address for the business.
He’s designing all the bow ties and pocket squares and if you’re wondering, yes, his teammates will get a discount.
“I’m going to bring it out when we’ve got to travel somewhere and guys got to put on a suit,” Jenkins said. “Let them know what I’ve got for them.”
(Part of the proceeds from the "In That Number" bow tie, pictured above, will go to benefit charities that support New Orleans youth.)