ESPN The Magazine‘s new theme issue is the fifth annual “Revenge of the Jocks.” Adrian Peterson served as guest Editor in Chief and the guest Fashion Editor was Amar’e Stoudemire, who helped dress Marshawn Lynch and Sarah Burke.
Big Lead Sports spoke with Samantha Rubin, who has been Fashion Editor for ESPN The Magazine since April, about her views on athletes, fashion and working with Stoudemire.
(Amar’e Stoudemire last week signed a deal with Big Lead Sports on content initiatives, including basketball and lifestyle features, an online fantasy sports platform and an educational program for kids, featuring a fantasy math curriculum. As a part of the arrangement, Stoudemire became a shareholder in BLS and an advisor to the company.)
Big Lead Sports: Amar’e Stoudemire is known for his sense of style. How hands-on was he during the editorial process?
Samantha Rubin: Amar’e was very hands on. He definitely has a clear sense of style and what he likes and what he does not like. It was important for him to get Marshawn into a well-tailored suit that was a bit more slim then what Marshawn was used to! Amar’e wanted to keep the look clean and classic but with a twist, which he did by pairing Marshawn’s suit with knit ties instead of silk and patterned pocket squares. With Sarah, his goal was to be fun and flirty yet sophisticated – and of course show off her best asset – those skier’s legs! During the shoot, he interacted like any stylist would on set (for example, fixing Marshawn’s tie, Sarah’s shoe).
BLS: What was the biggest surprise you found working with Stoudemire that fans who know him just for hoops would find interesting?
SR: What I found most interesting about Amar’e is that he is open to learning about so many other things aside from basketball. He demonstrated a clear interest in travel, exploring other cultures and the importance of experiencing new things.
SR: Definitely their size. Athletes have the most amazing physiques, but it is a challenge to pull (clothes) for the shoots because about 90% of the time, athletes do not fit into sample sizes. Dressing an athlete usually requires a lot of tailoring to make sure the fit of the clothing is correct. Once it is, they look better than most models! You generally need to go up a size in suits to make sure the chest fits but, then we need to take in the waist. The sheer height of basketball players requires them to get most of their clothes made custom. A great tailor is an athlete’s best friend!
BLS: Which athletes are the most style-conscious and interesting to work with on a project like this for the magazine?
SR: Right now a few stand out that I think have a great sense of style and would love to work with down the road. Matt Kemp has great style, as well as Blake Griffin. And you cannot have this conversation without mentioning Lebron and D-Wade – they have fantastic personal style and are always put together perfectly. I would also say Tom Brady doesn’t disappoint either—he looks great in a suit! As far as women go, Maria Sharapova always looks phenomenal. She’s modern and sophisticated in her clothing choices.
BLS: Which athletes or sports incorporating the most sense of style with regard to clothes to their brand?
SR: Right now I think the NBA guys really dominate when it comes to fashion and style. In addition to those I mentioned above, Chris Bosh, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul also come to mind. There is never a post-game interview or event where they do not look polished. I am also impressed by the younger guys who were in this year’s NBA draft. You can see they are moving away from the oversized ten-button suits of yesteryear and are favoring a well-tailored slim suit. Kemba Walker definitely took “best dressed” – I hope to see him give the rest of them a run for their money in the style department!