Russell Westbrook’s fashion line with Barney’s is a full go, website and all, and it’s exactly what you think it is. Some combination of Blade Runner, an island bar in the wintertime, Avatar, the inside of a Mercedes, and a store that only sells clothes to gymnasts that should be free safeties. It’s a three headed monster with him, Jordan, and Barney’s coming together to create outfits that your friend would wear if he were going as an understated Russell Westbrook for Halloween. Pants that shimmer, but not that much. Leopard print, but five kinds of black.
Some of the looks are like what would happen if James Cameron was like no, dudes, I changed my mind. We’re now going to make the Na’vi look like leopard elephant hybrids BUT THE NEON CAROLINA BLUE COLOR PALLET STAYS. There are shoes named Honeycomb-Flocked Slippers that cost $400. They look like carpet. There’s a pair of elephant print shorts that cost $215 that I would absolutely wear, if it were a swimsuit. He’s also selling black, camo print jeans which I’ve talked myself out of thus far, but it’s clear they’re going to win the war.
He’s got Croc — Crocodiles, not the shoes — print luggage and tote bags and $1,100 backpacks and wallets and hats and, yes, of course, all his sunglasses, too. It’s actually impressive. This isn’t one or two pieces. This is a collection.
For all the athletes that have come around and tried to do something in the shoe and fashion game — shouts out to Spree and the name of that website that hyperlink leads you to — I don’t think anyone’s done what Russ is doing like Russ is doing it. This is high end stuff. Some of it is highly ridiculous, but even still, someone with money and knowledge thought enough of him to make these pieces and charge $450 for them. Russ is never not different.
In an alternate universe this last paragraph is for a metaphor, then some analysis. When you get done with the fun stuff and get down to figuring out what the clothes mean for Westbrook. Where you dissect why he dresses the way he does. Where you try to get inside his head and try to understand that runaway-train-that-just-keeps-blowing-its-whistle psyche of his. Where I use his clothes to figure him out, then pass along my feelings as earned truth.
You probably write something like, “So, do the clothes make the man?” But that’s very gross. It’s also pointless. Think pieces are going to end us all. Clothes are fun and so is Westbrook. That can be the end if we let it be.