There’s no doubt Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade is one of the best dressed players in the NBA. Whether it’s an outfit for game day or an ensemble for the red carpet, Wade is always dressed to impress.
Growing up in Chicago, Wade always loved watching his dad dress up on Fridays for work.
“At 18 years old, all I knew is that I liked watching my dad dress up on Fridays to go to work to drive around and deliver boxes,” Wade said in an interview with Sports Illustrated. “I admired it. I knew that I liked to dress. I wanted to dress one day when I got some money, that’s what I always said.”
But as a teenager, Wade never imagined he would be as prominent in the fashion world as he is today. Over the past few years, Wade has partnered with Tie Bar and Stance socks to create his own collections, but his biggest fashion moment came this April when he launched a collaborative collection at Saks Fifth Avenue called DSquared2 X Dwyane Wade. Wade collaborated with fashion designers and twins Dean and Dan Caten. The Catens are the masterminds behind DSquared2, an up-scale brand known all around the world. Wade describes the collaboration as a “sport-luxe” collection with a broad range of clothes, including simple white jeans and eye-catching, patterned tuxedo jackets.
Wade is a star on the basketball court, but he’s not shy about blending his two passions — basketball and fashion. Wade has a section on his personal website dedicated to fashion. On his site, it details fashion events Wade has participated in and all of the collaborations he has done with designers, brands and stores. Wade is also aware of the difference between style and fashion. Anyone can throw on a nice suit, but not everyone has a great sense of style.
Here’s a quote from the “style” page of his website:
“A gentlemen values style, not fashion. Fashion comes and goes. Style is forever. A gentleman is always a trendsetter, not a follower. Wade has been known to be a risk taker with his style, but that is simply another example of how he has every intension to be true to himself. As another gentleman, Oscar De La Renta, has said, ‘Fashion is about dressing in what is fashionable. Style is about being true to yourself.’”
Wade has upped his style since meeting his stylist Calyann Barnett at Kanye West’s birthday party four years ago. Wade has started to take more risks with his outfits since working with Barnett, but he’s faced some obstacles as a basketball player trying to become prominent in the fashion world.
“Everything that I did I wore it,” Wade told Sports Illustrated. “I took chances. And taking chances with being an athlete, whether it was colors or tightness of my clothes, there was a lot of critique going back and forth. Because a lot of people who cover athletes, there’s a certain imagine in their mind how a basketball player is supposed to dress, act, talk, walk. And when you get outside of that norm, it becomes shocking. But for me, it was just what I wanted to do. And I’ve always been the type of person, if I want to do something I’m going to do it. I don’t really care about what others think too much. The biggest thing was doing what I wanted to do, understanding there was going to be backlash but I was pushing the wall down for others to come behind and do the same thing.”
Wade also takes pride in helping young kids discover their passions. In March, he hosted an event in Chicago for kids who are interested in pursuing a future in fashion. Wade brought in five panelists from the fashion industry to talk to students as a part of his Spotlight On initiative.
Since many other athletes in the NBA are interested in fashion, Wade likes to compete with them for the best outfits. He looks at LeBron James, Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony and others to see what they’re wearing. He enjoys the friendly competition.
Want to dress like Dwyane Wade? Shop his look from New York Fashion Week 2016: