According to GQ Style Guy Mark Green, the NBA athletes are the most stylish league today. You’ll see players donning designer clothing such as Balmain and Givenchy, why?
The then commissioner David Stern had become disappointed with his players’ hip-hop culture off-court appearance. Players would wear oversized T-shirts, baggy pants, du-rags, some had tattoos covering half their bodies.
So, in 2005, Stern introduced a mandated dress code that banned certain clothing items such as shorts, sleeveless shirts, sunglasses while indoors, chains, etc. Also, authorized that players wear business casual attire. At first, players like Allen Iverson, Paul Pierce, Stephen Jackson, and David West were quite vocal about the rule and were consequently, slapped with $10,000 in fines for not complying with the dress code.
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Brands that use basketball as brand identity
NBA players have completely evolved immensely in terms of their off the court dressing to a point where fashion designers such as Aime Leon Dore, John Elliott, and Eric Emanuel draw their inspiration from them.
1. Aime Leon Dore
In 2017 Aimé Leon Dore introduced a New York streetball tournament and organization which has its own line of fashion called SONNY NEW YORK.
The style ties in robust designs of print with a pared-down tie-dye effect featuring a hoodie, T-shirts to layer with, a jersey, gym shorts, face towels, sweatpants for the colder days as well as a performance arm sleeve branded with the SONNY team logo and ALD lettering.
2. John Elliott
John Elliott, on the other hand, has taken shoe-wear to a whole different level and together with NBA superstar LeBron James.
Furthermore, he has released the Nike Vandal sneaker designed for basketball, which he put his own spin on the 1984 classic shoe silhouette.
The Nike LeBron icon sneaker comes in three standout colors such as a gray-black hybrid, volt neon, and baby blue, and some of them come in a clean all-white base. Elliott has also been one of the go-to guys for LeBron James off-court uniform for several years.
3. Eric Emanuel
NYC-based designer Eric Emanuel who is a lover of basketball culture took his inspiration from players such as Michael Jordan, Kobe, and Carmelo Anthony and today.
Eric found a fashion-forward way of tweaking jerseys, sneakers, hats, and logos into the luxury space. Even though he favors the Bulls, it’s the Lakers throwbacks with the royal blues, the purple and popping colors that he finds easy to work and create custom jerseys with.
Eric Emanuel’s eponymous brand of creating custom versions of iconic sports jerseys has garnered the attention of various celebrity clients and fashion influencers.
Additionally, his nostalgia for childhood basketball has seen him collaborate with Adidas Originals. Designing a wide range of apparel pieces, including three new takes on some iconic Adidas footwear styles.
The footwear silhouettes feature two updates of the iconic Adidas basketball hi-top; the SS19 floral pattern and the Resto Mod. Most of his apparel, which are track pants, basketball shorts, and specially-created hoodie, he uses floral paneling and rose-colored accenting.
Best-dressed basketball athletes today
The major watershed for NBA fashion was the institution of a dress code for players in 2005. Players attending had to wear a sports coat and dress shoes, ultimately helped usher in a new wave for fashion around the NBA.
Additionally, players were also encouraged to invest in moisturizers and self-care. Some began waxing their eyebrows and exfoliating, which became another outlet for one-upmanship in the dawn of the fashion-forward era.
Here are what fans have to say are the best-dressed basketball athletes today Lebron James
1. LeBron James
LeBron James has been voted time and again as the best-dressed NBA player to-date. Well, having tens of millions of dollars a stylist and a personal shopper also helps. He goes for a sexy but relaxed, effortless, confident, more color and a hint playful kind of style.
2. Chris Paul
Chris Paul is doing it all! From being the leader of the Houston Rockets to the president of the National Basketball Players Association. Family man, now, a fashion icon. He has a summer, fall and winter capsule collection that features clothing from urban to classic button-downs to edgy leathers. His pre-game outfits are trendy and drawing inspiration from iconic movies or his high school days. You will also see him donning a patterned trouser, a sweatshirt or a bomber jacket. Also, collaborated with Cockpit USA to design a super-luxe, all-black version of the original U.S. Navy G-1 jacket.
3. Dwayne Wade
Dwayne Wade is not only an NBA superstar, but he is also a big name in the fashion arena too. Forget those days where he wore unsightly cardigans, dressed in monochromes. D Wade even showed up for a game in an orange suit with a matching man purse. Dwyane and his double-teamed fashion designers have stepped up the game a notch. Today, you can see him rocking up with designer labels from Gucci, Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent, and Ralph Lauren.
Basketball is a sport that has impacted American culture. NBA players are the ones having a significant influence on fashion today.
Who would have thought that bold blue plaid pants could be paired with a loud yellow streetwear jacket, ribbed socks and a pair of red sneakers? It’s all about breaking fashion and style rules. Why not these players, they’re used to being in uniform all the time anyway.