For years, athletes have used fashion to establish their brands off the court. Style and self-expression have become a key part of the personas of the biggest stars of the game.
NBA stars have come to embrace fashion, and former NBA champion Dwayne Wade is no exception. Wade has also established himself as a fashion icon thanks to his style game.
Here’s how Dwayne Wade went from dominating the basketball court to becoming a fashion icon.
In an interview with FWD, Wade stated that he owes part of his evolution in fashion to his stylist Jason Bolden, who has worked with many famous celebs including Taraji P. Henson and Wiz Khalifa. According to the basketball star, Bolden made it possible for him to access various brands in fashion and vice versa.
This shift made it possible for him to start experimenting with different styles to get the most fashionable look, every time.
“I didn't go to school for fashion—for me, it's just having a passion. I have an eye for what I like. Even for the CFDAs, I picked up that Gucci suit,” he told Esquire.
Wade’s Growing Influence in Fashion
Wade has had a longstanding passion for fashion. In 2012, the basketball star decided to celebrate this passion by launching his yearly A Night on the RunWade event.
A few years later, in 2015, the star was chosen as the ambassador for the first New York Men’s Fashion Week. He is also the first athlete to work with Amazon Fashion when creating a brand Wade store.
“Me and my team set out last year thinking, man, we do so many things with so many different partners. Wouldn't it be great if we had a store where we could keep everything, a place we could call home? We pitched the idea, and Amazon was excited,” he said of his Amazon store. “A year later, I have a pop-up store on Amazon. I'm excited about this and hope we have success with it, and can grow it.”
The star also worked on creating a capsule collection with Saks in his 2017 collaboration with DSquared2.
Partnering With Li-Ning
To continue developing and expanding his Way of Wade basketball and lifestyle brand, the iconic basketball star entered a groundbreaking lifetime deal with Chinese fashion brand Li-Ning. This has led to the launch of close to a dozen Wade retail stores all over China. In addition to traveling to the country to host the Way of Wade tour each year, he also acts as the global ambassador of the Li-Ning brand.
His Way of Wade brand has also evolved into a big name on and off the basketball court, since the launch of the player’s signature basketball shoes. Wade also signed D’Angelo Russell as the first signature athlete to his Way of Wade brand in 2019 – demonstrating his desire and ability to bring more NBA stars into the fashion game.
Retirement Looks Good on Dwyane Wade
Dwayne Wade retired from the NBA in 2019, after a highly successful 16-year stint. After retiring from the NBA, the basketball star-turned-fashion-icon effortlessly transitioned into a highly recognizable figure in the fashion world. He has been able to use figure-flattering silhouettes, eye-catching patterns, and vibrant colors to create a unique look. Instead of going for “off the rack” looks, Wade prefers to go for advanced custom cuts that raise his fashion game to the highest level.