Not long ago, Kam Chancellor was one of the NFL’s most feared safeties, patrolling the middle of the field for the Seattle Seahawks as a charter member of the Legion of Boom.
Chancellor suffered a neck injury in 2017 that ultimately forced him to retire and embark on life after football earlier than expected. Football was, for most of his life, his passion and outlet for essentially everything, and now he is adjusting to the pace of life away from the field and finding pursuits that can fill the void.
Chief among those is his line of shoes with Marc Nolan, a collaboration effort with his wife, Tiffany, to create a men’s and women’s collection. Recently, the Chancellors spoke with Uproxx Sports about the adjustment to life after football, the conversations they had about what to do next, and their process and collaboration on their shoe line.
What has the adjustment been like in your first year fully away from the game and just kinda finding a way to fill that time with passions off the field?
Kam: It’s opened up more space for me to do things off the field as far as spending more time away, spending more time with my son, and just working on business. We got a few things going on, a lot of irons in the fire, but right now with folks and all the Chancellor Collection that’s kinda what it’s been able to do; give me a chance to be more creative and expand my brand a little more.
For both of you, what’s this opportunity been like? The line with Marc Nolan and you get to work together on this collaboration — what’s the inspiration for it and what’s the whole process been like for you guys?
Tiffany: It’s been a really enjoyable process, actually. I feel the inspiration behind the His and Her Collection is rooted in our marriage and I guess the importance of it to us. We’re just very much a team. We believe our marriage is our ministry to the world, and we like promoting it. We think it’s a good thing, it’s a blessing. And we love having the chance to work together as a team, and just do things together. Togetherness is what we’re all about.
Tiffany, for you, when y’all found out that Kam’s neck injury was likely gonna be the end of his career, what were the conversations that you two had about what was next, about how to go forward, and how early did you guys have those conversations about life after football? Did you ever have them prior to the injury or was that something that kinda came along then?
Tiffany: Yea, we had some conversations here and there prior to his injury about what life would look like after ball, but ball is such an … it just kinda is, how do I explain it? It’s all-encompassing. It just takes over your whole life, so when you’re in it, you’re in it. You’re very much focused on getting by week to week. I’d say it probably was a maybe couple months after realizing he couldn’t play anymore that we really started kinda like, thinking more about what life looks like, thinking about the things that interest us, and that whole entire shift. There was a lot of things that shifted after he stopped playing.
Kam, for you, being a pro athlete, Tiffany mentioned the week-to-week nature of it, and the routine is such a big thing. Do you enjoy the freedom of your time? I know some guys are seeking out that rigidity after retirement. How are you balancing that and what do you seek out to fill those gaps?
Kam: You know, I just take it one day at a time. And I just know that I’ve been working hard playing football for 22 years, and it’s taken up a lot of my mind, taken a lot of my time. And now I get a chance to jump on the real rhythm and the real pace of how the world’s supposed to move. Football was fast-paced. Everything was now, now, now. Now I get to relax, take my time, and do the things that I want to do when I want to do them. And just moving at a slower pace, there’s a rhythm now. It’s a day-to-day thing of, “What does the Lord have for me today? What does He have for me today? And everyday, what does God have for me today?” And I just kinda go with that flow.
It’s not necessarily a new thing, there have always been athletes that have been fashion-forward, but it seems like more and more guys in the NFL and the NBA are more into fashion now. When did you really start getting into fashion and when did you realize that was something you wanted to pursue off the field?
Kam: Probably about four or five years ago I started getting really deeper into fashion, and that was more so from a clothing standpoint. But then the shoes came about maybe three years ago, and I started a shoe collab then with another company. But that didn’t turn out well and we ended up ending the partnerships, and we ended up starting our new partnership this year in January with Marc Nolan with Sebastian. And we’ve just been proceeding from there.
For you, what are the things that you want people to get out of the shoes? What do you want the shoes to represent and provide for people as far as comfort and look and everything like that?
Kam: We kinda call it luxury affordable shoes. So I want people to feel good, to look good, to walk in comfort, to walk in style, but also at a reasonable price so everyone can afford it and you don’t have to spend all your paycheck just to get a pair. And you know, you can probably buy more than one at the price point we have them out. And I think that’s the biggest thing, a lot of the shoes are versatile where you can wear them for dinner, you can wear them for work, you can wear them at a very formal event. It just depends on how you want to style them, but there’s so many ways you can style the shoes. And we also bring them out on a seasonal basis. Each season has its own type of shoe and meaning behind the shoe. Then the His and Her line, it kinda helps if you want to buy the shoe and match with your significant other or just with your friends or whoever you want to call your partner. That’s kinda the steps and roles I’m taking for the shoes.
What is the process for you two as far as the design process and testing and everything like that? What’s been the process like?
Tiffany: Really we draw inspiration from any and everything around. One of the beauties of living in Seattle is we are surrounded by nature. We look out our window it could be a butterfly, it could be a tree. The texture of it, the color of it.
Tiffany: Stone. Wood. Anything we’re pretty observant people. We take notice of a lot of stuff. We’ll draw inspiration from our entire environment.
Kam: Yeah, and once we get that inspiration we either start drawing pictures up or we’ll start bouncing ideas off of each other, and then we’ll talk to Sebastian. Then we get Sebastian our ideas and get him the pictures. Then Sebastian comes up with a sketch, and he gets some samples made, and he sends the samples back over. He shows them to us, he sends them to us, and then we check out the samples, see if it’s what we like, the colors, the fit, the feel, the texture. And then we go from there, so it’s kind of a back-and-forth until we get the perfect shoe that we want to present to the public.
Finally, what do you see as the next thing for you, whether it’s expanding the line or anything else? How do y’all see this all growing?
Kam: Well, right now we kinda just want to get the awareness of Marc Nolan and the Chancellor Collection out there even more. Get them on more people’s feet. We want to sell more product. And then once we start doing that, I think everything else will start taking care of itself. To where we can get our shoes into fashion shows and big events and you know, just getting them out into the public eye I think we’ll be able to be on that level eventually one day.
Tiffany: Yea, we want to grow as big as possible. We want Marc Nolan and the Chancellor Collection to essentially be a household name one day. We want people pining after our shoes they way they pine after Jordans. We want people to love our shoes.