It used to be that you only saw a handful of guys in the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB that were into clothes. Now, professional athletes are being looked at for their style more than ever. In addition to playing their sport, they have become investors in fashion brands or even started their own line.
You now see players being photographed during that ‘short catwalk’ from the locker room to the bus. And although most of these particular stars claim they don’t put much thought into it, their outfits suggest otherwise.
It all makes sense though. A piece of clothing, pair of shoes or an accessory, always sells more if the potential customer can see it on an actual person. This is why you have product placement, on celebrities for example. The NBA seems to be getting the most fashion attention predominately due to the nature of the sport. In basketball, you can see each player throughout the entire game. You can see his every move, his emotions…and his shoes! There aren’t any helmets, so you get a better connection.
Men are visual; they need to see the look all put together. When I’m having custom clothes created for a client, I often here, ‘I like that material, but what will it look like as a full suit?’ or ‘That’s a very cool jacket, what kinds of shirts can I wear with it?’
We now have gorgeous look books that give guys ideas on how to wear the clothing. But before we had these, I used to carry around an orange binder with magazine tears. I did this so each client could see how: a trimmer fit actually makes you look more defined (both for skinny and not-so-skinny men), if you treat checks like solids, it’s easier to pick ties that work with it and so on. Now, we have lots of pro athlete pictures to choose from, and their images resonate more than that of a male model.
While I’m always into people discovering their style and expanding their business opportunities, I cringed a little when reading that Kobe Bryant now calls himself the ‘Valentino of the NBA.’ (just like in high school, no one likes a self-given nickname) And it feels a bit odd to hear a man say that he’s never worn a look more than once. Seems like I have to get over these things though; no doubt there will be more ballers sitting front row at Lanvin.