That movement, in part, has been propelled by the fusion of popular culture, from the likes of hip-hop and sports, especially. For many, the legendary Harlem tailor Dapper Dan, was one of the first to combine the haute with the street, utilizing brand iconography from the likes of Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Fendi, to create custom-made pieces in the ’80s for the likes of LL Cool J, Salt-N-Pepa, and Rakim and Eric B. After closing shop in 1992, Dap is having something of his own Harlem Renaissance, partnering last September with Gucci’s creative director, Alessandro Michele, on an official joint-venture.
It made sense then that the father of street style would sit down with one of his inheritors, to discuss everything from personal tastes to how best stay in the zone when it comes to both work, and play.
RUSSELL WESTBROOK X DAPPER DAN
"Some people may think it's taking risks, honestly for me it's ... just being natural, being yourself."
DAN: But how did your own style develop, like you said, as you got older? Did you see yourself leaning away from what your mother defined as fashion? You got more liberal with yourself because, for sure, you’re cutting edge.
WESTBROOK: I think playing basketball has allowed me more access to things I didn't have access to when I was younger. I think the progression of my own style is about having access to the right people. I can go to the different fashion houses, go to the shows, and learn more about what fashion is.
DAN: When did you feel like taking risks with fashion?
WESTBROOK: Honestly man, some people may think it's taking risks, honestly for me it's really just like you said, just being natural, being yourself…expressing who I am and what it is I have an interest in.
DAN: Tell me about your design process, especially when it comes to your shoes. I want to hear about the third sneaker design that will be unveiled in Paris.
WESTBROOK: I’ve been with Nike collaborating on their Jordan collection. It’s a great process. I get to pick the materials, pick the style, pick the colors. For the Paris launch, it will be my third off-the-court shoe. I wanted something very comfortable, easy flowing and simple that you can wear pretty much with anything and I'm excited to get it unveiled there.
Photography Randall Mesdon
Fashion Jason Rembert
Grooming Hee Soo Kwon for MALIN + GOETZ Stylist Assistant Daniel Lee Retouching Dcoy Studios