Style Stories: Rockets’ Clint Capela Finds Inspiration in Rockets Stars—and Older Brother
LOS ANGELES -- The NBA may not have a “superteam” on the court, but when it comes to fashion, the Houston Rockets are the dominant force. James Harden has been a trendsetter with his beard and clothes for years. P.J. Tucker, the league’s “Sneaker King,” has become a fixture at Men’s Fashion Week in Paris. Russell Westbrook brought his eye-catching and experimental sense of style with him to Houston after the Oklahoma City Thunder traded him to the Rockets this past summer.
And, in the middle of it all, both on and off the court, is Clint Capela. The Swiss-born big man has dominated the glass for the Rockets and, after working with noted NBA stylist Rocio Doyle, is turning heads with his self-curated looks this season.
“Clint got his own thing. I like it,” P.J. tells CloseUp360. “He do his own thing. He likes whatever he wears. Got his own lane, he sticks to it, so I like that. I like when dudes just do they own thing.”
Sharing a locker room with style mavens has helped Clint hone his own fashion sense. So has his family. And as a kid shuttling between the care of his mother, Philomene, and foster homes in a land of luxury like Switzerland, he couldn’t help but notice when high fashion crossed his path.
During the Rockets’ November trip to Los Angeles, CloseUp360 caught up with Clint to talk about his outfits, how he got into fashion and the impact that his oldest brother, Fabrice, still has on his wardrobe—for the latest edition of “Style Stories.”
(The interview has been edited for clarity and length.)
Clint Capela, wearing a Polo Ralph Lauren jacket, a red t-shirt from Undercover x A Clockwork Orange, Cartier glasses and red Christian Louboutin shoes. (Amir Ebrahimi)
CloseUp360: Tell me about your walk-in outfit tonight.
Clint Capela: I was focused on the red, so I wore red [Christian] Louboutin shoes with the spikes on it. I went with the Polo Ralph Lauren jacket, white and red—I always keep the red on it—a red t-shirt from [Undercover x] A Clockwork Orange, the brand, for my t-shirt, and the Cartier glasses with the red on the side.
CU360: How did you decide on the outfit and the red theme?
CC: It's really just how I feel. Like, I look at my clothing, what I have, and try to put something together.
CU360: Where does that interest in fashion come from for you?
CC: Just that I like to dress well. When I first got here, I wasn't really focused on that. Now that I've been in a couple stores, watched clothes in different outfits, it kind of came in my mind, “Hey, why not? Why not dress for games, too, since I like to dress?” I like to show also my off-court [style].
CU360: Growing up in Geneva, you came from a tough background. In that environment, were you mindful of fashion at all?
CC: My big brother, [Fabrice], always been into fashion and stuff like that. So he's the guy of the family that really put me on there. I remember in his room, he always had a bunch of different clothes and stuff like that. So now also, he got me into the glasses game, so I thank him for that.
P.J. Tucker has been a sounding board on style for Clint. "He'll ask something here and there," P.J. tells CloseUp360, "but he just do his own thing." (Amir Ebrahimi)
CU360: How would you describe his style back in the day?
CC: He was always ahead. He always had like, remember the New Era cap, New York? He had all of these back in '04, '05, the baggy NBA jerseys and stuff like that. He was always ahead, so I took a lot from him as well.
CU360: Would you consider him your biggest style influence?
CC: Definitely. He is still. Even today, he's still always telling me about it, giving me ideas.
CU360: Since your brother turned you on to glasses, what's your go-to brand there?
CC: Right now, I like Cartier.
CU360: Are there any other brands, generally, that you turn to?
CC: I might soon, but right now, I like Cartier.
CU360: You used to work with NBA stylist Rocio Doyle. Was there anything you learned from her that you apply on your own nowadays?
CC: I look at everything—what I see, how people dress, and look at what I have and try to put stuff together.
CU360: What tips have James, P.J. and Russ given you and you've used for yourself?
CC: Just overall, just try to dress well. That's why it's been important, being seen, so I was, like, “Why not me?”
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.