In 2005, David Stern, commissioner of the NBA during that time, banned players from wearing chains, sunglasses, and shorts. The players were required to use casual business clothing.
The ban changed NBA fashion forever.
Pregame fits became a chance to show off their styles. The tunnel became a runway. Endorsements extended beyond the court and it opened doors to non performance brands such as lifestyle brands.
Taking advantage of the spotlight, here’s Russell Westbrook fashion ventures. Russell Westbrook fits are always fresh and he credits it to his mom who he still calls for fashion related advice. He has done more fashion collaborations than any other players. Dubbed “King of Fashion” in the athlete circle, his “Why Not” motto is on full display before the game even started.
- Collaboration with Barneys New York (2014)
It’s a multi year partnership with Jordan Brand that has Westbrook as the designer of the collection. The pieces include elephant print Dri-FIT athletic shirts and basketball shorts, accessories, fragrance, shoes, frames, and bags along with luggages.
His father, who he has a really close relationship with, is a big fan of True Religion. The brand’s bold styles match Westbrook’s unique, personal, and experimental fashion sense. It’s no surprise that he is put in charge for directing and producing advertising campaigns, while styling each look himself.
- Lifestyle and signature basketball shoes with Jordan Brand
There aren’t many players in the NBA who have signature basketball shoes, let alone lifestyle ones. Westbrook has earned both, which is a rare feat considering the endorsement is from Jordan Brand. Jordan Brand is owned by the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan. So far, Westbrook already has 3 signature shoes. All editions are representative of his funky and exclusive styles.
Tumi is a high end suitcases and travel bags manufacturer that has become Westbrook’s go to accessory. The high quality, reliable material used combined with red camouflage patterns make the bags a perfect companion for his travel heavy work schedule as NBA players.
- Denim Collaboration with Acne Studios (2019)
His unmatched fashion senses are exhibited on this collaboration for Fashion Week 2019. Sporting audacious blue and green or the classic black and white options, the collection includes jackets, vest, and short sleeved denim shirt.
- Casual athletic wear with Opening Ceremony (2019)
A high street fashion brand, Opening Ceremony unconventional approach to fashion matches Westbrook’s. The capsule includes coats, jackets, hoodies, and t-shirts, completely Russell Westbrook style.
Claiming himself as a frame fanatic, he prefers to differentiate himself from others using a cartoon reference. He also quietly launched his own clothing line “Honor the Gift” which boasts fresh selections of streetwear clothing. Since 2017, he has opened multiple pop-up stores to go with his online drops.
- He also wrote a book about his fashion: Style Drivers
The book showcases all of his fashion on and off the court. On the court, he uses fashion as a psychological weapon. Outside, you might find him sitting on Fashion Weeks or collaborating with your favorite brands. His authenticity is key to his clothing style. There’s also quotes and interviews from athletes, designers, and other creative figures that play a vital role in influencing his style and life.
P.S. If you can’t get enough of his style, I recommend this GQ lookbook.
Russell Westbrook is the pioneer of fashion business in the NBA. One up and coming star Kelly Oubre, has followed in Westbrook’s footsteps with Valley Boyz apparel store. As the league grows in popularity across the globe, expect NBA players to be more on point with their fits while capitalizing on their platform.
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