Fresh off the New York Giants' Sunday victory over the Oakland Raiders, star receiver and Gillette spokesman Victor Cruz talks facial hair, fall fashion, and the rest of the football season.
Congrats on your big win on Sunday! Do you guys feel good going into the second half of the season?
We definitely feel good. We feel like we’re on an upswing, and that if we’re able to pull a couple of these games together and continue our win streak, we’ll be just fine. Everybody is positive. Everybody feels good. Before facing off against the Raiders it had been a while since we played, so we were especially excited to get out there.
The Giants do have a bit of a tough schedule ahead.
Yeah, it certainly is, but we’re ready for it. We’ve got Green Bay coming up but I’m really looking forward to the Dallas Cowboys game at home in two weeks. I feel like that’s gonna be a good one.
Your fans have done a great job sticking by the team through a rough start.
We have amazing fans and they know what’s typical for the Giants. We pick up at the right time and we start playing really good football come November. My message to the fans is just stick with us. I know it’s been a rough start but we definitely have got some good things in store for the future, so just stay with us and we’ll be fine.
So tell us about your partnership with Gillette.
Gillette approached me about endorsing a new product, the Gillette Fusion ProGlide, and it was kind of a no-brainer for me. I’ve been using Gillette pretty much all my life. The precision of the ProGlide and the precision that I play with on the field – I felt like that partnership could only go hand-in-hand. That’s how we got together, and it’s been a great partnership so far.
You always seem like a pretty clean-shaven guy. Have you ever attempted a mustache?
In the spirit of Movember, I’m actually attempting one now! I got the full, dark goatee going. I usually keep it pretty low, but I told my barber not to cut it down, to keep it a little dark this time and kind of taper the outside and kind of let it grow out a little bit. I’m excited for it. It’s something new. My mother’s looking at me kind of crazy, but I think it looks good.
There were some pretty great mustaches in the NFL in the 1970s and 1980s; do you think they’re ever going to make a solid comeback?
You know, I don’t know anyone in the league who has one all the time. There are some guys that grow them out from time to time, like Zak DeOssie, but other than that there isn’t much of a mustache presence. I don’t feel like there were any good barbers around in the ‘70s to cut them down! Now that barbers have excelled and are moving to the forefront of style coverage everybody is getting a nice cut and keeping themselves clean-shaven.
Sounds like ‘keep it clean’ is really your big grooming tip.
I’m just a fan of that look. You can’t have anything that looks out of place. If your mustache hairs are coming out over your lip, that’s a problem. If your nose hairs are too long, that’s a problem. If your hair looks disheveled or is coming over your ears, that’s a problem. I think everything needs to be clean. You kind of have to ask yourself, “If I was a girl, would I talk to me today?” If you’re comfortable with that answer – the answer is a yes – then you should be able to walk out of your house with pride.
While you’re at it, do you have any cold-weather fashion advice for our readers?
In the fall you need a leather jacket. There’s no reason for you not to have a good leather jacket and layer it with a hoodie or a sweater or even a cardigan. That’s my thing. I love that layered look paired with some nice cargo pants and boots. I think the days of being in a big heavy snow coat are over. If you can layer things properly you can still be warm and stylish at the same time.
Are there any other athletes whose style you admire?
I’ve got to go with my man LeBron James – and it’s not just because we have the same stylist! I like the way he puts things together, and the way he carries himself. A lot of it is not just how you put the clothes on – it’s more how you feel when you’re wearing the clothes. Whenever you see LeBron or me out, we look confident, we love what we’re wearing. We’re wearing the clothes; the clothes aren’t wearing us, which is always a good thing.
Photos by Photo: Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images Entertainment | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013