Former basketball player now braves the fashion world
Prince (top image), wearing a suit designed by Willie Scott ’83, and Beyoncé Knowles perform “Purple Rain” during the 46th Annual Grammy Awards in 2004. Above, Scott during the 1982-83 basketball season.
“I’ve always had a burning desire to do something in the fashion industry,” said Willie Scott '83 from his cell phone while in Miami, where he was working out the details for his new line of golf attire. Known as “The Roadrunner” during his days as a Brave, Bradley Hall of Famer Willie Scott is known today as one of the nation’s top fashion designers. He is the guy celebrities, like Prince and Michael Jackson, go to for clothing for the biggest and most significant moments of their lives.
Scott played basketball for the Braves while earning a bachelor’s degree. “I have fond memories of my time at Bradley and playing for the Braves,” said Scott. “I was always treated so well in Peoria, and I really appreciate having the opportunity to receive an education from Bradley.”
Scott opened Willie Scott Custom Clothier in 1999, and today he makes on average 20 to 50 suits per month. His creations run from $1,500 to $6,000.
A couple of years ago, Prince hired Scott to create a new wardrobe for his Musicology tour. Michael Jackson summoned Scott from Dallas, where he was traveling on business, to Los Angeles, with only an hour’s notice and a few days to complete the garments he needed for his court appearances.
Scott has also dressed Detroit Pistons star and New York Knicks president Isaiah Thomas, NFL legend Chris Carter, NBA players Antoine Walker, Shawn Marion, Mario Elie, Tim Hardaway, and Mike Finley, and Chicago Cubs legend Andre Dawson. He has designed for leaders and executives including Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Vancouver Grizzlies president Dick Versace, and fellow Bradley alums Mitchell “J.J.” Anderson ’96, attorney Tom Penn Jr. '65, and Bradley men’s basketball coach Jim Les '86. Scott said he enjoys and appreciates each client he works for, and has developed lasting friendships with many of them.
The fifth of 10 children, Scott has strong Chicago roots. His mother, Hattie, four of his five sisters, and daughters Jasmine and Tiffany live in Chicago, where his base of operations is also located. Scott credits his mother, who has adopted and raised many of her grandchildren, with motivating him throughout his life. “She is such a warm-hearted person. She is my hero and the reason I have been able to achieve what I have,” said Scott. Today, he spends much of his time traveling, doing fittings, and presiding over teams of tailors in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Atlanta.
The future looks bright for Scott, whose client “wish list” includes Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods. A new Willie Scott Custom Clothier golf line is soon to be released.
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Wheeler receives First Year Faculty Award
Dr. Anthony R. Wheeler, assistant professor of human resources management in the Foster College of Business Administration, recently received the 2006 First Year Faculty Award at Bradley.
He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Maryland, College Park, and earned both his master’s and doctoral degrees at the University of Oklahoma. He is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources Management (SPHR). He has had several scholarly articles published.
Wheeler serves on the editorial review boards for the Journal of Business Ethics and the Leadership and Organizational Development Journal. Prior to returning to graduate school for his advanced degrees, he worked in the field of change management consulting for Management Analysis, Inc. and KPMG (now Bearing Point). He maintains an active interest in change management and human resources management, consulting for both for-profit and non-profit organizations.
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