Eric Wilson is InStyle's fashion news director. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram
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  • As you may have heard, there is a big football game coming up next month. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Why are we talking about football on
  • Well, let me clear up a common misconception here, which is that fashion people, contrary to popular opinion, are quite obsessed with the sport. In fact, I suspect it was a chorus of complaints from designers and editors that New York Fashion Week had historically overlapped with the Super Bowl that caused the runway shows to shift a week later on the calendar this year. So now that we all have the evening of Feb. 7 free to enjoy the game, on the occasion of its 50th outing, I asked a few dedicated designers to compile a fashion insider’s guide to football. As it turns out, they were more than willing, since so many of them participated in a collaboration with the National Football League to create bespoke designer footballs this year.

They’re being sold through Feb. 14 in an auction at, with proceeds benefitting the non-profit NFL Foundation, which works to support the health, safety, and wellness of athletes of all ages across the country. No doubt there will be some stylish eyebrows raised by pigskins outfitted in floral cutouts, candy wrappers, and studded spikes, but then, what did they expect?

“Football has always been part of my life,” says jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher, whose contribution to the auction is a shiny black ball trimmed with golden links, a nametag, and a bridge (below). “My father played football in college and even went to play in the Rose Bowl for Oregon State. Being the youngest and only girl in my family, with two older brothers, football was always being watched in my house, so I have always loved the game.”

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Credit: Courtesy CFDA

Fisher now entertains on game day herself, and has the following tips:

“My personal style is always something minimal and comfortable, since I am normally the hostess,” she says. “I think it’s nice to represent your favored team in some way, but I’m personally not one to wear a jersey. I normally let the food and décor be the clear team representation, and always bake something on-theme.”

The sister designers of Dannijo, Danielle and Jodie Snyder, note that designers have a natural inclination for sports simply because they are so competitive. “We love the thrill of a good game,” they note. (Their football, below, is covered in silver chains and spikes, so you would not want to catch that barehanded -- yikes.)

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Credit: Courtesy CFDA

“We grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, and Jodie fell in love with football,” says Danielle. “I was so obsessed, I wanted to be a sports reporter at the time.”

The Dannijo directive for what to look out for at this year’s game: “Bold colors, heavy metal, and war paint.”

Tanya Taylor took a softer approach to styling her auction contribution, covering a football in colorful flower petals (below). So festive!

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Credit: Courtesy CFDA

“I love how important color is to the identity of a team,” Taylor says. “It is amazing to see how creative fans get to express their support.”

Even with fashion week coming up, you can bet she’ll be watching Super Bowl 50, too.

“I think fashion designers share a lot of similar personality traits with athletes,” Taylor says. “We are competitive, dedicated to our sport, and all work as a team towards excellence. I think we truly appreciate sport, because we know first-hand how much hard work it takes to succeed.”