ESPN Anchor Christine Williamson Talks Personal Style and the Evolution of Fashion in Sports Media

We chatted with the anchor in the midst of playoff season

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If you are an avid sports watcher, then you've definitely seen Christine Williamson in action over at ESPN. Joining the four-letter network in 2019, Williamson has served in a variety of roles for the company, frequently hosting ESPN programs on ESPN digital platforms such as Countdown to GameDay, The Wrap-Up, Hoop Streams, SC on Snap, and more along with anchoring television editions of SportsCenter, and sometimes filling in for Molly Qerim on First Take. In the four years of hitting the big screen, Williamson has turned heads not just for her sports knowledge, but for her unique sense of style. Williamson regularly documents her different looks on her socials and between that and her striking appearance, we'll go on the record of saying that we won't be surprised if modeling gigs are in her near future.

We sat down with Williamson last week to talk sports and style, and how the two are coming together to fuel her future journey.

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ONE37pm: Thanks for chatting with us Christine! For many of us, style is a representation of our respective personalities and background. When did you first discover who you were through fashion?

Williamson: My mother probably has ten times better style than me! Watching how she put clothes together—her name is Julie, and people are always like "Julie, you look so good!" I learned how style can show your personality and how people are interested in what you are wearing at a very young age. When I was in high school, I really kind of went along with trends and what other people were wearing because of course you're trying to fit in and you don't want to be any different. I would say college was when I really began to step out and figure out my own personal style.

Now, I will also say that I looked crazy! I've been through so many different styles and been kind of all over the place. College is when I started doing my own thing rather than what I saw other people doing. When I was an undergrad I was very much a street style person. I really liked bright colors and sneakers. My professional life is a little bit of that mixed with some professionalism. I recently posted what I was wearing through the entire week—I do a mixture of studio and digital shows, and our digital shows are much more chill. I was putting all my outfits for the week up, I realized my style could be described as a little bit of everything. I was wearing baggy jeans and sneakers on our digital show, but then I had on a blazer for Sportscenter.

My style has evolved so much, but I would say that I do whatever looks and feels good. I don't fit into a "category" necessarily, I just embrace all of it and put my personal spin there.

ONE37pm: When did you know sports reporting was for you?

Williamson: I decided to go into sports reporting in undergrad. I was a broadcast journalism major, but I wasn't really sure which path I wanted to take. I was an athlete an undergrad too, and a lot of the projects I was doing for school was sports-related just because I was always around it. I even had one professor ask me to do something other than sports! Around that time, another professor asked us what we planned on doing in the future. He specifically asked how many of us wanted to get into sports and we all raised our hands. He said something along of the lines of this being a very competitive industry, and that we should consider being in news. That sounded like a challenge to me, so I was like "Bet!"

That's kind of why I got into sports, but then a good friend of mine, Gayle Sierens was one of the first women to call an NFL game—I used to watch a lot of games with her and she would kind of point out what Erin Andrews was doing well on the sidelines and things like that. So I was always watching with my eyes geared towards the broadcasters. She was a part of the reason I decided to go into sports as well.

My style has evolved so much, but I would say that I do whatever looks and feels good. I don't fit into a "category" necessarily, I just embrace all of it and put my personal spin there.

- Christine Williiamson

ONE37pm: Amazing. So now we'll tie the first two questions together. Was it difficult to find stuff to wear at the beginning of your career?

Williamson: I actually posted about this recently. The biggest thing for me was the fact that I didn't want people to think I was going into sports to get attention from athletes. For me, I was trying to do things that wouldn't draw too much attention to myself and not wear stuff that showed the form of my body. I wanted people to know that I was in this for the right reasons—not because I wanted to marry a football player. A lot of the style choices I made early on were in that regard. Even though I felt I was well-dressed—I worked for the Broncos for a year—I still had so many people bothered that the players wanted to talk to me and grant me interviews.

Rather than admit that I was a very good interviewer, they always wanted to point to it being something else, and multiple people would point out to me what I was wearing on a regular basis. In fact, one time I had on a pair of regular leather pants—nothing crazy, and I had a long cardigan covering me up. I mentioned a player saying something funny, and they were like, "well, maybe it's because you have those leather pants on." So early on, I would just wear muted colors, and it wasn't until I got out of that place that I started to experiment with my style more. That's when I started wearing things that I felt confident and comfortable in.

ONE37pm: Well that leads us to the next chapter, which is your journey at ESPN. For those that don't know, can you walk us through how you joined the company?

Williamson: I got here in October of 2019. I was at the Big 12 working as a correspondent for Stadium, and I plateaued being there and wanted to see what other options there were. I reached out to a few agents, and one agency that was in my top three reached back out to me. I went up to New York to meet with them, and they were really excited to work together. I left that meeting thinking I was going to sign with them, and when I got back to Dallas, they told me there were a few people at ESPN that knew about me and wanted to meet with me in Austin.

I hadn't signed with the agency yet so I signed, and went to Austin to meet with a few people in the ESPN talent department. They had me come up to Bristol to see if there was a position that I could fill, and a month later they had an offer for me. About a month after that I was in Bristol working.

A lot of people that are coming into ESPN now are embracing the fact that you can break the cookie cutter mold. You can put your own spin on things, and it doesn't have to look like what everyone else is doing. That's what's been the most fun for me.

- Christine Williamson

ONE37pm: Fast forward to 2023, you are now on national television and there's a lot of people watching you. How did that change the way you approached your style?

Williamson: Two fold. I do a lot of digital shows so they are very casual and chill, but I'm also on television and those are very different from one another. For the first time I felt like I could be really professional in the studio. When I was working as a correspondent, I was on the road all of the time. Obviously I was still very professional, but being in the studio was the first time I could embrace that kind of style on a regular basis. I love it! On social media I document my outfits, and it's one of my favorite things to do.

So things didn't necessarily change, my style has just naturally evolved. My wardrobe has also grown significantly! It's just whatever feels good for me. A lot of people that are coming into ESPN now are embracing the fact that you can break the cookie cutter mold. You can put your own spin on things, and it doesn't have to look like what everyone else is doing. That's what's been the most fun for me.

ONE37pm: Who are your favorite brands and designers?

Williamson: Okay, Zara just started doing an ambassador program, and I've been telling my agent to hit them up the moment they start doing sponsorships! I'm pretty sure about 80 percent of my wardrobe is Zara. We wear our clothes pretty much once a year. I can't wear an outfit today, and then wear again next week. I can wear certain pieces and mix them up, but it's very hard for people to not notice. Zara has very affordable clothes that are high-quality. You aren't necessarily skimping out, but you are getting super nice professional clothes. I also like to mix in other higher-end brands. I'm obsessed with Brandon Maxwell, and I also like Revolve.

ONE37pm: Is modeling in your future? I'm sure you've been told you have the bone structure.

Williamson: It's so funny because I told my agency—I'm with WME, and when Fashion Week happened in February, I went with the VP of Fashion to a Brandon Maxwell show. When we were hanging out she told me that I should do modeling as a side gig. I know guys like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Kyle Kuzma will walk in shows and stuff like that, and that's something I want to try. My agent and I are trying to figure out what that looks like, but I would definitely be open to it because it seems like so much fun!

ONE37pm: Do you work with a stylist?

Williamson: I don't right now. I do know a few stylists that I might work with in the future, but the biggest thing for me is that I love shopping. One of my good friends in the industry, Monica McNutt, she hates shopping, so she's always saying she needs a stylist, but I'm obsessed with shopping. If I hired a stylist they would need to completely understand my style, and I would need them to curate a huge closet that we can go through together. If I can create a relationship like that it would be awesome, but right now I haven't felt like I've met anybody that can do it better than me. I'll wait until I'm too bogged down with my schedule and really need the help.

ONE37pm: I'm getting vintage vibes within your style. Am I right?

Williamson: I love most eras style wise, and I like to harken back every once in a while because I love the 60s and 70s, and I've really been feeling the 90s these days. I also love thrifting, so I'm able to pull from different eras that way. I follow a few vintage people/shoppers that you can purchase from, and I'm obsessed with them as well.

ONE37pm: Do you ever get emails about your outfit?

Williamson: It's actually crazy—I had someone message me the other day that they liked what I was wearing and wanted to send me money because of it. I was like... no! I have some randoms, but way more positive than negative.

ONE37pm: Five years from now, where do you want to be style-wise? Do you want to create your own line?

Williamson: I think it would be really fun to create my own line. Amazon allows different designer to have drops, and I think that's an interesting thing to do. In the future, I would definitely like to have relationships with higher-end brands, so that way I don't have to purchase things myself and can work with them individually. That would be dope. I want to marry that with what I do in sports.

You can continue to keep up with Christine and her latest updates via Instagram.

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