People never talk about the clothes NFL hockey players wear on their way to the game. Ditto for the NHL and MLB. You’ve never heard someone ask, “Did you see what Mike Trout had on at his post-game press conference?”
The NBA is different. As part of All-Star Weekend, the league even hosted a fashion show. Maybe it has to do with there being fewer players on the court or the fact that basketball players don’t wear helmets or hats when they play and are more visible to fans. Whatever the reason, people care about what styles the Associations’ players are rocking, and players have responded by being more fashion-forward in their sartorial choices.
The Indiana Pacers Paul George is at the forefront of stylish NBA players. While Pacers fans eagerly await his return to the court following a gruesome injury last summer, fashion-watchers have enjoyed enjoy him looking sharp as he supports his team from the bench.
George recently designed his first signature collection of caps with New Era that will be coming out this summer and the results are fire. We linked up with him over All-Star Weekend to talk about the hats, his own personal style, and the most stylish players in the NBA.
Why do you think the NBA is the most progressive style-wise of all the major sports leagues?
I don’t know to be honest. I think because our faces can be seen we can be recognized more. There’s a lot of football guys that take fashion to the next level but they don’t get the same [attention] as NBA guys because we’re so much more familiar to the fans. Also, the game of basketball is much more global so we are able to pick up on fashion from overseas and other cultures. I think that’s why the NBA is more dominant in fashion.
How has your personal style evolved?
I think I’ve got more into being tailored and having clothes really fit me. I like to feel like what I’m wearing is like my [second] skin. That doesn’t mean they’re skin tight though. I’m much more of a European cut. I like to be slick, not too crazy on the flashy side. I like pieces that stand out and have a flair to them.
Do you work with a tailor or stylist?
Yeah, the guy that tailors me I’ve become great friends with. We’ve grown throughout the two-to-three years we’ve been together. With him, he knows what I wanna wear and what looks good on me. Reggie Puckett is his name. He, and my sister as well, work together.
Who are some of the designers that you like to wear?
I like to wear a lot of Givenchy and Burberry. I wear Balenciaga and other designer shoes. But a lot of stuff I like to wear I have my fashion guy design for me. I love one-of-one pieces.
Now that you’re in the role of designer what did you want to bring to these caps?
For one, I wanted to have fun with it. I wanted to add class as well as flash through all the hats that I made. Indiana is used to the traditional white, blue or even gold. I wanted to mix it up and add some designs. I had great fabrics and swatches to choose from. I started from square one to find out what looked good together and then just played off of that. I was just mixing stuff up.
What do you think the fans in Indiana will think?
I think they’re gonna love it. I’m bringing something new to Indiana. A little more flair. I loved wearing baseball caps since middle school. So I want my hat to be in the upper echelon, better than average. What are the challenges finding clothes when you’re 6'9"?
Just finding stuff that fits. That’s the biggest problem tall people have is finding clothes that are long enough or big enough for them without trying too much to fit into something.
All-Star Weekend overlaps with New York Fashion Week. Are you going to try and see any fashion shows while you’re in the city?
Yeah, if the time presents itself, I would love to. I’m huge on fashion so I’d like to see what’s new and what I can add to my wardrobe. This would be my first time at Fashion Week. A couple guys I know are putting on shows so I might try to pop my head in.
Who do you think are the most stylish players in the NBA?
I’d say Dwyane Wade, Russell Westbrook, Nick Young, Tyson Chandler. Amaré [Stoudemire] has his own style. Even Dorell Wright has nice style. LeBron has his own style.
Which NBA players did you look up to style-wise when you were growing up?
I think at that time who was relatable was [Allen] Iverson. He had that hip hop look with jerseys and hats. He was the most relatable to my generation.
Are you a big sneaker fan?
I’m a huge sneaker guy. I have 3-400 pairs of shoes. I have my regular set. Then for special occasions, I go into my inventory and dig out the shoes that are the flashiest. I’m a big Air Jordan collector. Any 3s, 4s, 7s, 12s, 6s.