WESTBROOK’S FAN BASE: The NBA’s two-time MVP award winner Russell Westbrook will be the first athlete to get the grilling from Fern Mallis at 92Y.
The stylish point guard will take to the stage Sept. 11 during New York Fashion Week. The Olympian will be talking up his new Rizzoli-backed book “Russell Westbrook: Style Drivers,” which is due out early next month. Westbrook teamed with artist Raymond Pettibon for the cover’s combo of sports and fine art. After brainstorming with Westbrook in March, Pettibon, an avid sports fans, wound up doing three different covers, the endpapers and chapter openers.
Admittedly, the Q&A is “somewhat of a departure and a little stretch” for Mallis, but she was game after Rizzoli’s publisher Charles Miers suggested the idea. She has also met the six-time NBA All-Star here and there at fashion shows. “We’ve run into each other in the city. I like him,” Mallis said. “And I grew up in a basketball family. I love basketball. Being a New Yorker, the Knicks are my team. But my dad was a basketball coach in his early youth, and my cousins were all [taller than] six feet and they played basketball.”
The $55 photography-heavy book is meant to be a celebration of his style on and off the court. The 28-year-old Westbrook has collaborated with Barneys New York and the Jordan brand. “He loves fashion and he has a great sense of style….I get a kick out of some of the things he posts on Instagram, and he is a real family guy. He’s really about his family and his wife and his kids,” Mallis said. “He’s got a great sense of his career, and charitable initiatives — I think he’s a good guy.”
Oklahoma City Thunder fans would agree having watched Westbrook help his team win 47 games, and many are now holding their breath waiting and hoping for him to extend his contract. With his stay-in-it-to-win-it attitude, Westbrook picked up the Best Male Athlete award at this year’s ESPYs, wearing drawstring green Fear of God trousers with white stripes and a short-sleeve black button shirt.
Westbrook will be showing off his fashion sense in Mexico City on Dec. 7 when the Thunder takes on the Brooklyn Nets — a first for the NBA, which has been making more of an international reach. During last month’s fashion shows in Paris, Westbrook showed off his confidence wearing a Sacai jumpsuit one day and Dior matching separates another. Last fall, the self-described “Fashion King” also made the rounds during New York Fashion Week, turning up at Yeezy and the Bazaar Icons party. Given the timing of his upcoming 92Y appearance, chances are he will be back in the front row in New York next month, too.