LeBron James' Stylist Discusses His Willingness to Take Style Risks

LeBron James' Stylist Discusses His Willingness to Take Style RisksPhoto credit: Getty via style.mtv.com

LeBron James is one of the most stylish NBA players in the league, and possibly one of the best-dressed 6"8 individuals, period. Yes, he's worn some questionable outfits. But what matters is that in the last few years—and especially in the last few months—King James has had more hits than misses.

So, who do we thank for telling Bron Bron to leave the long dog tags at home, and for teaching him a thing or two about suits? His stylist Rachel Johnson. Because as much as we talk about celebrities' styles, there is more often than not a stylist behind the outfits.

Johnson spoke with MTV Style recently and dished on dressing James, what's it like working with him, and what his favorite brands are. She also revealed who her first athlete client was, rappers she's styled before, and who else she's currently working with. Read on below.

Can you tell me a little about your first sports-related styling job?
I started working with Jalen Rose in, I think, 2005. I was introduced to him through one of our music contacts. He was looking for jerseys, and I styled Fab at the time who was "The Jersey King," so I had access to all of these jerseys. We linked up through that, and then, I started working with him on and on-going basis from there.

What was that like—first styling Jalen—especially with no other athlete styling going on?
My approach then was completely different than it is now. I mean, a lot of what I was doing really was learning to understand the athlete, the schedule, the demand on time, the mood and the attitude, and really just trying to navigate a new system. Up until then, I had been working mainly with musicians. I worked with Pharrell, I worked with Puff, I worked with Jay, and I always worked on set. I didn't normally work in my clients' homes, so this is a completely different approach.

What's LeBron like as a client?
LeBron is extremely adventurous. He will try anything. Whether or not he actually will wear it is something else, but he's always been very open-minded about trying new things. That's what I love most about him. He'll look at it, he may not even love it on the rack, but he'll try it. And if he puts it on and he feels good in it, he'll wear it! And it goes not only based on things that I bring him, but he comes to me with ideas about new things that he wants to try, new silhouettes, new fabrics, new colors, new designers. He likes to be versatile, he likes to change it up. He likes to wear three-piece suits, and he likes to wear leather sweatpants and t-shirts, too. He likes to continue to evolve, and he likes his style to be a bit unexpected in terms of what he might wear.

Does he have any favorites?
He doesn't really. He loves it all. I mean, there are go-to designers that he wears a lot because we have the relationship and they are willing to create sportswear and suiting in his size, but he would never limit himself to only loving three people.

You're having to outfit him for so many games in a season. What's your strategy for that?
I plan ahead. The whole game of styling athletes is being able to plan ahead. I do my selections and buying when buyers do. As soon as things walk down the runway, I'm ordering my pieces just like a buyer does to stock their store or boutique. A lot of times, I'm waiting a year for things to come in, and when they do, I'm like, "OH! I forgot about this! This is beautiful!"

Check out the rest of the interview here.

[via MTV Style]

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