For some time, Indochino has had the NBA Draft on lock — in 2020, dressing as many as 15 players, including number-two pick James Wiseman and 2022 Slam Dunk Contest champion Obi Toppin — but now more national leading brands are fighting for NBA Draft real estate. Neiman Marcus, which stepped in to dress players for the 2021 NBA Draft, is dressing top prospects Chet Holmgren from Gonzaga, and Williams’ fellow Duke Blue Devils AJ Griffin and Paolo Banchero. Aside from those 10 players, stylist Kesha McLeod, who works with Serena Williams, NBA champion P.J.
But every player battling for red carpet real estate has a different approach. Cade Cunningham getting dressed at Neiman Marcus for the 2021 NBA Draft Gonzalo Feo But Indochino is focused on more than just outfitting the draftees for their call up.
Last year, Neiman’s dressed players Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings’ Davion Mitchell, Atlanta Hawks’ Sharife Cooper and Oklahoma City Thunder’s Tre Mann for the 2021 NBA Draft in brands such as Balenciaga, Versace, Alexander McQueen, Amiri and Christian Louboutin. This year, Neiman Marcus Beverly Hills style adviser Ramon Tioseco is dressing Holmgren Griffin and Banchero for the event. She asks them if they pictured themselves at the draft and what they would be wearing, similarly to working with newly drafted tackle Charles Cross on his NFL Draft suit in April. “Those are the kinds of conversations, you try to understand them,” McLeod explained. McLeod has a long career, beginning as an assistant stylist for Rachel Johnson before eventually working with her first athlete, San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis. Through Johnson, she met Serena Williams and they’ve worked together ever since.
Despite these superstar clients, McLeod has only participated in the NBA Draft once with San Antonio Spurs player Tre Jones. He was drafted in 2020 during the virtual draft, and so they put together a different plan that would showcase him beyond an outfit.
Every guy wants to get into fashion, but what does that mean? She continued, “One of the guys I was working with didn’t know how to tag a brand [on Instagram], but if you want to build a relationship, that’s how you properly thank them.