As everybody predicted, the Miami Heat destroyed the visiting Milwaukee Bucks in Game 1 of their first-round series last night—but what none of us saw coming was the bright-red floral sweatshirt LeBron James rocked to his postgame press conference .
While Twitter tried to make sense of LBJ's outfit in real time, we knew instantly where it came from: Bron Bron was rocking Staple. Yup, one of the world's most popular athletes was rocking the NYC streetwear label's Floral Raglan Crewneck on national TV.
We reached out to Jeff Staple, who's currently traveling, and had this chat over email about King James' Staple co-sign.
How did you find out Lebron was wearing it?
I was traveling when it happened so I was probably the last person on the Staple totem pole to find out King James wore Staple in the postgame after his Game 1 playoff victory. What's my take? Eh...it's no biggie...WAIT...fuck that...this is HUGE and I'm really geeked!!!
Where does this rank in terms of high-profile celebrities rocking Staple?
This isn't the first time (and I hope it's not the last time) a big celebrity wore Staple. But here's why this particular time is so special. LBJ is at a level where he can afford to buy anything he wants. Price is of no concern. Hell, forget articles of clothing, he could buy out most clothing brands entirely! And still, with all those options, he chose Staple.
Now I've seen candid shots of celebs wearing Staple; walking around town, in the club, going out to eat, etc. But today, LeBron knew that he was going to be under a microscope—win, lose or draw. The idea that he decided to pack a Staple sweatshirt in his gym bag while he was at home...bring it to the arena...have it hung in his locker during the entire game.... That is so surreal to me!
What do you make of any negative reaction you might've seen on the Internet to the shirt?
I love all the attention it's been getting in the press. ESPN, Yahoo! Sports, SportsNation, Esquire and many others have commented on "what the hell is Lebron wearing??" I love it!!! It's never easy for a style icon and I'm glad LeBron pulled off this look confidently. I remember back when the Nike Pigeon riot happened, the TV newscasters that reported the story were making fun of the "ugly shoes" kids were rioting over. I guess if I designed gear for news journalists and sportscasters, you might see Craig Sager in our next ad campaign.
Here's the other thing. The retail price on this piece? $54. [Ed. note: Currently sold out at that price.] I think young people are so used to seeing celebrities wear things that are unattainable. But almost anyone can easily get their hands on this. They don't need a black card. They don't need to go to Paris. A kid can obtain something that connects him to his hero. I'm really proud about that.