Just a few hours prior to the NBA Draft, at the Elevee Lifestyle suite in a Times Square hotel, prospective players are busy having their hair coiffed, their suits pressed and their accessories laid out. They’re reminded to tighten their ties and button their jackets before approaching the big stage. The final looks are kept under raps and won’t be revealed until players arrive at the Prudential Center. How an athlete dresses has become an important part of their game and for most of these newcomers, the Draft would be their fashion debut.
As the relationship between fashion and sport continues to grow, athletes are embracing the fashion world more than ever and vice versa. Across the sports spectrum, they are gracing the covers of top fashion magazines, securing stylish endorsement deals and designing their own clothing lines. Players are subject to strict uniform regulations on the field, court and ice, but after the game, jerseys, helmets and cleats are replaced by bespoke suits, fedoras and designer loafers. Fashion provides a forum for personal expression and athletes jump at the opportunity to showcase their sense of style.
From the draftees to the seasoned style pros, athletes turn to Elevee to achieve sartorial superiority. For more than a decade, the Los Angeles-based custom clothing company has helped individuals in the sports world, as well as those in business and entertainment, to elevate their fashion game. The company’s top stylists and designers ensure that each client’s individuality shines through in the clothes that they wear. Ranging from casual wear to formal wear, they provide custom clothing that not only suits athletes’ larger frames, but also their stylistic preferences.
Be it media appearances and magazine shoots, or awards ceremonies and Draft debuts, Elevee fulfills the wardrobe needs of countless sports superstars. Innovation is an important part of the design process. With an in-house design team and its own fabric company, Elevee has the ability to create any style of their clients’ choosing, always keeping up with current trends.
The company has recently expanded its social media presence, offering sports fans and fashion mavens more access to the clothing choices of these pros. The public is taking a greater interest in athletes and their style of dress and these forums showcase ways to achieve those looks with the company’s guidance and expertise. For more information, visit elevee.com or connect with the brand via the channels below.
- Twitter: @EleveeLifestyle
- Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/eleveelifestyle?fref=ts
- YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/eleveelifestyle
- Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/eleveelifestyle
- Instagram: http://instagram.com/eleveelifestyle
A Glam Slam spoke with Percy Knox, President of Elevee Lifestyle, about the company’s process of dressing the pros, NBA and NFL Draft prep, and athletes’ growing interest in the world of fashion. Check it out:
Can you provide some background on Elevee: how the company started, your services and the types of athletes you work with?
The company was started in 1999. Elevee is one of the only custom clothing companies in the world that is completely vertical. Elevee has its own fabric company, in house design team and pattern makers and everything is manufactured in our Los Angeles factory by our master tailors. Elevee carries it’s own accessories and we also personally shop for our clientele. Elevee works primarily with an elite clientele of high net worth individuals in business, sports and entertainment.
Many athletes turn to stylists, tailors etc. to help with their looks off the field, court, ice. What separates Elevee from the competition?
Elevee’s focus is “A Custom Lifestyle for You”. This means Elevee has the ability to create any type of look for any type of occasion. If a client wants custom grey jeans with a certain type of pocket and thread to go with his custom lifestyle jacket layered with a sweater Elevee can make it happen. We are a one-stop shop for custom style. Elevee’s turn around time from designer to full creation is the fastest in the industry. Our average turn time is two weeks. Though there are many times when a client needs his clothes in one to two days. Elevee is about full service. We feel it is necessary to spend time with clients fitting them in their clothes and making any necessary changes.
Elevee was responsible for dressing several top prospects at both the NBA and NFL Drafts. Can you talk about the players you worked with and the process of suiting up for the Draft?
For many years Elevee has dominated both the NFL and NBA Draft. This year alone Elevee personally dressed for the stage 17 of the 26 players invited to NFL Draft and 8 of 15 players who were in attendance for the NBA Draft. The reason why we work with so many players is that we can provide peace of mind. These players are usually in New York for at least four days and in those four days they are going to various events where they need a variety of clothes options. Our designers create very specific looks to match the events the players are going to as a part of process we style and dress them for every event.
Some players have never worn a suit before their draft day appearance. How do you convince them to step outside of their comfort zone?
Nowadays it isn’t that hard to convince a player that he needs to look good for the draft stage. In this world of 24-hour news coverage, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to name few, “image is everything” much like Andre Agassi said in the late 1980’s. They understand that if don’t take it seriously they will have a hard time living it down if they wear something completely inappropriate to the Draft and end up on every website’s worst dressed list.
The NBA Draft in particular has long been known for its share of sartorial disasters, yet players nowadays make greater efforts to avoid fashion mishaps. How have draft fashion trends evolved/changed?
GQ magazine has taken a focused interest in athletes and their fashion. They have embraced them into the main stream of fashion consciousness especially the NBA. Players now know that there are fashion bloggers like you who are going to criticize the fit, color and fabric selection. Because of this evolution, players are jumping on to current fashion trends much sooner then ever before. This gives Elevee a distinct advantage. We can manufacture the most current trends in a moment’s notice.
Beyond the drafts, you dress athletes for several occasions (awards shows, media appearances, etc). Assuming it varies per guy, but how much input do they have into their wardrobes?
This definitely varies per player. Some players want no input at all, some players tell us exactly what they want, and some players fall somewhere in between.
Working with several different types of athletes, it’s important for each to maintain their own sense of style. How do you keep it fresh?
Elevee keeps it fresh by having designers that are at the forefront of all of the current fashion trends. Our designers work with their clients closely to experience these new trends and help them to enhance their comfort zone.
Size is a factor when dressing sports stars. Which athletes pose the most difficult challenge to dress?
I don’t believe there is a certain type of athlete who poses the most difficult challenge. The biggest challenge is working with an athlete who is resistant to change which doesn’t happen very often.
What are some of the biggest fashion mistakes you see athletes make, when it comes to their style of dress? Fit, color, fabric, etc.?
Wearing clothes that are too big. Buttoning the bottom button of the suit and wearing their tie too loose.
You mentioned that guys have begun to take photos of specific styles and have asked that you recreate those looks, another sign that players are taking a greater interest in their personal style. In general, have you noticed that athletes have become more knowledgeable as it relates to men’s fashion?
For sure. When I look at your website I see more and more athletes going to fashions shows in Paris, London and New York. Athletes are consciously creating the outside of their brands with the clothes they wear. This is the evolution of fashion and sports.
(photos courtesy of Elevee)