P.J. Tucker has a passion for fashion that goes beyond street-style photos at global fashion weeks and a massive sneaker collection.
So the Houston Rockets star has teamed with eyewear brand Temples & Bridges for a collection launching Wednesday that will feature new releases throughout the year.
Temples & Bridges founder, owner and designer Tito Riveros said that when working with Tucker on the collection, “We started thinking about the things we do during the day or love to do. P.J. travels a lot, but during the offseason he goes to the beach or vacations on the islands. He’s a father, too, and has to take his kids to school or go to Whole Foods or Starbucks, so we wanted to do something to be paired with sweatpants, an oversize sweater and Air Jordan 1 sneakers.”
And they’re personal to the athlete. The first styles, June, are named after Tucker’s grandfather, retail for $350 and are offered in red, blue tortoise and gray camo colors with gradient lenses that can be flipped to show a second color. Each frame is handmade and can take up to 20 people working on each to complete, and like all Temples & Bridges styles, the acetates are custom.
The duo began working on the collaboration in 2020, and Riveros said Tucker was very involved in the process, even contacting him at 2 a.m. to discuss minute details. “Everyone looks at the frame, but no one looks at the hinges or what colors they are or the embossing of the packaging,” Riveros said. “P.J. puts pieces together well, plays with different silhouettes and colors.”
“Every style is a pair I’d wear,” Tucker said. “I always design things I want to wear every day and feel comfortable with and that I think people will like as well. Tito can do all styles and mix it up and he could fulfill how I wanted to do glasses. Our creativity meshed.”
Riveros is a self-taught designer who studied the make of eyewear and jewelry. He founded Temples & Bridges in 2016, and the line, which is sold in the U.S., Europe, South America and the Middle East, collaborates with sports personality and TV host Lance Fresh.
Tucker is well known for his sneakers, but he has always had an affinity for sunglasses. “This is a natural progression of something I want to do,” he said. “I’d buy sunglasses and see things I’d want to change and this is my chance to do things exactly how I want it. It doesn’t compare to my obsession with shoes, but I thought it’d be something to do and something other people would like.”
When the 2019-20 NBA Season was postponed, Tucker said he wasn’t used to the down time, but enjoyed spending more time with his children. Last year, he launched e-commerce site The Better Generation, a sneaker and lifestyle site. He’s also back on the court now that the 2020-21 season is in full swing and despite trade rumors, the veteran is doing his best to stay focused.
“We have new guys and a new coach and front office,” he said. “I’m the Last of the Mohicans, and to be the last person left is tough, but at the same time you keep going. It’s something to get used to. Through it all, you appreciate being that steady, reliable player knowing what people can get from you. It’s something to be thankful for.”