LARGO, Fla. (FOX 13) - MetLife Stadium turned upside down when The New Day’s Kofi Kingston won the WWE title at WrestleMania 35. And he did it in an outfit designed in the Bay Area.
”It was amazing! They looked so good. They looked so good, I was a little bit in tears because it came out so perfectly,” said Jonathan Davenport.
Davenport is the guy behind the gear. He has been designing the New Day’s outfits for years in his Largo office. Like most great opportunities, it happened by chance.
“I did what every desperate person does when they’re looking for something; I went to Craigslist, found an ad for someone looking for an artist,” he said.
It turns out, the person on the other end of the ad was an up-and-coming wrestler named Xavier Woods, who was looking to stand out among the other performers. Within a few years, Woods, Big E, and Kofi Kingston would come together to form the New Day.
“The three of them had this amazing chemistry. They were all into the same things. Anime comics, movies, the same stuff I’m into,” Davenport said. “I would work those influences into their designs, and they would just pop and the crowd loved it, and they turned into this huge thing, and they moved merchandise and in WWE when you move merchandise they notice,” he said.
Now, back to Kofi’s WrestleMania moment.
“For me to say my dreams came true, it’s not a cliché, it’s an actual event that happened. It was amazing,” said WWE Superstar Kofi Kingston.
The gear he wore that night was an homage to the late Jean Michel Basquiat, a former street artist whose work would go on to sell for more than $100 million.
“Up until last Sunday, I’ve never had a single match with a WWE championship. It took me 11 years to get to that point,” Kingston said. “Similarly to Jean Michele Basquiat he struggled to get to that field. I struggled to get in my field at the highest level- Jonathan nailed that concept right away,” he added.
From the performance to the creativity, Davenport and the New Day have become a match made in heaven.
”It’s probably the biggest thing I’ve done,” Davenport told FOX 13.
To see more of Davenport's work, visit https://www.designmodestudios.com.