Since the early 2000’s athletes have had a presence in the streetwear community. Whether it be called “urbanwear” or “streetwear”; you would find some of your favorite athletes wearing beloved brands. For awhile the thought of owning your own brand while being a professional athlete was almost frowned upon. People would want you to sign with brands such as Nike and release products under their umbrella. The new social media age changed all of that. Everyone has the power to create a brand and get their vision out. This connection to the community made it a no brainer for athletes who are in the spotlight everyday to start getting more involved with their brand and creating their own stories.
Nick Young aka Swaggy P, or newfound name Swag Champ, has always been known for having an amazing sense of style. The youth of the league drew towards him because even though he was a little older he has a sense of youth about him. His brand Most Hated was originally titled Most Hated Player (hence the P in MHP). He ended up changing the name to stray away from limiting his brand. MHP was founded back in 2018 and has been building since. It doesn’t have the hype behind it like the now deceased Big Baller Brand, but be assure the brand has a lot of potential to be a staple in the streetwear community.
Besides Swaggy P their is also another athlete that has a certain sense of style to him and that’s Russell Westbrook. Honor the Gift debuted in late 2017 in Oklahoma City with a small popup then proceeded to make an official launch the following year. Russell is taking an upscale approach to his brand. The releases are less frequent but the quality is top notch because of the time spent perfecting his vision of where he sees his brand. If you like the sort of products that are similar to Kith’s, Honor the Gift is right down your alley. HTG started by focusing on the life of the youth in inner cities. His latest collection “Private/Public” features eye catching graphic tees matched with quality jackets and hoodies that fuses the affluent aesthetic of Private School confronted by the grit of Inner City Public School. We can’t wait to see what direction Honor the Gift goes next. Hopefully they build off their success and continues to push boundaries while staying true to what makes them authentic.
The success of these brands is just the start of the wave of talent that is on the horizon. There are a lot of young creatives looking to collab with their favorite athletes. Once the ball starts rolling there’s no telling what the streetwear market will look like in the next 5 years.
Photography by: Kenneth Cappello