Who knew? The NBA seems to be churning out some well-dressed athletes. Take last Fashion Week, which had an unusually high attendance of basketball mavens: LeBron James, Amare Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade all staked their space front row at the shows. Now, online men’s apparel brand, Bonobos, just announced that they’re joining forces with two-time NBA All-Star and Olympic Gold Medalist, Deron Williams.
To celebrate the partnership and the brand’s new Foundation Suits (aka Italian wool suits with made-to-measure feel recently featured on GQ), Bonobos threw one well-dressed private party at Catch in the Meatpacking District last Thursday. I was excited to catch up with the dapperly-dressed Williams (a fellow Illini!) to bond in our U of I pride and, of course, ask him about his foray into fashion.
Beauty and the Feast: I’m sure you’re thrown a number of endorsements and partnership opportunities for brands your way. What about Bonobos specifically appealed to you?
Deron Williams: I just really liked the style. I felt when I looked at their website and through their catalogue, it really hit me. It’s definitely my style. When I heard that they were launching their suit line, I was definitely excited about the partnership. Other than the fact that they’re a great company and make great clothes, they’re instrumental in helping out my foundation which is key for me. We’re going to have a cyber pop up store that will be going to be on my website soon where part of the proceeds will go to my foundation. [Editor’s Note: Williams will also be jumping in the designer’s seat to create limited edition apparel, and hosting a web-series to answer style questions from fans. Keep a look out!]
BATF: Can you tell me a little more about your foundation?
D-Will: It’s called Point of Hope Foundation which basically benefits kids in need. We’ve touched everything from diabetes to cancer, to helping single moms and their families. We’re doing a lot of things.
BATF: How would you describe your own personal style?
D-Will: I’ve been asked that question a lot! I don’t have a “style” necessarily or that sort of thing. I just go with what I like, you know, what’s comfortable. Honestly, I look at GQ every now and then and see different things I like and try to incorporate that in my style. I feel like I have a pretty good eye for fashion and what goes together, and just try to go from there.
BATF: So do you prefer your suits to your jerseys?
D-Will: Oh, I’m never wearing a jersey [off the court]! Honestly, I normally don’t wear suits that often. I’m more into the sweaters and cardigans.
BATF: I caught Amare Stoudemire and Dwayne Wade front row at Fashion Week last season – do you think you’d be making an appearance this month?
D-Will: I’d definitely love to! I wasn’t here last season, I was in Istanbul so I wasn’t able to go.
BATF: I love Turkey! I went to visit my sister there too. What did you like most about Istanbul?
D-Will: I loved everything about it. It’s just a beautiful city. The people were amazing, the food was great. The culture – everything was great. I was treated so well right from the start so I loved it serious.
BATF: I have one last food question for you now! I did a post recently about all the food I miss from U of I – is there anything you miss from there?
D-Will: Man! I miss Niro’s! Everything late night. What was that place – “burritos as big as your head?” Right on Green Street…oh yeah, La Bamba! I miss La Bamba.
The Bonobos Foundation Suits retail for $590 or separately at $195 for pants and $395 for jackets. Bonobos apparel is sold exclusively at www.bonobos.com. To learn more about Deron Williams’ and wife Amy’s foundation, Point of Hope, visit www.deronwilliams.com/pointofhope.
EXTRA: Bonobos VP of Merchandising, Brad Andrews’, simple tips to find the right suit fit:
• Fit starts with the shoulders: The jacket should grab your shoulders snuggly but not be overly tight. If the shoulders fit, pretty much anything else can be adjusted.
• Length matters: To determine the appropriate length, you should be able to cup the bottom of the suit with your arms by your side.
• Show some shirt: A flexible but general rule of thumb is to have a quarter-inch of your shirt cuff showing. If you’re wearing a heavier cuff, like a French cuff, you may want to show a little more.