Zion Williamson
Source: Cole Burston/Getty Images

Fashion on the Court: Zion Williamson's 2023 Wardrobe

Discover how Zion Williamson infuses anime and his North Carolina roots into fashion, turning NBA tunnels into catwalks with his unique style.


Dec. 10 2023, Published 7:57 p.m. ET

The No. 1 overall draft pick of 2019 set the NBA world on fire with his towering physique, unique style of play, and exceptional performances. However, a string of unfortunate injuries meant that the NBA star couldn’t show off his skills on the court for an extended period — keeping him sidelined for most parts of his professional career.

Zion has not allowed his injury woes to wear him down, opting to show off a different side of his life on and off the court. The towering athlete, who has his signature shoe collection courtesy of the Jordan Brand, has used his time on the sidelines to establish himself as a fashion powerhouse.

Here’s how one of the NBA's fastest-rising talents is changing sports fashion with his evolving style choices.

Tunnel Fashion

Over the years, NBA stars have used the tunnel as a catwalk of sorts. These athletes have often showed off their unique fashion sense during that short walk through the tunnel. Noticing this, fashion brands took advantage, opting to dress NBA players who normally make fashion statements in the tunnel. Zion, like many other stars in the game, is using this opportunity to show off his creativity, self-expression, and diversity.

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Zion’s Jordan Brand Signature Sneakers

The 2019 No. 1 draft pick has a shoe deal with Nike’s Jordan Brand. By working closely with the brand’s design team, Zion has been able to bring his fashion ideas into the world of sport – and onto the court.

The New Orleans Pelicans power forward has played a major role in ensuring that his signature shoes bear hallmarks of his personality, preferences, and inspirations. For the Zion 1s, the star athlete insisted on the introduction of anime-inspired colorways. He also played a part in designing the voodoo-inspired Zion 2s. The latest installment in this signature line – the Zion3 – borrows from the athlete’s North Carolina roots.

Anime-inspired Fashion

Zion Williamson is really into anime. A number of his fashion choices in the tunnel and on the court feature various anime-inspired designs. For instance, in the 2021 to 2022 season, the athlete appeared at the game against the Hawks rocking an anime-themed outfit. While the choice wasn't popular with everyone, he wasn’t afraid to show off his individuality.

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This specific outfit was designed by Wilson College of Textiles Student, Meredith Howell. The budding designer stated that she hopes Zion will wear some of her other designs (he ordered a total of four outfits), because in her opinion the one he wore was, “my least favorite of the four.”

Zion Williamson Fashion Inspiration

During a recent interview with Complex, Zion Williamson shed some light on the evolution of his tunnel fashion choices. In the interview, the rising NBA star said that he only used to wear sweatpants on the court.

However, he attributes his newfound appreciation for fashion to his friends – saying, “I got to thank my friends Axel [Nyembwe] and Rico [Brown] for that.” In the interview, the towering athlete says that his Dickies outfit is his favorite.

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