Two-time NBA All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns (commonly referred to by his fans as KAT) is well-known for his on-court skills. The 7-foot Minnesota Timberwolves center made headlines four years ago as the league’s No.1 draft pick; now 23, he continues to dominate the game with his smooth moves. KAT, a Gillette celebrity brand ambassador, is also known for his off-court style prowess. Below, he chatted with EBONY about his year-round style and grooming swag.
EBONY: There used to be a stigma to being style savvy and in the sports world, but that seems to have changed—a lot of players are more adventurous in their style these days. Why do you think that is?
KAT: People are more comfortable with themselves and in their own skin. They are also more accepting now to different cultures and style trends. Thanks to social media, things aren’t as shocking anymore. We have more information and are being better educated about the world around us thanks to technology.
EBONY: Who’s your favorite designer?
KAT: Honestly, I don’t really have just one. I try and take things from different designers, like Jerry Lorenzo, Virgil Abloh and Yohji Yamamoto. Those are just some I admire for their work in the fashion industry; I’m inspired by a lot of people, but I don’t take everything from just one person. Everyone has a lot to give to the fashion world, and I want to be accepting and open to all styles and ideas.
EBONY: How would you describe your own style?
Towns: I’m versatile. It’s hard to make a lot of things work because of the size of my feet, but I think I do a great job of being creative. I love wearing sweats that are cropped so I can show off my shoes. Flashy pants [with] solid tees are my favorite outfits. I sometimes switch up to button-ups and suit jackets. I like to find the balance of being a blend, to be simple like J. Cole but also more sophisticated like Drake in Brioni.
EBONY: Off the court, what’s your favorite go-to outfit?
KAT: My favorite outfit is a fresh white tee with a gold-and-diamond tennis chain; Rick Owens cropped sweats; white socks; and some Jordan x Off White 1s Chicago Editions.
EBONY: Former NFL pro Victor Cruz is known for his footwear collection and has about 500 pairs of sneakers and shoes. What’s your current fashion obsession?
KAT: I’ve been really big into branded socks these days. I’ve acquired over 40 pairs of branded socks from Off-White, Givenchy, Yohji Yamamoto, Balenciaga, Gucci, Rick Owens and more. I feel like these socks can really add more flavor to my outfits.
EBONY: Let’s switch gears and talk about your grooming routine. How do you keep yourself looking fresh and well-maintained?
KAT: People are always talking about what players are wearing as they enter the arena and how their styles evolve as the season progresses. For me, style is more than just clothes; my facial hair and overall grooming routine is also an important part of my identity. Gillette SkinGuard, which was designed specifically to stop irritation, is my new go-to grooming tool to keep me looking my best.
EBONY: Seventy percent of men report having symptoms of sensitive skin, such as razor bumps, ingrown hairs, razor burn and dry, irritated skin. What’s your biggest issue, and how do you deal with it?
KAT: I’ve suffered from skin sensitivity and razor bumps in the past, which is a painful experience. When I was introduced to the Gillette SkinGuard, I quickly realized it was different from any other razor. Its unique because the SkinGuard technology is placed between two blades, and it minimizes any irritation you may experience while shaving. [I’m] on the road a lot during the season, so I don’t always have time to make it to the barber for a cleanup. When I started using Gillette SkinGuard, it quickly became one of the best additions I’ve made to my grooming routine and something that I truly can’t live without because it helps reduce the bumps I used to get.
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Joane Amay is the Beauty and Style Director at Ebony magazine. A hoarder of shoes, baubles and sparkly things, she dreams one day of owning her own private island.