Whether it’s the classic style of the First Lady Michelle Obama, the edgy feminine style of Janet Jackson or the trendy rocker chic looks of Rihanna, women of color have a plethora of style icons, catering to a majority of styles and body types. Unfortunately, this plethora of options isn’t always available for menswear. In fact, up until recently, there’s been a severe drought of Black male style icons. However, with the recent explosion of menswear, we are seeing much more men of color feeling comfortable in talking about fashion and expressing their own individual style. Oddly enough, athletes—most notably basketball players—are tossing their hat into the fashion game. One of these athletes making some noise off court, and in the world of fashion is The Knicks' center Tyson Chandler.
Chandler is quickly becoming a style icon in the men’s fashion world. Standing at 7’1 and 240lbs, the California native faces many challenges when it comes to getting dressed. So it’s rather shocking that he not only owns a wardrobe that fit, but that’s stylish as well. Putting to rest any rumor that you have to be a certain size to be stylish.
His recent attendance at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Gala, earned him a Best Dressed honor by one of fashion’s most respected publication, Vogue. Chandler was ever so dapper, dressed in a cobalt blue custom suit by Waraire Boswell, (a bespoke menswear designer) and shoes by Esquivel. While this red carpet appearance may be the most publicly regarded he’s been to date, it’s surely not his only fashion moment worth highlighting.
When it comes time to get suited up, off court, Chandler knows how to bring it. Chandler first caught EBONY’s eye at the 2011 ESPYS Awards. Chandler rocked a white tuxedo jacket tailored to fit and conquer, coupled with a pair of black pants and oversized ruffled bow tie. His suit game is always on point. Whether it’s the slate grey suit he wore to accept his “Defensive Game Player of the Year” award or the glen plaid suit he wore to the Fifi Awards, getting suited up never seems to be a challenge. He mixes classic suiting with the trendier widespread collar in various colors.
When he’s not on a red carpet, Chandler’s personal style is a little more relaxed. Last July, we spotted Chandler in St. Tropez, wearing a casual pink button down shirt, chino shorts, a pair of Aviator shades and a boater hat. During New York Fashion Week last September, he rocked a sleeveless pea coat—a daring fashion move that wasn’t received very well. Nevertheless, as a man who “loves fashion,” he’s not afraid to take risks even if they don’t pan out well.
His inherent sense of style has not only been noticed by fashion publications—but by designer labels as well. He recently worked on collaboration with Esquivel shoes. The shoe he created for them is described as “hybrid boot and dress shoe.” He also worked on a collection with Joseph Abboud. Fashion is critical to this baller and it shows. —Chris Law