Travis Kelce Is ‘Down to Experiment’ with Fashion, Says Designer of His 1989-Coded Date Look

Travis Kelce Is ‘Down to Experiment’ with Fashion, Says Designer of His 1989-Coded Date Look (Exclusive) 

Colm Dillane, the founder of KidSuper, tells PEOPLE that he never expected the Taylor Swift-inspired outfit to have “quite a moment”

Travis Kelce's 1989 Outfit

Designer behind Travis Kelce’s “1989” date outfit dishes the tight end’s fashion philosophy. PHOTO: KANSAS CITY CHIEFS/X; STEVE GRANITZ/FILMMAGIC

It’s September 2023. You’re scrolling on Instagram and find out Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift have just left Arrowhead Stadium together for a postgame date night. You search “what is Travis Kelce wearing” online because the NFL star looks so cool off the field and there it is: KidSuper’s denim set named after the pop star’s 1989 album.

The commotion around the outfit that ensued, says its designer, was happenstance (sort of).

While speaking with PEOPLE exclusively at the Fashion Scholarship Fund Gala on April 8, Colm Dillane, who created KidSuper in 2010, says he and his team changed the name of the paint-splashed jacket and jeans (originally called “The Bedroom Painting”) to include Swift’s 2014 album when he saw the two together.

He didn’t mean anything serious by it, but the move evidently worked in his favor. The outfit gained traction on social media immediately.

“We did not think it was going to be taken seriously. We thought everyone would assume we had obviously changed it, but wow did it go absolutely viral and become quite a moment, which was cool,” he says.

When the video of Kelce, 34, in the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based brand made the rounds on social media, Dillane says even his friends’ moms were ecstatic.

“It’s just like a different type of fan now,” he adds of the attention KidSuper has received since.

Kelce was familiar with Dillane’s work prior to the Internet-breaking spectacle. Before that game, the tight end wore a camouflage Louis Vuitton look created by the New York University graduate (Dillane co-designed the label’s fall/winter 2023 menswear collection).

The two didn’t officially meet, though, until the athlete traveled to New York City to host Saturday Night Live in March 2023. For those promo images, Kelce was dressed in KidSuper.

“I was with him and his brother,” Dillane says, referring to Jason Kelce, “and they are way bigger than they look on TV.” Of the younger Kelce, he adds: “He’s hilarious and super down to earth and just seems to be very much enjoying life.”

Dillane has also noticed that the football player has the same free-spirited outlook on his style.

“He’s down to experiment and mess around and try new things. I think he’s realized, and everyone’s realizing, being yourself and being a fun person kind of works, and he’s so charming. Him having good style also reflects his good personality — and then luckily he’s good at football.”

Dillane has yet to meet Swift, but he’s come close to it. “I was Taylor Swift for Halloween,” he tells PEOPLE. “I wore a Taylor Swift [costume] and then my girlfriend wore the Travis Kelce look. Then for my birthday, we were playing all of Taylor Swift songs, and then I had a band that covered it.”

Colm Dillane attends the Fashion Scholarship Fund Gala Honoring Tracee Ellis Ross, Michael Burke and Pete Nordstrom, Hosted by Paloma Elsesser at The Glasshouse on April 08, 2024 in New York City.

Colm Dillane attends the Fashion Scholarship Fund Gala in New York City on April 8.JAMIE MCCARTHY/GETTY

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A few months after his designs were seen on Kelce, Dillane checked off another huge milestone — having soccer legend Ronaldinho Gaúcho walk his fall 2024 fashion show in Paris on Jan. 20. He dreams of working with Mike Meyers and Jim Carrey down the line.

For now, at least, he’s enjoying his wins.

“I never had an exact plan of what was going to work and what wasn’t going to work. So it was cool to see some doors open up that you’d never expect and some doors close and then you had to go left and pivot. It’s been quite a journey. I was very enthusiastic and excited by the very small successes, so the big ones were just completely out of left field.”

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