Over a decade ago, the year after the infamous Malice at the Palace changed the course of professional basketball, the NBA instituted a new dress code. The League expected its pro players to look what they considered the pro part, which, for some, including Allen Iverson, became just as controversial as what happened on that November day in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
Then Dwyane Wade saved it all. The guard from the Miami Heat helped initiate a style that works as hard off the court as he does on it, with classic, put-together looks, inspiring the threads of other players such as Russell Westbrook, Amare Stoudemire, Iman Shumpert, Chandler Parsons, and even Lebron. Now, it's still something designers try to capture in an outfit, and thanks to Wade, that's now a little easier.
This spring, the three-time NBA champ made a move that secured his MVP status among the menswear elite by launching his sixth collaboration — and "more than anyone so far," he boasts — with The Tie Bar. The latest line features straight ties and bow ties with patterns partially inspired by some of Wade's favorite places to go: the Hamptons, Miami, his hometown of Chicago, and California.
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"I'm just excited about this collection more than any of them with Tie Bar," Wade says, calling from Miami. "I think we finally got a hold on where we want to go and what we need to do in this space. And I hope we continue to get out my designs, and our product out there."
While the line is still new, he's looking ahead to what’s next. But one thing will remain the same: thinking about the guy who's throwing on his tie each morning, whether that's a CEO, a fellow ballplayer, or anyone who just wants to look good. That, and making sure he's finding the right mix of formal-meets-comfort for his own neck. "That's kind of the thought process into designing these ties: 'OK, how can all men feel cool and comfortable and confident in them at the same time?' And I really liked how it came together."