NBA Fashion – Identity Blog

David Lee

 

Professional basketball players portray their own style through fashion when they arrive to the stadium they are going to play at during the NBA season. The way these athletes dress their bodies show the compromise that Entwistle describes. As NBA players, the financial implications of their jobs results in people and media looking forward to seeing what kind of clothes they wear, and how their bodies look. In this picture, Kevin Durant, one of the best players in the industry, is wearing an En Noir denim. These pants have a retail price of at least $500 dollars and are widely recognized because of the close relationship that the cultures of hip hop, high-end streetwear brands, and basketball share, so styling this style of clothing according to one’s own individualism is also part of the demand and expectation of the social world. Moreover, styling one’s body means contributing to one’s own image and, further, one’s own branding. This is why Durant chooses his clothes in relation to the culture he is in, the generation and his individual tastes, and why he won’t be dressed like the other people in the rest of the picture. The security guard, the camera man, and the stylist or coordinator, all have a distinctive trait in their dressed bodies that lets other people imply their status and position in this culture. They could choose to wear more fashionable clothes of recognized brands like Kevin Durant, but don’t because they have to follow certain social demands too.

 

The distinction in Kevin Durant’s style and body suggests, within that specific context, that he is a professional athlete, which encompasses the player into a particular group. This is the way in which fashion is expressing belonging and commonality (in this case, that of Durant to NBA players). However, this fashion combined with the athlete’s own preferences and choices express differentiation. For example, while Kevin Durant will generally be seen in a more common outfit (like shoes, jeans, and a shirt), Russell Westbrook, SI’s Most Fashionable Athlete of 2017, is very famous for rocking a wide range of extravagant clothing, which distinguish him from the rest of the NBA.

 

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