The rivalry among the NBA’s elite has spilled off the court and into an arena where athletes have historically feared to tread: High Fashion.
In the April issue, GQ speaks with some of the NBA’s biggest stars—including Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Steve Nash, and Tyson Chandler—about the new focus on fashion in the NBA and how they create their own style.
Check out some of the “NBA Style Wars” excerpts:
Kobe Bryant on how he describes his style: “I’m the Valentino of the NBA,” he says, explaining that he’s leaving “the preppy-hipster look” to the younger generation
Russell Westbrook’s publicist on his style reputation: “[Russell is known as] the Kate Moss of the NBA.”
Russell Westbrook on Kanye West’s infamous leather kilt: “[I would] be open to it if it were a slimmer fit.”
…on his choice not to use a stylist: “I know people at stores that will hold stuff for me. I know people that can get me clothes. But it’s not like I have somebody that comes to pick out my outfits.”
…on where he shops for his outfits: “…if I get bored after working out, I’ll find some shops and go check it out and see if they have some new stuff. See what’s good. I go to Barneys; I go to Gucci, Louis, YSL. I go everywhere—Rodeo Drive, Vivienne Westwood, Marc Jacobs, Joyrich. I’m all around.”
Kevin Durant on if he competes with Russell Westbrook in terms of style: “When I look in the mirror and I feel good about myself, that’s the only person I’m trying to impress.”
Dwyane Wade on his love for expressing himself through fashion: “Fashion is fun to me. I feel like the way that I dress says a lot about my personality. A lot of people will not get a chance to talk to me, but when they look at me, they can get an idea of who Dwyane Wade is.”
…on the pink-chocolate-yellow Louboutins he wore the White House: “I’m always more nervous than [my stylist, Calyann Barnett], because I’m the one who has to put this stuff on. This is my second time going to the White House as a champion. This time I decided on the gray suit. I knew everybody was going to go with something dark, so I wanted to do something different. And I had the gray-white-and-black shoes out that went with the suit, and then there was [the pink pair]. So we sat and thought about it: ‘Okay, I can go with the gray-white-and-black ones, but that’s typical, and I don’t do typical all the time, so let’s do something a little different.’ And it worked!”
Shane Battier on the look he is going for: “Suburban-dad hot”
NBA Commissioner David Stern on why he instated the league’s dress code in 2005: “Our guys were photographed coming into buildings looking like they were going to a day at the beach.”
…on the response of players to the dress code: “…A lot of players would whisper to me, I don’t know what the fuss is about. Let’s go! There was a sense that this allowed players to express their sense of style. Our players, individually,took it as a catalyst to show themselves off. And suddenly the response from the public was so overwhelmingly positive that, you know, it’s getting to be like the red carpet at the Grammys. Who’s dressing you tonight? Armani. Now they are among the best-looking, best-shaped models in the world.”
Be sure to pick up the April issue of GQ, or head over to GQ.com to read the complete story.
Photo Credit: Eric Ray Davidson / GQ