SBD/May 9, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Clothes Make The Man: NBA Players Using "Geek Chic" Fashion To Redefine Their Image

Durant said that he wants fellow NBAers to accept him the way he dresses
Several NBA players, including Thunder F Kevin Durant, Knicks F Amar'e Stoudemire and Heat G Dwyane Wade, have adopted the "geek chic" fashion style, and the "professorial, downright dorktastic African-American NBA stars are defying the expectation that they wear an intimidating hood facade," according to Sean Gregory of TIME magazine. The players also are "changing how we view black athletes -- and how they view themselves.” Durant said that he “wanted his NBA peers to accept him -- backpack, horn-rimmed glasses, buttoned-all-the-way-up-to-the-collar plaid shirts and all.” Gregory notes in Durant, the NBA “has an ideal front man for the geek-chic craze: a humble, loyal superstar.” Durant “insists he’s not dressing to make a social statement ... but he’s aware that geek chic gives NBA players a cheekier image, and he embraces it." Durant said, “If people always see you upset, always see you with baggy clothes, see you wearing dark colors, it’s normal for a person to think, Oh if that’s how he looks, that’s how he is. When somebody sees me, I want them to think of someone who’s always smiling, always positive, always selfless.” Stylist June Ambrose sees a “playful rebellion against the NBA rule passed in 2005 that requires business-casual dress for players sitting on the bench because of injury.” Instead of going corporate, the players “went preppy.” Boston Globe film critic Wesley Morris said that President Obama “deserves some of the credit for this shift” in style. Morris: “Black men are breaking out of the hole we’ve been put in” (TIME, 5/14 issue).
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