Danielle Forte and her New York Jets husband Matt have teamed up to produce a fashion line based on Romans 8:28.
Posted in , Jan 16, 2018
Fashion curator and mother of two Danielle Forte knew from experience how difficult it can be to be both a new mom and fashionable. Caring for the baby takes precedence over finding cute clothes that fit and maternity wear isn’t always fashion-forward.
“While I was pregnant I decided to nurse and I was struggling with finding clothes that I thought were actually cute on me,” Forte tells Guideposts.org.
“You have the clothes for the pre-mom stage when you can wear anything and you didn't have to work as hard to look good, and then you have the, ‘Hey, you're a mom, put sweats on’ [stage].”
Danielle wanted to change that.
The mom of two had already dipped her toe into the fashion world. She launched her first clothing line in 2015 before getting pregnant with her first child, a daughter named Nahla. It was her husband, New York Jets running back Matt Forte who encouraged her to really get her feet wet and branch out with 828 Clothing. The brand caters to that overlooked period in a woman’s life between being single, carefree, and daring in their fashion choices and taking care of the kids at the expense of themselves.
“It kind of just evolved as I've evolved as a mother,” she explains of her line which includes figure-flattering dresses, comfy cardigans, chic jumpers and stain resistant tops that stretch and move with you. “It was basically, ‘How can I make the things that I wear on a daily basis work as a mom?’” Danielle says of the collection. “How can I ensure that the fabric is soft enough for babies to lay on it; if they get dirty, I'm not upset about it because it's going come out? Basically taking the things that we see every day that you loved to wear prior to babies or when your kids are older, and just making them work for this season in your life and beyond.”
While Danielle does the heavy lifting when it comes to creating these pieces – she’s in charge of fabric swatches, color choices, and design – Matt pitches in when it comes to naming each look. One of the line’s best-selling items, the Swiss Army Jacket, was coined by the running back thanks to its versatility.
“It’s one of the favorites right now,” Danielle says. “You can use it for nursing, you can change it up and wear it at least five different ways.”
The brand got its name from the couple’s favorite Bible verse, Romans 8:28: We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. It’s a reminder to moms (and dads) everywhere to remain calm and trust God when the stress of parenting begins to take its toll.
“As a parent, you go through different things and you have doubts and fears, you have highs and lows, so we know from the verse, at the end of the day, no matter what, everything's going to work out the way it should,” she says.
Matt hopes the name of the line and the verse itself can encourage others facing hard times – something he’s had to do recently thanks to injury setbacks on the field.
“There are times when certain people aren't used to adversity or seeing adversity all the way through to the other side, and when something tough happens or a trial happens in their life, they just fold,” Matt says. “But if you push through that stuff, if you have faith and continue to go through it and believe that you can, all things will work out in the end. So it's just about empowering people.”
Matt and Danielle grew up in the church – Danielle’s father and Matt’s grandfather were both pastors – so spirituality is front and center in their day to day lives, which revolve around raising Nahla and baby Matt, playing football, and working on this new project together.
“Faith plays a huge part in our lives and in my career in football, because I'm in a locker room full of guys from all walks of life,” Matt explains. “The Bible says, ‘Make disciples of all nations,’ and that's what I think this [clothing line] is geared towards. Through clothes and fashion and empowerment, [we’re] getting [a] message out there on the importance of faith.”
Matt also pushed Danielle to expand the line to include newborns and toddlers which eventually evolved into 828 Baby. The collection – which is mostly unisex – features a range of onesies, tees, hoodies, and leggings that are durable, sporty, and made for an active lifestyle.
Danielle hopes that the lines can reach the women and the families who need it – empowering moms everywhere to rediscover their pre-baby self, with clothes that are fashion-forward, comfortable, but most of all, timeless.
“I would love for it to be a household name for moms, for them to understand that it's not just about maternity or not just about nursing. That it's a brand that they can lean on forever.”