NBA Stylist Talks Player Fashion & Branding

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 23: Rajon Rondo during an American Express / NBA fashion shoot on September 23, 2013 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

Nowadays, if you have been paying attention to players such as Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James and Chris Paul, you will notice that these NBA stars have distinctive styles and are among the best dressed in the league. Players are starting to care a lot about what they are wearing and their off-court appearance, and that’s why I decided to talk with a stylist about some of the trends emerging among the more sartorial choices of your favorite NBA player.

Athletes are starting to build their own looks and it shows that there is more to NBA players than just the game of basketball. The list goes on and on as to why NBA players want to show more of a fashion sense, but one thing remains clear: the stylist is a big part of building their personal fashion Modus Operadi. The approach of the stylist is to show their innovative vision while bringing the personality out of the client.

Currently, the NBA and American Express teamed up for an initiative to look at everything NBA players are into off the court. From fashion, to music and everything in-between, the partnership provides fans the opportunity to know their favorite superstars beyond the NBA hardwoord.

This month fans can submit their courtside style to NBA.com for a chance to meet Rajon Rondo. That said, through this new venture I had the opportunity to sit down and speak with the hottest stylist in the NBA, Calyann Barnett.

In our chat, we talked about everything from the many different styles of NBA players, to who she would love to work with.
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Dime: So what’s the new trend in the league, what are a lot of NBA stars wearing as far as brands, new look etc?
Calyann Barnett: Well, everybody is trying to do their own thing and make their own statement right now. In the past, everybody was wearing suits, but now you see players trying to find their niche. For example when you seeRajon [Rondo], he is trying to do the “Collegiate Fresh” look or Tyson Chandlerdoing the all black Rick Owens look proves everybody is trying to be different.

Dime: That’s cool, so just now you mentioned Rajon Rondo, who are some NBA players that you worked with?
CB: I worked with Matt Barnes, Josh Smith and currently working withDwayne Wade.

Dime: Since your currently working with Dwayne Wade, what are his style or favorite brands to wear?
CB: Well as you know, in the past Dwayne has worn bold, bright and colorful clothes and he loves all that, but for this season, he has toned down a lot and is actually wearing a lot of suits especially from Dolce.

Dime: Now I have to ask you this question, and this been on my mind for a while. Are you responsible for Dwayne Wade‘s “Geek Chic” look?
CB: Haha, yea I am. I heard Russell say he was and I was like ‘Um no we actually came up with that style.’

Dime: Yea I figured that. Now to backpedal a little to Rajon Rondo. How did his style come about because when he first got into the league he wasn’t the most fashionable guy?
CB: Well what actually happened with Rajon was, we had a few encounters and I would see him off the court say ‘There is so much I can do with you.’ See because Rajon is a pretty normal size, he has longer arms and broad shoulders so he can wear pretty much anything that most players can’t wear because they are so big. My thoughts were just because you play basketball you don’t have to dress like that, so we did a little shopping over the summer then he did his GQ internship and realized he didn’t have to just have an on-court presence, he can express himself off the court also. It was really just about figuring out who he was because Rajon had the ‘cool guy on campus’ persona, so we came up with the collegiate fresh look and tried not to make him older than he actually was perceived.

BY: ANDREW SOMUAH For Dime Magazine

Dime Q&A: NBA Stylist Talks Player Fashion & Branding

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