Marc D’Amelio ’91 (CLAS) describes himself as a man without a lot of hobbies. But he has helped his daughters, Dixie, 21, and Charli, 18, rise to TikTok stardom, moved cross-country, partnered with Abercrombie & Fitch on a new line of branded apparel, become a reality TV star, and won Best New Unscripted TV Series at the MTV Movie Awards for “The D’Amelio Show,” all in just three years during a pandemic. And while he may have moved to Hollywood, D’Amelio still has hometown and Husky pride.
The native Norwalker’s next project, branded D’Amelio Huskies Collective, was created to help UConn student-athletes develop and control their own name, image, and likeness. We checked in with him while he was back home in Norwalk in July.
You are known as a true-blue Husky.
When I went there, UConn was an underdog — it was a school that was affordable. I transferred from community college and it’s almost as if I grew with the school. I remember telling my grandmother I was going to UConn, and she thought I was going to Canada! And now when you say UConn, there’s not a person who follows colleges who doesn’t know where it is.
And my love of the City of Norwalk is so important to me, for similar reasons. We’re surrounded by all these affluent towns, and sometimes the schools get a bad rap. When we had the opportunity to move to Westport or Darien, we came back here to Norwalk. I’m loyal in that way. And that’s the same way I feel about UConn. If I can create a buzz about the University of Connecticut, if I can use my platform to do that, I’ll do it. I do think sometimes people who follow me for Dixie and Charli information go, “Aw, he’s talking about the University of Connecticut again!”
I don’t know what it is. It’s just that time of your life when you’re figuring things out and learning how to be on your own and navigating through life, and UConn helped me do that. I didn’t meet my wife at UConn, but my roommate from college ended up running World Gyms in NYC, and my wife was a personal trainer there. If I didn’t go to UConn, I would never have met my wife!