In Australia, we have the Boxing Day Test. In the US of A, they have the Christmas Day NBA game, which this year was between the LA Lakers and the Dallas Mavericks at the Laker’s home turf, the Staples Centre.
While it’s been a topsy-turvy year for the NBA – the last eight games of the regular season and the entire playoffs held at a specially-designed ‘NBA Bubble’ at Walt Disney World in Florida – something that’s stayed consistent is how stylish the league’s been.
Players both in and out of the bubble have been treating the pre-game tunnel walk-on like an impromptu catwalk and has been a potent source of style inspiration for fashion-starved men across the globe. Some notable outfits this year have included the Houston Rockets’ P.J. Tucker flexing full Issey Miyake, the Washington Wizards’ Russell Westbrook’s rockabilly steez or the Lakers’ Anthony Davis and his expert take on smart casual.
Another thing that’s stayed consistent is LeBron James’ prodigious basketball skill – and iconoclastic wardrobe. The Lakers phenom and candidate for GOAT status is also the GOAT when it comes to style, his Christmas Day ensemble no exception. James suited up in Tom Ford, with Lanvin sneakers on his feet and a Patek Philippe watch on his wrist, but topped off the fit with a surprising accessory: a small Louis Vuitton ‘Volga’ bag.
James has steadily grown bolder when it comes to fashion over the years, and this small, clutch-sized bag marks another point not only in the evolution of his personal style, but in celebrity style more broadly.
It’s no surprise that this bag is part of current LV creative director Virgil Abloh’s “Patchwork” Fall-Winter 2020-21 collection. Since joining the illustrious French brand in 2018, Abloh has had a huge effect on the fashion and luxury world. His tenure at LV has seen the brand go from strength to strength; his influence seeing the once-disparate worlds of streetwear and haute couture blend together seamlessly in a way that’s never been done before.
Part of Abloh’s genius has been injecting the highly masculine, po-faced world of streetwear with the levity and gender-blending impulses of haute couture. Ten years ago, you wouldn’t see an NBA player dare wear Lanvin, let alone carry a clutch into a game.
Social media aren’t entirely fans of LeBron’s ‘purse’, but the fact that he’s out there taking a risk stylistically speaks volumes to his character and style – as well as Abloh’s influence on modern celebrity style. Personally, we’re all for it.
Something social media have found harder to argue with was the Laker’s convincing 138 – 115 takedown of the mavericks, with James alone scoring 22 of those points.