San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

Many superstar athletes have a passion for fashion

Ryan Hardison
Star professional athletes such as Russell Westbrook, Lebron James, Cam Newton, Dennis Rodman and Allen Iverson have all established a presence for their fashion choices off the court as much as their athletics.

The world of sports has long coincided with the world of fashion; however, many notable athletes of the 21st century have transcended the ways of fashionable expression for athletes. 

The millions of eyes that follow these stars are now tuning in for a glimpse at their fashion sense just as much as their athletic ability. 

Athletes are still evolving in the way they style themselves and it’s easy to overlook those athletes in the past who figured out how to push boundaries. 


In the NBA, Dennis Rodman was known for his look off the court. Rodman often dyed his hair a variety of colors and patterns, engaged in off-the-court antics such as pro wrestling and took player fashion to a new level; all while winning NBA Championships alongside Michael Jordan. 

One of his most memorable instances was when he defied gender norms and showed up to a book signing of his in a wedding dress, declaring he would be marrying himself in 1996.

Another pioneer in NBA fashion history is Allen Iverson. His style of showing up to games with fits that consisted of durags, baggy clothes and enough jewelry fit for a king, brought hip-hop culture to the big league. 

The NBA would respond to Iverson’s flashy style and forced players to adopt a certain look that wasn’t genuine to themselves. Then, NBA Commissioner David Stern implemented a new dress code in 2005 that would change NBA gameday fashion for years to come. Players were urged to dress in “business casual” attire when arriving and leaving games and league/team events, according to ESPN

In the NFL, it was another notable athlete who took the league by storm with their gameday style of dress throughout their career. That athlete was none other than Cam Newton. 

With his iconic style of flashy suits paired with an equally mercurial hat, Newton took the NFL’s professional dress code to new heights during the 2010s decade. 


Drawing on those that came before them, athletes now are continuing to push boundaries and bring new styles to the forefront of mainstream culture. 

Many of the changes we’ve seen to athletic fashion in recent years can be attributed to a pioneer in fashion that the world lost last year, Virgil Abloh. 

Abloh’s work with Off-White and Louis Vuitton bred creations with some of the biggest names in sports fashion and athletes. His relationship with athletes often led to them receiving a personal touch from Virgil, such as what he gave to LeBron James when he wrote “Virgil Was Here” on his custom Off-White Nike Air Force 1’s. 

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The NBA and NFL continue to showcase some of their star athletes’ best fits. During the recent NFL playoffs, all eyes were on second year Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow and what he would wear to his first Super Bowl. 

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NBA star Russell Westbrook has long made headlines for his outfits, one of his most memorable being when he donned a dress during New York Fashion Week in 2021. 

Athletic brands are also thriving from fashion partnerships, some of the most notable being Jordan’s brand deal with French soccer team Paris St. Germain which intertwines basketball and soccer culture. 

With sports teams’ collaborations with fashion brands such as Moncler, Louis Vuitton, and BAPE to name a few, it is evident that fashion and sports will continue to thrive together. 

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About the Contributors
Ryan Hardison, Arts & Culture Editor
Ryan Hardison is a senior studying journalism, sociology and history.
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San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913
Many superstar athletes have a passion for fashion