Indiana Fever guard Destanni Henderson has had a whirlwind month thus far.
The 23-year-old athlete recently won the 2022 NCAA Championship on the South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team alongside Aliyah Boston and weeks later was drafted 20th to the Indiana Fever in the WNBA Draft.
Henderson, who goes by “Henny” for short, rode off into the sunset a champion to end her collegiate athletic career and enters her pro career as one of the players to watch, but her off-the-court endeavors are taking spotlight as well.
The young athlete wore a powder blue suit with matching New York Yankees fitted cap from Angel Brims NYC, several bracelets and rings and bright sneakers reminiscent of Bape’s Bapesta sneakers. She also designed her entire look from the custom hat to the sneakers.
“It took me less than 48 hours to come up with the look,” Henderson said. “Something happened with my first look so I had to go into my closet and find something I hadn’t worn yet.”
In 2020, Henderson started an emerging direct-to-consumer brand called Clothing by HP that offers graphic T-shirts, sweatpants and printed shorts with bandana patterns or original camouflage prints, as well as jackets, denim and velour tracksuits.
“I started my brand when COVID-19 happened,” Henderson began. She thought of what she’d like to do if she wasn’t playing basketball and turned to fashion.
“I thought of what I’d like to do if I wasn’t playing basketball, because basketball wasn’t an option in that moment,” she said. “I really didn’t have all of the tools and things I needed, but I researched.”
Her love for fashion started at an early age. She said she dressed well as a child — “It came from my family and grew on me” — and took it more seriously as she got older and entered college. Fashion is all she thought about while playing basketball, she added.
She made her first piece in July 2020, a pair of sweatpants in regal purple and gold, in tribute to Kobe Bryant who had passed away six months prior.
Although she was developing her bourgeoning business, she couldn’t sell any products due to NCAA rules. But that all changed with the ruling in July 2021 that NCAA college athletes would have the opportunity to benefit from their name, image and likeness, or NIL.
“I was promoting myself and telling people I’m going to have a website to order from,” she said of her brand before the ruling. “From a team perspective, it just put me in a position to teach things I’ve already been diving into since the start of COVID-19. People asked me how I did it because they wanted to make something of their own and their own business.”
Her WNBA Draft night outfit exhibits many parts of her personality, style and personal life. For instance, she wears hats very often and needed the fitted cap to complete her look, and she wore her sneakers previously for her birthday.
Prior to the draft, she was a guest at WSlam’s first WNBA Draft Party at Stadium Goods alongside number-one draft pick Rhyne Howard from the University of Kentucky, new Washington Mystics center Shakira Austin who was styled for the WNBA Draft by Kesha McLeod in designer Nicole Shante and Moritz Gilk jewelry, draftees Elissa Cunane, Nyara Sabally, Emily Engstler and Hailey Van Lith and New York Liberty center Natasha Howard.
Stadium Goods hosting the WSlam event follows Nike’s equity investment in the WNBA in February 2022 to help grow the league, create more visibility for the athletes and bring more girls into basketball. The investment builds on the company’s commitment to the league, which includes partnering on the game uniforms and producing an apparel collection for the WNBA.
In regards to the league embracing fashion and vice versa, Henderson said, “I feel like it’s definitely a good time. I feel good about what’s about to happen. The W has changed a lot and has been a platform for women to tell their story and show their style and how they present themselves. I feel the tunnel photos will be really dope. It’s going to be something amazing and only going to get better.”