Kelly Oubre Jr. - The NBA’s Newest Fashion Designer

“New York Fashion Week, the biggest stage in American fashion”

The shift from summer into Fall has become known to be associated with many major American events and pastimes. New York Fashion Week is one of those staple events and this year’s show certainly did not disappoint. As many of the usual players ascended on New York City to partake in all of fashion week’s festivities, there was one person in attendance who might have been experiencing another side of Fashion Week.

Kelly Oubre Jr. Dope$oul 'Baptized By Fire' Collection Interview | Courtesy of Complex
Kelly Oubre Jr. Dope$oul 'Baptized By Fire' Collection Interview ~ Complex ~ Image via Jocko Graves/BFA
The name Kelly Oubre Jr. might ring a bell if you follow the NBA at all. The swagged-out swingman of the Charlotte Hornets is known equally for his appearances on Slam Magazine’s LeagueFits IG page as he is for his on the court prowess and athleticism, so much so that he was named their 2019 Drip MVP. At NYFW this year, Oubre launched his own streetwear brand called Dope$oul with a limited collection at his pop-up in NYC. This first official collection is called “Baptized by Fire” and will release later in Fall 2021.
Kelly Oubre Jr. Dope$oul 'Baptized By Fire' Collection Interview | Complex
Kelly Oubre Jr. Dope$oul 'Baptized By Fire' Collection Interview ~ Complex ~ Image via Jocko Graves/BFA 

This venture certainly isn’t taking anyone by surprise and it’s not the first NBA player to have their own clothing line, but what’s notable about this moment is the platform that is New York Fashion Week. While fashion and the game of basketball have been intertwined for quite some time and there have been several NBA players in attendance at various fashion week events, it is a relatively new development for NBA players to represent on the biggest stages of fashion by showcasing their own brand. And as guys like Kelly, PJ Tucker (who recently released a footwear collaboration with Dolce & Gabbana) and many others continue to push the boundaries of expression through fashion, there will be more doors that open into the fashion world.

In the 16 years since the NBA’s Dress Code was instituted, the league’s players have been thrust into a stratosphere of influence that no one could have seen coming. It was a move made out of necessity and yet it elevated the league far beyond just fixing an image issue. And although the players might have gotten a raw deal initially, they have found a way to turn a black eye on the league into a global platform of self-expression.

We definitely encourage you to check out Kelly Oubre’s brand Dope$oul. As a brand that was created at the intersection of fashion, culture and basketball, we want to always acknowledge these ground-breaking moments in time. 

Salute to you, T$unami.

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