Beyond the Locker Room: Sports Take Backseat to Fashion Trends

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Being interviewed in Lacoste, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana and Lanvin. This lifestyle is usually associated with those in the music, film and fashion industry, but lately athletes have become the center of attention in fashion.

Being interviewed in Lacoste, Michael Kors, Dolce & Gabbana and Lanvin. This lifestyle is usually associated with those in the music, film and fashion industry, but lately athletes have become the center of attention in fashion.

The most notable athletes who have recently taken fashion trends to the next level are making more noise with their bold and sometimes loud threads in their postgame interviews than on the basketball court. The Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, in addition to the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade and LeBron James have been the most recent athletes to push the envelope in style, which is now being imitated by teenagers and style-savvy Americans across the globe.

Are they looking for attention? Attempting to set fashion precedence or simply looking to increase their brand?

“First, we must remember that athletes are household brands,” said Ashley Spearman, owner of Gu┴ge Styling at Gu┴geByDolel.com. “An athlete’s physical appearance is one part of what builds an image for a successful brand. Athletes, such as Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook, are known for making bold fashion choices because it’s what creates an image that will set them apart popularity-wise and identifies them as some of the most fashionable men in the league. “

We even saw Chicago’s own Derrick Rose gracing the cover of GQ magazine with a style similar to the fashion being seen today around the NBA and other sports.

“You don’t get asked to grace the cover of GQ by looking like a bum in everyday life,” Spearman said. “An athlete’s wardrobe has a great impact on their popularity. For example, Allen Iverson was fined for refusing to trade in his urban wear and bling bling for Armani suits when the NBA enforced a business professional dress code. Luckily the look and image of what used to reflect “Baller status” has changed. Now players are making headlines for wearing trendy pieces like peach-colored trousers and bait hook Lacoste polos.”

While younger generations may believe standing out in professional sports is a new trend, they’ll be surprised to find out that when they look at ESPN Classics or old YouTube videos of athletes from the decades before the 90s, being fashion forward is a part of star athlete’s persona.

From the GQ fashions being displayed in sports currently to the Run DMC styles, which led some players to wear gold chains while on the court, clothes and accessories have long been a staple on the hardwood and field to postgame conferences.

While style can sometimes go overboard and look more like wardrobe for Morris Day and the Time, it will continue to be a part of sports in the future. Even retired athletes look to make fashion statements (refer to WTFisMikeWearing.tumblr.com), but sometimes fall short of their goal. Athletes are setting examples for those following in their footsteps and the style is finally something parents might be proud of their kids for emulating – styles seen in GQ magazines on men with style and class.

If anyone is ever in question of what style to portray, a safe bet is to always do the opposite of what TNT’s colorful sideline reporter Craig Sager and retired NBA player Dennis Rodman do. The fans and critics are watching.

Follow Royce on Twitter @IfFansCouldTalk

Copyright 2012 Chicago Defender

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