Travis Kelce Addresses Backlash to Article Crediting Him With Popularizing Fade: 'I Didn't Invent That’

The 'New York Times' was called out for failing to recognize the haircut's connection to Black culture.

Maddie Meyer / Getty Images

Travis Kelce denounced the notion of the "the Travis Kelce" haircut, a name given to his signature fade by the New York Times in a recent trend piece.

"It's absolutely ridiculous," Kelce said during a Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night press conference. "And to do it on February 1st to throw me into the wolves like that, that was messed up, man. I don't want anything to do with that one, man."

Kelce then advised the reporter on how to achieve his look. "I got a good fade if you need it though, it's two on top, a nice high to mid-fade with a taper in the back," he said. "But I didn't invent that, I just asked for it.

Travis Kelce confirms he did not invent the taper fade.

🎥: By @Sean_Zittel, Vegas Sports Today#SuperBowlLVIII

— Vegas Sports Today (@VegasSportsTD) February 6, 2024
Twitter: @VegasSportsTD

In the piece, the Times reported that Kelce's version of the taper fade has been in-demand across the country, with barbers even replicating the style on TikTok.


HAIRCUT TRENDING: TRAVIS KELCEs’ -Buzz cut Drop Skinfade| Beard Fade @patty_cuts Puttin Barbers on the Map! 🙌🏿🔥💈 • • 👤Model: @garyjdunne 💈Barber: @_shearperfection 🎥Filmed/ 🎬Edited: @_shearperfection Products used: ⚡️ @electric_london_ Cloud Burst Mousse / Invisible volume Chalk & Paste. • • • 🚨🚨LINK IN BIO TO BOOK APPOINTMENTS🚨🚨 • • • • #superbowl #football #haircutmen #traviskelce #traviskelcehaircut #inspiration #taylorswift @taylorswift @killatrav @markwoolley1 #menshairstyle #barber #consistency #menshair #menstyle #mensfashion #hairinpiration #ukstyle #raleighbarber #skinfade #britishbrand #menshair #shearwork #ukhair #electrichair #raleighbarbers #buzzcut #mensfashion #fashionstyle #hairinspo #barberlife #shearwork #shorthair #shortstyles

♬ laurel hardware - Fiji Gala

“It’s basically zero on the side until you get to the top,” barber Jeffrey Dugas told the Times. “It’s a fun, easy haircut that I can do in a quick 20 minutes.”

The Times, not Kelce, was called out for its erasure of the style's origins in Black culture, with Jemele Hill tweeting that the piece gave "zero cultural context" about the haircuts roots. Hill previously called out the way Taylor Swift's viral "Swag Surfin" video was covered in the media as well.

Let me add: My issue isn’t with Travis Kelce because he didn’t write this story nor has he ever claimed to invent this particular haircut. My issue is with the NYT for giving zero cultural context and failing to explain that fades have been popular for a very long time and it has…

— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @jemelehill

The Fade vs The Travis Kelce hairdo

— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) February 3, 2024
Twitter: @KingJosiah54

All eyes will be on Kelce this Sunday, haircut or not.

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