Don’t be surprised if Anthony Davis catches your eye before a nationally televised Pelicans game next season. The NBA star readily admits he saves his best outfits for his biggest games, which means he often looks fly as hell before dropping 40 points on his toughest opponents.
Davis has been big on fashion since the 2012 Olympics (we’ll get there in a second), and he recently released the fourth collection in his collaboration with Saks Fifth Avenue. Davis has partnered with Saks for a couple years now, and the 11-piece collection is a reflection of his personal taste in style.
The Crossover caught up with Davis to discuss the fashion world, the one purchase he’s always wanted to make, and his biggest sartorial regret.
Rohan Nadkarni: Did you always know when you reached the NBA you also wanted to be doing fashion stuff?
Anthony Davis: Never, never. When I first got to the NBA I remember going to the Olympics, and with all those guys, I remember going to a team dinner and I had shorts and a t-shirt on. And that picture came out people are tweeting me, “What are you doing?” I’m like, I didn’t know, I’m in college, we go out in sweats. That kind of made me change my mindset of, whenever we go out to dinner or anything, I’m supposed to look nice. And that’s kind of where it came from.
RN: So you mentioned earlier those primetime games as nights where you like to stand out. What’s the process for you in picking out the right outfit?
AD: Most of the time, say it’s a big game, I always start with my shoes. And then I go from there. I love shoes, I have so many shoes. I try to figure out what shoes I want to wear then start thinking of my outfit. Depending on the game, depending how I feel, I may throw a suit on, I may wear something from my collection or I may wear something my stylist made. Playoffs—the one time we did go to the playoffs, we’re definitely going back next year—I wore a suit every time. Over the course of the season I obviously like to switch it up.
RN: Is it hard for you to buy suits still?
AD: It’s really not difficult for me anymore. My stylist has had all my measurements for three or four years now so I just tell her, I need a suit for a GQ party or a Saks party, and then I can pick a color. Every couple years she’ll re-measure me. But for the most part she does a great job of getting great suits for me.
RN: What was the one thing you always wanted that you were finally able to buy once you made it to the NBA?
AD: I always wanted a pair of red bottoms. Christian Louboutin’s. Always. And now I have so many of them. Some I haven’t even worn yet. I just always wanted them. As far as clothes, I always just wanted to own a suit. I feel like every man should own a suit. Doesn’t matter who it‘s from, I always wanted to own a suit. Now I have probably more than 40 in my closet. I have too many.
RN: How do you even keep your closet organized?
AD: My sister. [Laughs] She has all my suits over here, all my t-shirts over here, all my jeans over here. She does it. I don’t know how she does it, but she does it. She does a great job organizing everything by color. If I was going to do it things would be everywhere. I’d have jeans, a suit and a t-shirt together..
RN: All on a chair somewhere.
AD: [Laughs] Or on the floor. She really does a great job of keeping everything organized.
RN: I don’t want to say regret, but did you ever have a moment where—
AD: One of those times I wish I didn’t wear something?
AD: Uh, honestly nothing I can think of right now. Every time I leave the house I feel like—actually, I’m lying. One time I wore, it wasn’t bad... but one time I had these loafers on from Christian Louboutin—and I always wear socks. Of course with loafers, you don’t wear socks. I had worn these loafers for this past All-Star, and in my head I’m like, I look fly. And as I’m walking around, the skin on my Achilles was just tearing. It’s bloody. And it was the worst pain ever. And I definitely regret wearing those. But I was looking fly. I killed it.
RN: So it was worth it?
AD: Sometimes you just have to fight through the pain.
This interview has been edited and condensed.