NBA style icon Chris Paul recently teamed up with Five Four, a subscription service that promises to make dressing yourself easier. Along with the Five Four co- founders, Andres Izquieta and Dee Murthy, and his stylist, Courtney Mays, Paul launched the Five Four x Chris Paul collection. The capsule is designed with the notion that quality and accessibility should be inextricably linked. The dope collection bridges designer fashion and affordability and is available for pre-order now, with prices ranging from $20-$59.
To celebrate the launch, Chris Paul hosted a private dinner here in NYC, and we were able to chat with him about the collection and his personal style.
BET: Tell us about your collaboration with Five Four and how it came about?
Chris Paul: The collaboration is something I am really excited about. I got an opportunity to meet Andres [Izquieta] and Dee [Murthy] when I first got traded to LA about six years ago, they used to sell these T-shirts that said, “Live City,” so I got a bunch of those T-shirts and was like, “Man, these are nice!” So I got a chance to meet those guys and we developed a relationship. To see their growth since then is crazy! To see how inspired they are and how hard they work and then to see my growth as well, fashion-wise, it felt like the perfect partnership. One of the things I learned over the years is that whenever you want to be involved in someone business-wise, it’s not just about the money or different things like that. What you are doing is partnering with the people. And those [Five Four] guys are amazing and I am glad to be doing work with them!
BET: So your capsule collection is a reflection of your personal style. How would you describe your personal style?
CP: I always like to look nice and well put together. No matter where I go or whatever meeting I am going to, I always want to be comfortable. For instance, the shirt I am wearing now, it can be rolled up or down to add comfort. If you look at some of the shirts and pants in the collection, you will notice that you can move around and be active in it. Because I had an opportunity to design before, I learned it’s about the personal details like that. And I'm grateful for those guys for letting me be a part of the process as it relates to designing.
BET: You have mastered the idea of being dapper and being comfortable at the same time with your clothing style, I remembered when you paired a formal suit with some sneakers
CP: [Laughs] Yeah, I am always going to be stylish but cool at the same time. I usually do something to where it shows you can’t take yourself too serious. I don’t care who you are going to a meeting with, there's something about being comfortable and putting someone at ease. For example, we did a meeting with the NBA owners last summer and I told all the owners, “let’s wear warm-up suits.” I was like, “Why come in here with these suits and ties to sit up in here. We are not going to get nothing done.”
BET: I am sure the meeting went a different direction without the stuffy suits.
CP: Well, of course some didn’t come with the warm-up suits on [laughs], but I actually had warm-up suits delivered to the meeting for them!
BET: Being as busy as you are, when you are shopping for clothing yourself, what is your process? Are you more of an online shopper or do you prefer to actually go to the store?
CP: More online. I am all about comfort, and it all depends on where I am going. Like today, I been in meetings since I landed and my collection is made for days like this. I may have to change clothes three times — different looks for different occasions. Moving around through the city due to those meetings, I would want some comfortable pants and pair them with a cardigan for ease.
BET: What is your favorite piece from your collection?
CP: My favorite piece would be this shirt I am wearing, because it tells a story with the colors and chevron. As you know in fashion, it’s all about the story behind it. Even if you look at the hat in my collection, you see the side of it, you see the chevron [details]. There's three of them, CP3, that same logo is on every last one of my shoes that came out and represents my late grandfather.
BET: Being an NBA style icon, do you feel like it’s a lot of pressure to look your best when off the court? You guys are not just competing on the court but everyone is checking for best dressed players before and after the game now. Do you put a lot of thought into what to wear because of this?
CP: No, no, no. One thing I will always tell you about fashion, you will never see me wearing anything that someone told me to wear. I think fashion allows you to be yourself. [When they say,] “these types of shirts are in now, so you got to wear that.” No, not me. Obviously you see that in different guys, but anything I wear, it’s going to be me and what I wanted to wear. That’s why you will see me in a suit, a T-shirt and some sneakers. I am always wearing a lapel pin.
BET: What I noticed about you versus other athletes, you are not just doing the sneakers and athletic wear — you are ventured off into mens wear in general. Breaking into fashion, did you find it hard to enter that space?
CP: Five Four made it easy for me. They been doing this for a while and they know what’s out. I am big on delegating and understanding what I am great at. I know I can have a vision and know what I like, but I let the people who are the best at it be the best at it. These guys are great at what they do!
BET: I always like to ask stylish guys this question. What is your biggest fashion mistake to date in your mind looking back?
CP: Might have been my NBA Draft suit! [Laughs] I still got it. I went with the black and gold suit to pay homage to my college. The pinstripes were way too thick. Man, I used to have the Steve Harvey suits and all. Just too big!
(Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for FIVE FOUR)
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