Courtside Couture: NBA Players Score Big All-Star Weekend During NYC Fashion Week
The NBA's best and brightest took NYC by storm during the annual All-Star Game, but they also took the opportunity to show off their designer threads and unique fashions on the runways and in the showrooms at New York Fashion Week.
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Fashion trendsetter Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder was the All-Star Game's Most Valuable Player this year, scoring just one point shy of Wilt Chamberlain's legendary All-Star Game record set in 1962 (Westbrook earned 41 to Chamberlain's 42). But Russell pulled off another huge win this past weekend, launching his exclusive eyewear brand Westbrook Frames (for JackThreads) with a party in SoHo on Thursday night.
Washington Wizard and NBA All-Star John Wall also appeared at Macy’s during the All-Star Weekend, while Houston Rocket James Harden hosted a pop-up shop at Bloomingdale’s for the launch of GQ’s NBA Collection.
According to Meosha "Mimi" Davis, CEO of The Affluent Agency, "Athletes are becoming fashion icons and trendsetters off the field and court. David Beckham, Amar'e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Nick Young, Lebron James, and Russell Westbrook execute this with their dapper and daring pattern choices and clean-cut looks.”
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Many companies use opportunities like the NBA All-Star Weekend as a way to develop strategic partnerships with athletes, which scores their brands global recognition — and scores huge profits for everyone involved. As a testament to how popular this phenomenon is becoming, TNT just broadcasted its first ever NBA fashion show on Saturday night, called "NBA All-Star All-Style," which was presented by Samsung Galaxy and produced by LeBron James’s Springhill Productions.
Another way brands explore fashion-based opportunities with athletes is with gifting suites. Partners Mimi Davis of The Affluent Agency and Janae Pesante of Fashion Entertainment Media created an interactive man-cave for players to learn about luxury products while taking home loads of freebies.
"Athletes have a responsibility on and off the court to set the best example possible for young men that imitate their behavior and immolate their style," said Pesante, the CEO of Fashion Entertainment Media. (NBA legends Kareem Rush and Isaiah Thomas upheld this responsibility at NYFW's NBA All-Star Gifting Experience.)
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Ironically, the National Basketball Association was the first major professional sports league to implement a mandatory dress code in 2005. At the time, many players (and much of the public) felt the code was discriminatory in nature, but the pros have since turned the code into unique opportunities to shine off the court.
For more looks from the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend, take a look below.