The Business of Fashion, one of the world’s most influential fashion blogs known for their articulate commentary on the business side of the industry, recently released their annual BoF 500. The list is an index of the 500 most important people shaping the fashion industry today, from designers to executives and everything in between. In the spirit of recognizing those who contribute so much to the scene, we highlighted the most influential individuals to have shaped the NBA’s relationship with fashion in the last year. From superstar players to stylists and designers, here are the names you need to know when it comes to basketball and fashion (in no particular order).
For athletes that have lived most of their lives in sweats, it’s a no brainer that one of the hottest menswear designers in the world is the first designer on this list. Known for custom-spinning his own fabrics in L.A., as well as his impeccable fit, John Elliott has built a cult following for his sweaters, joggers and T-shirts among NBA players and fashion insiders alike. He has judged LeBron James’ first annual NBA All-Star All-Style fashion show and remains a favourite among the likes of Nick Young, Kyrie Irving and Rudy Gay.
If there’s one brand that sparked NBA players interest in high fashion it would be Givenchy. From the Rottweiler sweater to the quite literally basketball-inspired collection for fall/winter 2014, Ricardo Tisci was the first designer to find that sweet spot between fashion and streetwear and has since been a pioneer in bringing that aesthetic to the masses. His fans seem to include most if not all of the NBA’s roster, from Amare Stoudemire to Tristan Thompson.
Perhaps the most iconic sneaker designer ever, Tinker Hatfield is responsible for bringing classic silhouettes such as the Jordan 2-15, Nike Air Max 1 and Air Trainer 1 to life. As the Air Trainer 1, Nike Mowabb and Jordan 6 Infrared have been among the most hyped re-releases this year alone, it’s safe to say sneaker culture wouldn’t be the same without him.
Thirteen signature shoes in and with over $300 million in venue last year, LeBron James’ collection of signature Nikes is the undisputed most valuable line among active players—and Jason Petrie is the man to thank for their consistent aesthetic we’ve seen over the last few iterations. With a limited edition collaboration between LeBron James’ signature shoe and Pigalle out earlier this year, Petrie shows no signs of slowing down.
The stylist behind LeBron James’ transformation from this into a modern day playboy is Rachel Johnson. She counts Amar’e Stoudemire, Chris Paul and Chris Bosh among her clients, making her one of the leaders behind the style renaissance in the NBA in the past few years—and, in turn, behind the uptick of men’s fashion around the world at large.
No list discussing NBA style would be complete with the man himself, Russell Westbrook. No stranger to pushing the limit, Russell Westbrook’s style ranges from prepster to downtown chic and everything in between. His eccentric style has gotten him not one but two collaborations with Barneys, as well as a pass into the fashion elite sitting next to Anna Wintour at fashion week. If you’re looking for inspiration to take a style risk, look no farther than the man who never wears the same shirt twice.
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