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EXCLUSIVE: Russell Westbrook Launches His New Eyewear Brand, Westbrook Frames

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STREET STYLE Paris Fashion Week #PFW - Menswear SS15 - DAY THREE

Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has an explosive presence on the courts, and his unique personal style has generated an equal amount of buzz. Often spotted in vibrant, printed shirts and a pair of lensless glasses, Westbrook’s statement-making “nerdy chic” outfits have inspired other basketball pros to swap out standard suits for clothes with a bit more personality. Coming off of another impressive season (after recovering from knee surgery, he finished the year on a high note by scoring 40 points in a Western Conference Finals game), Westbrook has kept busy this summer by making serious moves in the fashion industry.

Earlier this month, news broke that the 25-year-old California native would be collaborating with Barneys on his Westbrook XO capsule for the retailer, which puts him a step above other stylish ballers (Amar’e Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, et al.) who occasionally attend fashion shows. Westbrook’s curated collection, which hits stores in July, will include pieces from brands including Jordan, County of Milan, Naked & Famous, and Del Toro. Last week, Westbrook took his first-ever trip to Paris, where he sat front-row at menswear shows including Rick Owens, Comme Des Garçons, and Givenchy, and celebrated his Barneys line with a private dinner hosted by Barneys and Marcelo Burlon on Sunday.

westbrookblog2Keeping the ball rolling, today Westbrook is announcing the launch of Westbrook Frames, his debut eyewear brand created in partnership with Selima Optique. His premiere collection includes ten unisex frames (all featuring quality UV lenses and acetate or metal frames) available in four colorways. Each style is named after different Los Angeles neighborhoods attached to his childhood memories, such as Brentwood, Pasadena, Hawthorne, and Palisades. The range will be available on his new e-commerce site, and three limited-edition glasses inspired by New York City locations will additionally be sold at Barneys alongside his other curated Westbrook XO merch. Before jetting to the City of Light, Westbrook stopped by the Selima boutique in Soho, where he was like a kid in a candy store trying on his finished product. During his store visit, the self-proclaimed “shopaholic” chatted with Style.com about Westbrook Frames, his personal style evolution, and expanding his fashion franchise.

Congratulations on Westbrook Frames! How did this project come about?

I wanted to launch my Westbrook brand with something that I’m really interested in and passionate about, which is glasses. Selima is one of the best in the game when it comes to eyewear, and this has been a great opportunity to express my creative side.

Until today, I didn’t realize that your famous glasses are lensless. How long have you been rocking that look?

I started wearing glasses a lot in high school, but I only had maybe one or two pairs back then. I have so many glasses now, man. I probably own at least fifty pairs, and now that I have my own brand, the number in rotation is definitely about to go up. Before, honestly, I would just come across nice, simple ones by no-name brands and even pick up ones from Zara or Topshop. I would find them all over the place, and just try to style them out.

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What was your personal style like as a kid?

Growing up, my mom did a great job of dressing me and my brother, and keeping us up-to-date on all the latest trends—within our means, of course. As I got older, I got the opportunity to buy nicer, better things [laughs], and really expand my personal style. I definitely know what I like and am not afraid to mix and match. I’m known for never wearing the same thing twice. I’m really into print and color, different fabrics and textures—I kind of like it all.

What are some of your favorite brands of the moment?

When I got to Oklahoma City, aside from playing, I really didn’t have much to do but shop. It’s not really a stylish city, but that gave me an outlet to get more creative with it. I’m always looking at my computer [and often on Style.com] and searching for something new. Now I’m just a shopaholic [laughs] who loves it all and gets my stuff from so many different stores. I shop very high-end brands like Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Givenchy, and Comme des Garçons, but also like high-street stores, too. I really kind of go all over the place.

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I think your style has inspired a lot of other players to step up their postgame style. Are your teammates always commenting on your outfits?

My teammates always comment on what I’m wearing. A few guys always want to know where I get my clothes from. Some of them probably think I’m a little bit crazy. Some of them like it. Some of them don’t. But I definitely love separating myself with my own style.

Who do you envision wearing Westbrook Frames? Are you hoping to attract more sports fans or fashion folks?

Before I came into making Westbrook Frames and collaborating with Selima, I thought that making frames could be for everyone: for myself, for the people coming out to the games, for the next-door neighbors, and even for the kids. With the fun colorways that I have, I think that everyone can find a pair to help express themselves—especially the guys who wear cool ties, socks, underwear, watches, and other pieces of flair. Glasses can really go across the board, and Selima did a great job with giving me different ideas about making the line unisex. Honestly, I can’t wait to see the first person wearing them aside from myself. [laughs] I’m hyped to hopefully start seeing pictures of people in my glasses on Instagram.

Outside of Westbrook Frames, what are your plans for expanding your fashion franchise?

This is definitely the start of the Westbrook brand. I began this adventure with the Barneys line, and am definitely going to continue expanding from there. I’m looking forward to a lot of things coming down the pipeline, so stay posted for more.

Westbrook Frames ($95 to $145) will be available exclusively on westbrookframes.com and at selects Barneys locations beginning July 8.

Photo: Julien Boudet / BFAnyc.com; Courtesy of Westbrook Frames

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