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Men'sWeek issue 06/26/2014

Brace yourself Parisian retailers, Russell Westbrook is about to hit town.

The Oklahoma City Thunder point guard — and self-proclaimed shopaholic — is due to land in the City of Light today in anticipation of the launch of his collaboration with Barneys New York. The Westbrook XO Barneys New York line of sportswear and accessories will hit the retailer’s stores in August, and the association will be celebrated at a dinner Saturday night.

This story first appeared in the June 26, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

This will be the 25-year-old’s first trip to Paris, and he’s especially looking forward to visiting stores. “I’m think I’m going to shop,” he said with a smile. “I know that for sure. And go sightseeing. I’m going to enjoy as much as I can in the time I have. It’s going to be a nice long flight to get there, but I’m excited to get it going and have fun at fashion week.”

Since breaking onto the scene in 2008, Westbrook has become well known for his fashion savvy and is famous for never wearing the same outfit twice.

After a couple of days in Paris, Westbrook said he’s off to Switzerland to visit the headquarters and factory of Zenith Watches, for which he serves as a brand ambassador. “I’m looking forward to that,” he said, noting that he’ll meet the executives and visit the factory while there.

Before heading to Europe, the California native made a stop in New York City to shoot the look book for the collection, which includes apparel from Jordan, Marcelo Burlon and Naked & Famous, as well as accessories from Want Les Essentiels, Selima Optique, Del Toro and Globe-Trotter.

The shoot was the first time the athlete had actually seen the finished product. “I’d seen it on paper, but it’s the first time I’ve actually seen it in hand and in person. I’m superhyped. I was so happy to see the tag and see my name and logo on it.” The hangtag and label read “Westbrook XO Barneys New York,” short for “Westbrook Exclusively Ours Barneys New York,” and there’s a subtle stylized “W” on the pieces that Westbrook had a hand in creating. “We looked at different options, and through process of elimination, we figured it out,” he said of the logo.

His trip to Paris means he misses the NBA draft, which will be held in Brooklyn on Thursday night. But he’s OK with that.

“Once I got drafted, I haven’t been back,” he admitted. And he’s not sure who’s going to wind up as the number-one pick. “I have no idea. Maybe Jabari Parker probably if I had to guess.” Parker is a 19-year-old, 6-foot, 8-inch forward from Duke. Or it could be someone else. “I don’t know all the kids or all the draft picks, but it seems like it’s a good draft and they should do well,” Westbrook said. Heading into the draft, his Thunder squad has the 21st pick in the first round.

In August, Westbrook will be back in New York to help publicize the launch of the line at Barneys, although no specific date has been set for his appearance at the store.

The Westbrook collection includes sportswear, denim, leather goods, eyewear, footwear and custom luggage, and may be expanded to other categories and brands in the future. It will be carried at all Barneys stores and online.

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