GQ is a very prominent men’s fashion magazine. GQ is just one example of how fashion is becoming such a large component in the sporting community. Lebron James has graced the covers of many magazines as a kid, such as Sports Illustrated and ESPN, however as he excelled in the sporting world his views and passion for fashion were able to be showcased. Lebron has been on the cover of Vogue and this is his second time on the cover of GQ. This GQ issue really got into the works of how the players in the NBA are implemented into the fashion world and are making steps to make their name not just on the court but on the runway as well. The issue goes over the top five styles of Lebron and four prominent fashion icons in the NBA. The issue also categorizes and points out NBA players with certain tattoos, shoes, hairdos, or anything special. For example, Anthony Davis is pretty famous for his “brow”, so GQ also keyed in on that component to get a connection from NBA fans to fashionistas. It is a good marketing strategy for GQ, because with NBA playoffs about to go into full swing, people are all over the NBA. This issue not only draws in the regular GQ readers but also people who will walk by the stand and see Lebron on the cover and want to get the issue to see if there is any info on the NBA. This issue is a great depiction of how NBA is becoming a bigger topic in the fashion industry and even more so vice versa.
Taylor Axelson and Jaylen Souchek join me to discuss the latest fashion trends that hit the hardwood during the NBA All-Star Game last weekend. The All-Star game is a great platform for designers to try something different and to allow athletes to show their personality apart from their team.
Taylor Axelson is a Daily Iowan TV sports reporter. Axelson has worked on ESPN Radio as well as on CBS and FOX sports. She has a high knowledge of sports and the community that is surrounded by them.
Jalyn Souchek has also been a Daily Iowan TV sports reporter for the past two years. Souchek covers each Iowa basketball home game and is the basketball beat reporter for DI.
Classic pictures of the NBA with short shorts, tank jerseys, and tube socks are something of the past. One addition to the uniforms are the sleeve.
The sleeve is somewhat of a fashion statement, but also practical. The sleeve became popularized in the NBA in 2000 when Allen Iverson had elbow bursitis. The sleeve provides compression for the injured area, which can help keep muscles warm as well as reduce any possible swelling. Also, as can see on Hibbert’s (shown above) sleeve there is padding on his elbow. There are also leg sleeves that have padding on the knees, as well as compression shorts that have padding on the hips and thighs. The research hasn’t fully showed beneficial results, however the “placebo effect” is in play for the sleeve. Players at the NBA level will feed into any superstition that can assist them to play better, especially if it is a fashion statement as well.
If you turn on any NBA game, you will find multiple sleeves on the court. The NBA doesn’t allow full length-tights, so this is a way that players can get around the strict NBA guidelines. It may be a fashion statement or a crutch to lean on for the aches and pains, but one thing that is for sure is that the players love them. The sleeve isn’t as prominent in the NCAA, because athletes are given equipment by the athletic training staff when necessary. Having a uniformed look on the court as a collegiate team is something that is more important to those with in the big leagues. With high income and more flexibility, the professional players are more likely to be showing off their sleeved limbs, and we have Iverson to thank for that.
As mentioned before, there is a high desire to see what people are wearing especially in the professional sporting industry. With the high desire to see what people are wearing, there is a high outcome of opinions and comments on the outfits as well.
Russell Westbrook has taken the crown for trying new things, and in the past couple years the trends have started to flood the NBA teams. Kevin Durant, Amar’e Stoudemire, Lebron James and Dwyane Wade are names that we are used to hearing on SportsCenter or seeing in the latest SportsIllustrated, but now we are hearing about them on E! Network or seeing them in the front rows at Fashion Week.
Major fashion magazines, such as GQ, have started to pay attention to these celebrities. GQ wrote an article about the top names in the NBA as players and as fashion icons. There is also a blog that streams pictures of the latest outfits that NBA players are sporting. These “swag kings” are making name in the fashion industry purely for their street attire, and with the NBA in full swing, and fashion week recently ending there will be many opportunities to catch the latest trends that are hitting the runway and the locker rooms.
There is a constant competition of who can get the best look, but sometimes best doesn’t mean the most fashionable but the most talked about. The outlandish trends as well as the classic styles will help the players keep their competitive edge off the court.
NBA players always have a keen eye set on them. Every move they make is scrutinized whether that is by the shot they put up, or drank. However, in this decade there is more attention on what these players are doing off of the court, and even more so, what they are wearing.
The word “swag” has become the word to define the fashion sense of players on and off the hardwood. A player’s “swag” can be based off of their uniform, by scrutinizing them from head to toe. Whether it’s their shoe, socks, shorts, uniform, undershirt, tattoos, etc., all of these are factors into what can help determine a player’s “swag”.
Another way swag is determined is by the way that players dress in what they call, street clothes. Street clothes are the basic clothing people can wear, but they are usually anything but basic. NBA players in particular, have a way of shocking the crowd with their street clothes. Russell Westbrook has noted a “fashion icon” for his over the top fashion trends and legendary glasses (with no lenses) . Players, like Russell Westbrook, have the chance to show their swag during post game interviews.
The Bleacher Report, a sports journalism website, has a specific section to their website called “Swagger” . It takes notes on things out of the norm that athletes are doing, as well as their outfits. The Bleacher Report app has a swag alert that will update you when something happens in the sports world that has a sense of swag.