Famous athletes make statements with their clothing

February 8, 2018 — by Ava Hooman and Jeffrey Xu

Besides playing a huge role in influencing modern fashion trends, athletes are now also using their fashion to make personal statements.

As rapper and fashion mogul Kanye West got out of his Lamborghini to go shopping decked out in a pair of joggers and his zebra-colored signature Yeezy Boost 350s, cameras flashed and paparazzi swarmed around him.

Even with wearing just a hoodie and athletic pants, West still managed to pull off the trending “athleisure” look. Having been one of the first to start the trend, to this day, he is still seen as one of the leaders of the fashion hybrid between athletic and casual wear.

Besides playing a huge role in influencing modern fashion trends, athletes are now also using their fashion to make personal statements. For example, Russell Westbrook, who plays point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder, is considered as the most fashionable player in the NBA.

By wearing very expressive pieces of clothing such as paint-splattered and torn up graphic T-shirts along with ripped black and white jeans, Westbrook’s aesthetic pops out practically wherever he goes.

This, in turn, has also boosted his career and given him much more visibility as being a true “NBA Renaissance man,” as deemed by adweek.com. While Westbrook’s gameplay statistics are nothing short of extraordinary with his numerous triple-doubles, it can still be said that his style has attracted much attention to him and his career.

According to Westbrook in a recent interview with Time Magazine, fashion is a way that he can make physical statements about himself when he is not on the court.

I really love that they’re both different ways to express yourself,” Westbrook said. “Basketball is one way to express yourself, as is what you wear.”

With famous athletes becoming increasingly fashion-forward, contemporary fashion has now also been incorporating more athletic wear in general, with items like hoodies, tracksuits and sweatpants becoming the most popular pieces to wear.

Brands like Nike and Adidas especially are now dominating the fashion market, using comfortable and performance pieces to appeal to teenagers and young adults. Because of the influence of celebrities such as singer Beyonce, founder of Ivy Park, people are wearing more activewear pieces.

Most notable of “athleisure” wear are the mainstream Adidas track pants. With a well-known brand name, clean look and comfortable fit, it’s no surprise that it’s an essential and versatile staple in schoolwear.

In addition to Nike and Adidas’ athletic clothing, their sneakers have also dominated the market.

Some of the more famous and recent sneaker collaborations are between Nike and Off-White; Adidas and Kanye West; and Adidas and Pharrell Williams. Their limited supply of sneakers were sold out in minutes, with some sneakers going easily for more than $1,000.

Another brand seen all throughout schools, primarily on females, is the highly renowned athletic brand Lululemon,  founded in 1998. The brand’s simple yet feminine clothing pieces have completely transformed athletic wear for women.

“As a soccer player I enjoy wearing comfortable athletic clothing when I am at school or at home,” junior Isabella Taylor said.

About 10 years ago, the concept of wearing a pair of athletic leggings as casual wear was nearly foreign, but now they are worn with practically anything else in the closet.

It’s no secret that fashion trends are changing constantly, but with more and more influencers throughout social media and even YouTube supporting and expressing their own trendy athletic wear style, we can expect athleisure wear to stay around for a while.

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