From South Central L.A. to the front row of runway shows in New York, Paris and Milan, Russell Westbrook hopes to go where few NBA All-Stars have gone before: the top of his own fashion empire. Minutes before he slipped on a $699 lambskin biker jacket for True Religion’s new holiday ad campaign, the Oklahoma City Thunder point guard told WWD about the best advice he’s received, tips for kids who want to have swag on a budget and how much say he has in the design of his fiancée’s wedding gown.
WWD: What was the best advice you received as you embarked on working in the fashion industry?
Russell Westbrook: Be yourself. It’s the most important part of anything that you do. It’s not fashion. It can be whatever you want to do. Be yourself and true to yourself. You can do different things in the world.
WWD: Who are your favorite designers?
R.W.: I wear a lot of different things, personally. I don’t have favorites. I enjoy different designers for different seasons and what they bring to it each and every season.
WWD: True Religion hinted that you might design clothes for the brand. Will you?
R.W.: I’m going to hint right with them. (Laughs)
WWD: What are your tips for kids who want to have swag, but have a limited budget?
R.W.: I don’t shop just high-end, honestly. I shop at Zara, I shop at Topshop, I shop at H&M. I shop everywhere. Barneys. That’s the nature. The good thing about me is I just don’t shop high-end. I mix and match, from top to bottom. I find ways to make things affordable. If the kids want the looks, they can be able to go afford it.
WWD: Who is your style role model?
R.W.: My mom.
WWD: You’re engaged to Nina Earl. Do you have an idea what you’ll wear to your wedding?
R.W.: I do have plans.
WWD: But you want to keep them a secret? Are you helping to design your fiancée’s dress?
R.W.: (Laughs) It’s her day. I’m just the fill-in.