We have been following DWade's fashion journey for quite some time now. From his collaborations with Amazon Fashion to his capsule collection with Dsquared. In his latest interview, the Chicago Bulls MVP gives the readers an intimate view into his life.
DWade discusses that when was in college, ball players weren’t the ideal role models when it came to fashion. In the '90s, there were two types of “fashionable athletes” to choose from: you were either more like Allen Iverson or Dennis Rodman, two very different extremes when it came to male fashion. DWade told CR, “Allen Iverson was the idol of my generation and he looked like a rapper, so all of the young players came into the league trying to dress like him. When I first became a part of the NBA, I didn't believe in any of ‘that fashion bulls**t’ either. I wore my pants low just like the rest of the players; all I wanted to do was fit in. It wasn’t until I matured that I realized that fashion is a means of self-expression. Dressing how I wanted allowed me to define who I was and who I wanted to be.”
DWade recalls growing up in a home on the South Side of Chicago with limited resources and fashionable wants such as expensive clothing weren’t an option for him. Both of his parents were just teenagers when he was conceived, so the struggles of being a teen parent and raising a child in Chicago at the time were rough. His mother was in out of prison and battled with drug addiction. So instead of worrying about completing his homework and what the other kids were wearing, Wade was more concerned about his safety and staying alive. However, he did develop an affinity for nicer things, as he told CR. “I wasn't fortunate enough to be able to buy much, but I noticed the little things," he said. "I used to put items of clothing in my memory bank for if I ever came into money, like ‘I’ll save that right here just in case some cash comes to me.'” During that time, Wade only hoped for a nice suit like his father and a pair of dope sneakers.
Fast-forward years later, his mother is now a reformed preacher and DWade is currently one of the highest-paid athletes in the world according to Forbes! DWade's first expensive purchase was that suit he hoped for as a teenager!
Today, DWade has 15 brand endorsements and is in the business of taking fashion very serious. Wade admits to being a fashion risk taker and says that his kids are his biggest critics when it comes to his fashion choices. “I get mixed reviews, but they like some of my looks. It’s a good life lesson for my kids either way; I’m trying to be a role model to them in everything I do. I want them to know that as long as you’re comfortable and confident in whom you are, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.” His wife Gabrielle Union recently spoke about her husband's obsession with extremely short shorts while on vacation.
So what’s next for DWade? Well, since 2006, he has been working with his stylist Calyann Barnett. Together, they continue to expand the star athlete’s personal style. We know from our previous conversations with Mr. Wade that he relishes in the idea of pushing boundaries when it comes to his personal fashion choices. Remember his orange fur coat in Miami? And the all-green velour track suit?
We can’t deny that this guy is a trendsetter! When it comes to the NBA, the athletes' off-court fashion game is equally as important as their on-the-court game. Because of the influence of DWade, he is redesigning how we look at athletes and fashion. In the past, we idealized Jordan for his exclusive sneakers. EVERY player after Jordan's sign of fashion crossover came from them creating a sneaker. Now we see players like Dwade venturing into menswear and inspiring other younger athletes like Russell Westbrook to take pride in personal style, breaking the stereotypes of athletes dressing like street thugs.
Wade has taken a strong interest in fashion. When he released all of his capsule collections on Amazon Fashion earlier this year, he told GQ, "Fashion is a huge component of my life, and I strongly believe it is another medium to express you.” His capsule collections now range from Stance Socks, shoes and casual clothing to men's accessories.
DWade will continue to earn respect in the fashion world and proves to individuals that it’s not about how you start out, but how you finish. In life, you can create your own positive path based on your personal passions.
(Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images)
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