by Patrice Worthy, Examiner
Vernon Davis may be known as the 2006 first round draft pick and starting tight end for the San Francisco 49ers, but he is also known for his love of the arts. A full fledged Renaissance man, Davis is setting the standard for sophistication and bringing philanthropy back into style.
Davis lives up to a standard of excellence on and the off the field. Whatever Davis takes on he makes it his business to be the best.
“My ambition is to be successful in everything I do,” he says. “It’s important because anything you do you should be the best at it because you only live once.”
In this lifetime, Davis is a star football player, painter and is he also being recognized for his serious take on fashion. David was asked to host the Styling the Modern Man event in San Francisco where he and other fashionable men let the world know what it means to be masculine and debonair.
“Basically it was getting across is that the modern man is stylish,” Davis says. “We focused on different aspects of life like your house and your car and things you can do like keeping you car clean. You should always be simple and clean.”
Davis grew up in an underpriveleged neighborhood in Washington D.C. and is familiar with the challenges facing the boys who look up to him. He uses fashion as a tool to help point young men in the right direction.
“It all started with me growing up. I had to have the hottest pair of shoes,” he says. “I feel fashion can give you options. It is way to be involved in something positive, especially young black men who have a hard time.”
On his blog he writes freely about the styles of clothing adopted by young men in urban areas.“I think urban wear hurts young black men in urban areas,” Davis explains “It all they become accustomed to. My advice to young men in urban areas is to not be afraid to think outside of the box. You can wear a blazer, nice shirt and jeans.”
During the off season Davis spends most of his time working with organizations devoted to empowering the youth. He recently hosted and awarded prizes at the KIPP (Knowledge is Power Program) Spelling Bee and visited a KIPP school in the San Francisco area Davis co-taught an art class at the Triton Museum and conducted a walking tour of the Museum and Art Gallery in Palo Alto, CA. He also participated in the 49ers “Shop with a Player” program and in WAMU Touchdown for Tots. As a painter, he used his artistic abilities at “Smocks for Jocks” in 2006 and 2007, where he contributed an original tribute piece to Bill Walsh which sold at silent auction for $500. Currently he is organizing a football camp for underprivileged children at Dunbar High School in Washington D.C, a project that is close to his heart.
“I know what it is like growing up and not have everything you want. Kids want to see these athletes come back and give.” Davis grew up in household with his six siblings who were all raised by their grandmother. His childhood allows him to appreciate the circumstances of the underprivileged while challenging them to strive for a better life. Now, he is working on a project to help those affected most by poverty and drug abuse-women.
“My mother wasn’t around when I was growing up. I don’t know why she wasn’t around I guess she was in the streets,” he explains. “I want to help women who suffer from drug abuse. I have been waiting for my brother so we can start it up.”
Vontae Davis, Vernon’s brother was recently drafted to the Miami Dolphins making them the second set of brothers in NFL history to be drafted in the first round. As Davis talks about his brother he can’t hide his pride. He is anxious to share their experiences and success with others.
“I think I’m raising the bar,” Davis says. “There are a lot of athletes who say they are going to contribute and give back and never do. My thing is I’ve made it this far why not take time to reach those behind me.”