Style Stories: Hornets’ Dwayne Bacon Builds on Runway Modeling Debut
LOS ANGELES -- Dwayne Bacon has a quiet confidence about him—an understated swagger that doesn’t require bravado. But the 24-year-old Florida State product’s nerves were firing on this June night.
No, he wasn’t knee deep in the NBA playoffs; his Charlotte Hornets finished the 2018-19 season two games shy of the No. 8 seed in the East. Instead, Dwayne was preparing for his maiden walk down a runway, during Grungy Gentleman’s New York Fashion Week show at Slate NYC.
Once he got moving in his neon-green-and-white jumpsuit, though, it was as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
With that experience in his back pocket, Dwayne strolled into his third pro season as Charlotte’s starting shooting guard—and one of a growing number of NBA players with modeling on his resume. During the Hornets’ recent back-to-back stint in Los Angeles, CloseUp360 sat down with the Lakeland, Florida native to discuss his foray into fashion modeling, why he would hire his mom to be his stylist, his own clothing line and more in the latest edition of “Style Stories.”
(The interview has been edited for clarity and length.)
CloseUp360: You walked in the Grungy Gentleman show during this year's New York Fashion Week. How did that come about?
Dwayne Bacon: My agency [Creative Artists Agency] had got it done with me. Just asking me, “Oh, do you wanna walk?” and stuff like that. At first, I was, like, “Man, I don't really know.” I wasn't used to walking. I never had walked before. And I ended up doing it. It was probably one of the best experiences I had so far of my life, especially this year. It was just an amazing experience. The people treated me so well. Everything just turned out so great.
CU360: What went into preparing for that?
DB: Honestly, it was just going there. I think the day before, I had to try on what I was wearing. That whole night, it was just really, I was calm until probably like an hour before the show. And just kind of nervous and shit like that. And then I just walked out there. And once I started walking, it was just, like, Wow, this is not that hard. You just look straight, keep it moving and you're good. And that's what I tried to do the whole time I was walking.
CU360: Has that experience given you more confidence walking into the arena now, when you've got people taking pictures of you in your outfits?
DB: Not really, 'cause that's a totally different thing. That's two different environments. Walking in a fashion show, it's just everybody is right there. Arena, you got a big-ass court and then it's like spread out. But walking in a fashion show, everybody's just right there on top of you and it's only one thing they looking at—it's you. It's totally different. It didn't really help me, but it was a great experience for my first time.
CU360: What did you wear into the arena tonight?
DB: I wore some sweats tonight, tried to keep it kind of simple with like a flannel, a white shirt—Christos New York—with some Jordans. So I tried to keep it simple today. You know, I like to wear what I want. I just like to mix and match, and mix things up every now and then.
Dwayne Bacon in a flannel, t-shirt from Christos New York, sweatpants and Jordans. (Amir Ebrahimi)
CU360: Where do you get your fashion inspiration from typically?
DB: I got it from my mom, [Kennie Crawford], mostly. She used to dress me and my brothers when I was younger, so I just kind of picked up off of it, where she left off, and just started doing my own thing. But a lot of it was her. Growing up, it was mostly her.
CU360: Does she still give you tips?
DB: Yeah, of course. To this day, yeah. If I needed a stylist, I would probably ask her. If I needed a stylist, I would probably pay my mom to do it 'cause she knows everything about clothes, and she's been doing it for me for so long. So if I ever needed a stylist or wanted a stylist, it would probably be my mom.
CU360: Who are your favorite fashion designers these days?
DB: I don't really have one. I don't really care about it.
CU360: You're more about the look?
DB: Yeah. I just like wearing whatever.
CU360: What do you think about the way that fashion has become such a big part of the culture in the NBA?
DB: I love it. It gives guys a clear vision to wear whatever they want, be creative. Some guys are very into clothes, some guys are really not. It just gives guys who do whatever they wanna do a mind of their own. So I love it.
CU360: How would you describe your own sense of style?
DB: I'm different. I like to wear what I wanna wear. I don't care what people think. Whatever I put on, I feel like I look good in it. It can be the same people that tell me I don't look good in it, but in my mind, if I got it on, I look good in it because it's mine. It's just how I go about it.
CU360: Do you have a signature look or outfit that you go to most often?
DB: Nah, not really. I don't plan outfits or shit like that. I just wake up and whatever I put on, that's what I put on. Before the game, if I take a nap, whatever I got in, that's what I wear.
CU360: I've seen a lot of photos of you on Instagram modeling outfits in your driveway. What's the thought behind that?
DB: I'm home. I take pictures at home. I'm not about to drive nowhere to take a picture. I'm home. I just take the picture when I'm home. It's nothing behind it. That's just how it comes about.
CU360: What’s going on with your brand, Bad Section?
DB: I still do it. Actually, I've got some new stuff that's about to come out, but I just didn't release it yet. A lot of new hoodies and stuff, different colors. But just didn't put it out yet.
CU360: Where does that name come from?
DB: It's like a home environment thing. Kind of where I grew up, I got the name. I had a plethora of options of different names and stuff like that. But I just decided to go with that one just because it stuck out the most to me.
CU360: As a Jordan Brand endorser, what are your favorite models?
DB: Probably the 1s or the 4s. If it's not one of them two, I like chill Nikes. I love Forces [Air Force 1s]. Kind of in the middle of that.
CU360: Do you ever get fashion tips from Michael Jordan? Does he even dabble in that stuff?
DB: Hell nah. He don't give a fuck about that shit.
Josh Martin is the Editorial Director of CloseUp360. He previously covered the NBA for Bleacher Report and USA Today Sports Media Group, and has written for Yahoo! Sports and Complex. He is also the co-host of the Hollywood Hoops podcast. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.