Andre Iguodala is a very busy guy. The Warriors’ small forward is one of the best sixth men in the NBA, a burgeoning Silicon Valley mogul and a businessman with big plans for his post-basketball career. He’s also one of the best-dressed men in pro sports, and is as educated and focused about fashion as anyone in the league.
It wasn’t always this way. In the early days of his career, Iguodala’s style meter wasn’t quite as muscular as it is now. But the Illinois native now has a CEO-level closet filled with classic sneakers and menswear, as well as custom-made footwear and high fashion suiting.
Iguodala admits that his style education was an evolutionary process. “When I started getting into fashion, I was still figuring out how I wanted to present myself,” he says. “Being on the East Coast for the first eight years of my career, I…saw people dressed street or in a very buttoned-up suit and tie.
“All of those things kind of came together for me…when I could pinpoint what I don’t want,” Iguodala admits. “I stay away from trends. I’ve established who I am, so that’s something I don’t have to chase now.”
Growing up in Illinois, the former NBA Finals MVP took note of his favorite player’s off-court fashion choices. “I saw Michael Jordan wearing suits a lot when I was a kid, but I wasn’t aware of how to get access to that,” says Iguodala, whose mother, Linda, made sure her taller-than-average son “knew the difference between certain clothes. There were school clothes, church clothes, Easter clothes. I could always differentiate where I was going based on how I was dressed. My mother was very fashion-forward for our budget.”
Now that the NBA star’s clothing allowance is as A-list as it gets, his approach to fashion is all about staying true to himself.
Dressing well is “actually the same as being a good, versatile player on your team. During a game, I’m at both ends of the floor, guarding three or four different positions or guarding four positions on the offense. It’s a reflection of life off the court for me.
“In any given day, I’m dropping my son off to school, going to a game, then maybe going to a tech meeting,” Iguodala says. “Fit is really key because you want to be comfortable in your own skin. I talk about consistency a lot, staying true to who I am – I think that’s about fit,” which is often easier said than done.
“Oh man, I hate the feeling when something doesn’t fit,” he says, laughing. “It’s like being told ‘no’ as a kid. As a 6-foot-6 guy, I don’t expect most off-the-rack things to work. Being able to walk into a store and not having to wait two months for something is a funny feeling because you’re so used to rejection.”
“Good Counsel helps me find pieces that fit perfectly,” Iguodala says. “They have my sizing and know everything from the top of my head down. They can tell me my size in each brand, so I don’t have the hassle of trying things on and sending it back.”
Working with talented tailors and designers taught Iguodala the importance of clothing details like “single vents, double vents, buttons on your sleeve and whether they are workable or not. The width of your lapels and whether they could be used or not – all of these little things make a big difference,” he says. “When I get into those details, you can’t tell me anything.”
One of Iguodala’s all-time favorite ensembles – an electric blue suit worn after Game One of the 2015 NBA finals – got a thumbs-up on social media. He paired the custom suit with a pair of casual Lanvin shoes in a similar hue, and the look “came together perfectly. I had a great game that night and I happened to do a SportsCenter segment right after,” he says. “I remember feeling a little different because of that outfit. The day just flowed.”
Adding stylish, workable details to his off-court looks has been a work in progress, Iguodala admits. “I’m still figuring out my uniform; it’s coming together slowly but surely. The blazer is always there as a finishing touch. The jeans have to be there, maybe a pair that’s more relaxed. And there are a lot of different things I can do with a nice sweater or hoodies.
The hardest thing to get right about pulling together a killer look? Footwear. “I’m a Jordan 1s guy, but I’m also into casual sneakers with the white sole,” Iguodala says. “But honestly, I like a perfectly put-together, hard-bottom dress shoe. I think of them as a reflection of my game – consistent and subtle.”
Speaking of subtlety – or the lack thereof – Iguodala still laughs about his first big fashion moment in the NBA: draft day in 2004, where the University of Arizona shooting guard was selected by the Philadelphia 76ers 9th overall.
“Every time I go back to that suit, I’m like, ‘Jesus Christ, no one said anything!’” Iguodala says. “The look was good, but the fit was awful. I tell young guys in the League to grab a magazine, put in the time to do your research. If I had read something beforehand, I would have known that that wasn’t the look.”
Words by Good Counsel Portraits by Adharsh Kumar and Justin Bridges Videography by Justin Bridges