A Brief History of Athletes as Creative Directors

Duane Wade

David Beckhamchveh1p436xm7wh9zezs

One of the world’s most famous and famously well-dressed athletes, Beckham has long bent the fashion world along his aesthetics, with a best-selling collaboration with H&M to, now, a 10-piece capsule collection with famed British moto-style label Belstaff. Expect the collection’s leather jackets and boots to give any man a dose of rebel cool, though they’ll probably still look best on the footballer himself.

Steve Nashhzuckamflucxr4j2qyz2

The former floppy-locked point guard made a bit of a style 180 after his move to L.A., switching to impeccably tailored suits and neatly trimmed hair. And he sealed the deal with a collaborative collection with online suit-maker Indochino.

Cristiano Ronaldo
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The first- or second-best footballer in the world right now (feel free to keep arguing about it) is also an icon of Euro-glam footballer style. His personal CR7 label has recently expanded from its collection of briefs and socks to a dress-shirt collaboration with famed designer Richard Chai.

Dwyane Wadejj6tduh6hhzr73vvutpw

Wade was probably always the most bombastic of the style pioneering Miami Threetles, and his latest collaboration with Stance shows that off—featuring an array of preppy colorful socks that go great with Wade’s dandy cropped suit pants, or his signature shoes from Chinese sneaker brand Li-Ning.

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In a reaction against the usual athlete-sneaker complex, in 2006, the enigmatic point guard released his own sneaker brand, Starbury. With a $15 sneaker designed to compete with much higher-priced kicks coming from the usual suspects, young basketball-loving kids would have affordable gear with which to learn the game.

Michael Jordangn4xfan9xt4ds3ukis0n

His Airness has had as large an impact on fashion as anyone alive, as his iconic Jordan Brand sneakers and apparel can now be seen everywhere from the court to the runway. He didn’t design them all, of course, but his input on the process is well known—and his on-court feats popularizing the most famous basketball logo since Jerry West hasn’t hurt, either.

Russell Westbrooko8uupthdte5rzl5lmscn

The NBA’s reigning style unicorn has worn the creative hat many times, from an in-house curation with Barneys to collaborations with Del Toro and Jordan Brand (with a signature in the works). And his latest work, with True Religion, is his first bona-fide collection, which still carries his distinctive, iconoclastic aesthetic.

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