NBA Style Guru feat. Brandon Williams

January 14th, 2015

We all know the NBA is turning into a bit of a fashion show these days, but the relationship between basketball and style is nothing new. Anybody who’s played hoops understands that looking and feeling fresh while entering the gym gives you a very real psychological edge that can help your game. That has always been true, since before Clyde Frasier in his furs and Michael Jordan in his Ferraris.

But the spotlight on the players today is more intense, and competitive, than ever. In the world of social media and camera phones players are not only competing on the court, they’re also competing to build their personal brands and fanbases in order to score big-figure endorsement deals. With the right look and the right reach, an NBA player can make more than his basketball contract by representing anything from colognes and body washes to grooming products and fashion lines.

Naturally, this opportunity, along with the emerging style culture of the NBA, leads players to seek assistance in the fashion department. LA-based stylist Brandon Williams, a former hooper himself, helps his clients (who include star guard Mike Conley, NBA veteran Matt Barnes, and former Olympian Michael Red) feel confident walking into the arena for a big game, as well as keep up with the growing wardrobe competition in the locker room.

The interesting thing we learned about Brandon’s process as an NBA stylist is that his services and interests extend beyond just making sure his guys are sharply dressed for a press conference or red carpet appearance. Brandon takes it upon himself to really get to know his clients, in many cases becoming a very close friend. A right hand man. A Consiglieri, if you will. It’s not just about shopping or putting together outfits, it’s about helping players develop their overall brand image and stay ahead of the curve (with things like social media, website development, logos/branding, public appearances, media shoots, etc) all while they can focus on the one thing that they get paid to do: win basketball games.

We linked up with the Ohio native at his swanky Downtown LA loft space to learn a little more about life as an NBA stylist, and to share his personal style with ya’ll. Here are some of Brandon’s go-to pieces whether he’s on the clock or off, which doesn’t really look much different.

Smart Casual


“I don’t claim to be the flyest guy around, I just understand my players and their goals. It’s not about doing something flashy or the most “in” thing. It’s about doing the “right” thing to represent the person. Each of these players is a personal brand, and with any good brand there has to be consistency, whether it’s Coca Cola, Goodyear, Firestone, etc. I want to be able to look back at my players, whether it’s the evolution of their career or their own product line, and feel that I was able to help them realize their vision. I’d like to be a bridge for guys to transcend their sporting achievements into the world of entertainment, fashion, music, whatever it may be.”

Brandon definitely understands is the power of a tailored topcoat, the versatility of the chelsea boot, and the suaveness of grey and brown.


LA Afternoon


Everybody loves a good trim-cut dinner jacket. Wearing one with a t-shirt and graphic print shorts takes some cojones, and some styling chops.

Like any good stylist, Brandon mixes well-made investment pieces (like this bespoke shawl jacket and these designer sneakers) with low-end basic and trend pieces (like the Urban Outfitters scoop-neck tee and H&M graphic print shorts).

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DTLA’s Finest


This particular look really represents the style emerging in downtown Los Angeles right now: black & grey, leather & denim, urban & luxury.

The DTLA creative scene is still relatively small, but growing rapidly. It’s still a little grimy downtown, which is what I love about it. You have a young crop of hungry creatives who are making things happen, mixed with a significant number of clothing workshops who are still producing downtown in the garment district, which makes it a good place for a hustler looking to break their way into the fashion scene. It’s like NYC before it got so shiny and expensive that the cool people started moving out.


Athleisure Suit


As we’ve recently touched on, the men’s suit has been around for more than a hundred years. It’s been trim, it’s been wide, it’s been minimal, it’s been eccentric… Right now it’s all about keeping it trim and putting your own spin on it. For Brandon, a bball junkie/sneaker collector/man on the move, that means dressing it down with a pair of custom Vans in luxury designer leather.


Thanks, as always, for reading and special thanks to Brandon for participating!

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by Alex Crawford.

  • Not_Friendly

    I really liked this profile, one of the best. Very diverse

  • Andrew

    Weak looks all-around. Every outfit is gimmicky and has a “look at me” attitude. There’s no class in the clothes or how they’re worn, just “fashion.” Also, the jacket in the first look doesn’t fit well at all.

    Oh, and he looks like Rick Fox in the first picture of the second outfit. But that has nothing to do with the bad looks.

  • Rob

    Michael Red”d”

  • brandon

    I hear the emperor has some great new looks too.

  • brandon


  • tommyjohn_45

    Love the looks pulled off here. Got me wanting to just out my dinner jacket in a casual way!

    It’s interesting to read about players as a brand from a fashion standpoint. My company actually handles Lebron’s digital brand, which still blows my mind lol.

  • Sean

    Had me until the shorts. Its just very visually jarring to pair a dinner jacket with what almost looks like a bathing suit. Love the subtleties in the first look however.

  • Adrian B

    Damn. His jacket doesn’t even kinda fit in look one though.

    • Rob

      Dan’s typical response in defense of the subject at hand: He’s an athlete, off-the-rack items are a harder fit, and sometimes hard to tailor. I should know, I played basketball in college, and lived in a basketball players apartment…etc etc etc
      When, in reality, it’s a very ill-fitting jacket.

    • AdamE

      I disagree a little on that one. For sure the shoulders don’t fit (if it were unstructured he might have been able to pull it off, but the divot under the shoulder pad is a dead giveaway…). The shortness of the jacket is likely an intentional move, rather than an ill-fitting move. I’ve seen plenty of the ultra-cropped blazers, and it works for some people on some bodies, but it typically works better as a separate as opposed to in a suit, which is what creates the look of poor fit.
      Otherwise I like most of the looks, don’t know that i could steal any of them and actually pull them off, but he nails them. I really like the patterned shorts/dinner jacket look, for sure not for a formal event, but it works, and creates visual interest. I also love the wool topcoat in look #2… It’s nice to see examples of people mixing great investment pieces with accessible fast fashion pieces to round out the looks… (that’s something for most people in the reality of buying on a budget to aspire to, invest in the classic pieces that will never go out of style, and then for some of the trendier pieces, go for more accessible and less expensive and put a few bucks into tailoring, and you’re off to the races…)

      • Adrian B

        I am not saying ill fit derives from a cropped look. That is a matter of personal preference entirely. However, if a jacket does not fit on the shoulder, then simply put, it does not fit. In the case of look one, this is extremely transparent.

        • AdamE

          On that front I agree, if the shoulders are off, it doesn’t fit. I think where I went in the other direction is that, the rest of the areas of the jacket aren’t terrible in terms of fit, and in the relaxed shot actually sit pretty well on him, but you’re right that it doesn’t fit properly, as witnessed in the shoulders…

          I think I mentioned the length, not because I think it’s off, but because I question the cropped length with a full suit, rather than when it’s paired with different trousers or jeans…

          • Esosa

            I think its more that the shoulders on the jacket are too narrow for his shoulders.. so with his hands in his pockets his shoulders are protruding beyond the shoulders of the jacket…natural soft shoulders are not for everybody..

            • TO

              Hey Esosa! Good to see you on here, you had one of the best guest features ever!

              • Esosa

                Thanks my man! Appreciate it!

        • TO

          The first look he is sitting, a position where everything tends to round forward and the body takes up more space pretty much everywhere vs. standing. The second shot with hand in pocket, the shoulder may be rotated somewhat forward (it is hard to tell). The fairest judgement is in the third shot where there is a natural stance and the shoulder line looks similar to the fit of the dinner jacket. It is a bit cut off though. Not saying it definitively does or does not fit, but that is the fairest picture to judge and it lays pretty naturally I would say- I would give him the benefit of the doubt considering the rest of the fits here and his position.

          • Adrian B

            No dude. It is clearly cut off as to not highly just how much the shoulder protrudes.

            If you can’t gather that it does not fit based on the collection of pictures then you clearly do not want to see/admit it. I’ll leave it at that.

            Benefit of the doubt though? Whatever you say.

            • TO

              Well there is the third pic, which is close to a normal standing posture though that seems to have a normal shoulder line. So there’s that. I think it is very close to a ‘tight’ fit if anything and much shorter in length than my preference, for what it’s worth. We can agree to disagree anyway.

            • TO

              Update: Aaand I re-created/exaggerated the poses with one of my own ‘slim’ suit jackets on. 100% agree with you now. Live and learn.

      • Rob

        If it clearly doesn’t fit in the shoulders, it’s ill-fitting. Period. You don’t get your jacket measurements from the length of the nape to the bottom, off the rack, you will get measured from underarms across chest, and if broad shouldered, you would get measured over the arms. The length is irrelevant if the shoulders fit that bad. I also do not think Adrian was referencing he length to begin with.

  • cam

    i really enjoyed this piece as it gets me thinking out of the box. i must say however, i cannot (and i tried) come up with one place that a dinner jacket with rolled up sleeves, rolled up patterned shorts, mid-top sneakers and a t-shirt would be warranted. im all for breaking some rules but there has to be a level of restraint exercised, no?

    • Jeanscuffed

      Thank him and Boswell

  • Miguel

    Love this article, specially that he used quite a variety of different brands on his outfits.

  • TO

    You can tell he takes his work seriously. Wears H&M, Zara, etc. really well, did not expect to see those brands when I scrolled down. Ballsy dinner jacket look that really paid off- he looks really comfortable in his clothes.

  • Jeanscuffed

    Yea, he’s a MUST follow on Instagram. Dude is great at his work. These pictures are great and all, but I’m pretty sure I would most rather see these outfits in person solely because there’s so much texture and depth in them. Really glad you got a chance to feature him Dan.

  • Loscv29

    Hot damn! These are some slick-ass looks.