EAGAN, Minn. – Harrison Phillips never saw modeling in his future.
"I'm a wear-sweatpants-to-church kind of guy," he quipped.
The 6-foot-3, 307-pound defensive lineman isn't a fashion guru and doesn't much care for style tips.
What he does care about, though, is making a difference in the lives of young people – and a new collaboration between Phillips and Hippy Feet is doing just that.
The Minneapolis-based Benefit Corporation sells T-shirts, sweatshirts and socks. The heart of the company, though, focuses much more on soul than soles. Hippy Feet is dedicated to supporting the homeless, which each product sold helping provide transitional employment to young people ages 16-24 who are experiencing homelessness.
Phillips sees multiple parallels between the unique company and his Harrison's Playmakers Foundation, which specifically supports youth and young adults with developmental differences.
"You don't just throw funds at a thing or give kids goodie bags or something like that. You always have to be forward-thinking. And that's the same with my goal for Harrison's Playmakers," Phillips said. "I teach kids to be independent so one day they'll apply for jobs themselves, and we've had some Playmakers who had gotten jobs.
"Hippy Feet is really good about looking at the future for these kids, and it's a really good end goal in mind," he added.
View photos of DL Harrison Phillips lifting up some of his best buddies from the Harrison's Playmakers Foundation with Minneapolis-based Benefit Corporation, Hippy Feet Clothing Line.
So when Phillips had an opportunity to collaborate with Hippy Feet, who financially supported Harrison's Playmakers, on his own clothing line, he happily embraced the new endeavor.
Not alone, though.
Phillips this week spent time with Jenna, Jason and Aidan, all of whom have intellectually or developmental differences and are part of Best Buddies, a nationwide nonprofit near and dear to Phillips' heart.
When the young people had a chance to join photoshoots with Phillips Jenna and Aidan helped the lineman model a few of his new Hippy Feet items.
"Give me your best pose," Phillips encouraged Aidan, who didn't shy away from a big-time flex.
Phillips lifted Jenna onto his shoulder, the two of them wearing matching "Horrible Harry" hoodies.
The trio then took a seated position, laughing heartily as they showed off three different designs of Horrible Harry socks.
"C'mon, bud! I'm trying to smile and you keep making me laugh," Jenna ribbed Phillips.
Eric Perkins, Jenna's dad and former KARE 11 sportscaster, smiled as he took in the whole interaction.
"Jenna has fun with just about anything she does, but the access he granted her made an indelible impact," Perkins said. "She is still talking about it, and she honestly thinks of him as her buddy now."
Perkins explained that Jenna got involved with Best Buddies during the COVID-19 pandemic when, like people all around the country and world, she struggled with a lack of connection.
"Jenna discovered Best Buddies through some of her friends at Special Olympics," Perkins explained. "During the pandemic, she was feeling isolated like so many others, and Best Buddies stepped up with a lot of fun, interactive, online meetings that she became a part of. Since then, she's been active in their programs, galas and events."
Since Phillips signed with the Vikings last spring as a free agent, Perkins has been impressed by his consistent commitment to not only Best Buddies but the special needs community as a whole.
Vikings DL Harrison Phillips hosted a local event for his foundation, "Harrison's Playmakers," that supports children and young adults with developmental differences and special needs.
"His interest in them is totally genuine," Perkins said. "Oftentimes, pro athletes get involved with charities and nonprofits on just a surface level because of time constraints and other obligations. The investment Harrison has made into the organization goes way beyond that. His passion is all encompassing, it's a priority with him, and it resonates so much with the kids.
"This collaboration with Hippy Feet is just another extension of his deep connection with Best Buddies," Perkins added. "Another perfect example of how he goes well beyond the surface and really gives his time, energy and heart to the cause."
Phillips first became introduced to Hippy Feet through Vikings teammate Eric Kendricks, who collaborated on a clothing line himself in August 2021.
"An organic conversation started, and I learned a little bit more about their mission – I think it's really, really cool what they're doing," Phillips said.
While Kendricks designed automotive-themed clothing, Phillips and Hippy Feet leaned more heavily into his longtime nickname, "Horrible Harry."
Hippy Feet initially designed an illustrated version of Phillips with his hands on his hips, which they then tweaked.
"That's how I am most of the time because I'm tired out there, trying to catch my breath," Phillips laughed. "But for my celebration after plays, I always point up to God. So I asked them to change that."
Those who want to check out Phillips' clothing line and join him in supporting the missions of Hippy Feet and Best Buddies, the apparel launch will go live here at 6 p.m. (CT) Saturday.