Russell Westbrook is the epitome of an athlete turned style star – the point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder recently collaborated with Barneys New York on a capsule collection titled “Russell Westbrook XO Barneys New York.” Here, he spoke to Life+Times about the highlights of the design process.
Life+Times: How did this collaboration originate?
Russell Westbrook: I was interested in getting involved with fashion, and a few years ago my team began meeting with Barneys about this collaboration. We felt there was no better company to work with than Barneys.
L+T: You’re known for your style, both on and off the court. Where did your love of fashion and design stem from?
RW: My mother. She always made sure my brother and I were dressed well growing up. Even though we couldn’t afford the most expensive clothing, my mom made sure we always looked nice.
L+T: This is your debut into the world of high-end design. Was this something you always wanted to tackle?
RW: I have always been interested in fashion and in the last two to three years I got more interested and really wanted to get involved from the design side.
L+T: You collaborated with a few designers – namely Marcelo Burlon County of Milan, Naked & Famous, Want Les Essentiels de la Vie, Selima Optique, Del Toro and Globe Trotter. How did you choose these companies?
RW: It was important to me that we work with designers I actually like and enjoy wearing their clothes. I like the mixture of some younger more up and coming designers and more established designers.
L+T: How involved were you in both the design and ideation process?
RW: I was very involved in both. Obviously this was my first time being involved in designing, I learned a lot and leaned on these designers as they are the experts, but I was very involved.
L+T: Now that you’ve seen the collection, what are your thoughts? Is there anything you would have liked to change?
RW: I love all of it, I am really excited about it. I just saw a few new pieces that are coming out in a few weeks and I they look really cool.
L+T: What has the response been thus far?
RW: So far it has been great. We had a great launch event in Paris and everyone seems to really like the collection from the clothes to the luggage, sunglasses… every piece.
L+T: Who are some of your favorite designers – why?
RW: I like a lot of different designers. Public School, Givenchy, Balmain, and Marcelo Burlon to name a few.
L+T: If I were to look inside your closet, what would I find?
RW: A mixture of all sorts of things. I have a lot of clothes that range from high price to low. I love to mix highs and lows.
L+T: Is there a specific item in your closet that you will never throw away? If so, what is it?
RW:A nice white t-shirt. You won’t go wrong with a white tee.