Style Stories: Grizzlies’ Dillon Brooks Keeps Up with Fashionable Canadians
LOS ANGELES -- Dillon Brooks is nothing if not supremely confident, whether on the court or the NBA runway. The third-year wing out of the University of Oregon has emerged as an explosive scorer for the Memphis Grizzlies, with the designer-filled ‘fits to match.
Though Dillon walked into the league as a bucket, he wasn’t always so keen on high fashion. But since becoming the 45th overall pick in the 2017 NBA draft, the Mississauga native has caught up to the sartorial competition thanks to his stylish basketball friends, from teammates at Findlay Prep in the Las Vegas suburbs to his Canadian countrymen making waves in the Association.
During the Grizzlies trip to L.A. shortly after New Years, CloseUp360 caught up with Dillon to discuss his developing fashion game, how he packs for (and takes advantage of) road trips, which former No. 1 pick helped him expand his wardrobe and more in a fresh edition of “Style Stories.”
(The interview has been edited for clarity and length.)
CloseUp360: Can you tell me about your walk-in outfit?
Dillon Brooks: I just wore some Givenchy, some Amiri jeans, some Louis Vuitton shoes. I just honestly just, I don't have no stylist, no nobody. I just go out there every single time and just try to put on fits that I like. You know, if it's baby blue or if it's a light yellow or different colors, I like putting together and see what I look like.
CU360: So your outfits are based more on color schemes as opposed to certain styles?
DB: Yeah, I do have color schemes. I mix and match designers and stuff like that. You know, I feel I got the best style on the team, you know what I mean? Just nah, I don't like to dress like a mannequin, just fully in designer. I just like to mix it up, show my different pieces I have. I like rare pieces, as well.
Dillon Brooks in a Givenchy sweater, Amiri jeans and Louis Vuitton shoes. (Zachary Schmidt)
CU360: Do you have any favorite pieces in your wardrobe, especially as far as rare stuff?
DB: I can tell you, my favorite designer is Givenchy. I like Givenchy a lot. I like some of the lower designers, as well, like Aime Leon Dore. They got good pieces. You know, Louis Vuitton, obviously. I like Christian Dior.
CU360: You mentioned Givenchy is your favorite. Why do you put Givenchy at the top of your list?
DB: I like what they put out, different things like holes or the name. They got different styles. I got a shirt at home that's like little sparkles halfway and it shows different aspects of this t-shirt. But overall, I just like the whole design.
CU360: Why that piece in particular?
DB: Sometimes, a hoodie gets old and, you know, just having a flat that you can mix and match with a lot of stuff, like a jacket or a bomber, stuff like that. And it's warm, so it's like a multi-faceted piece.
CU360: When you're on a road trip, how do you decide what to pack? Do you pack specific outfits? Do you just pack a bunch of stuff that you can mix and match?
DB: I just go to my closet and see things. Like, it depends on the road trip. But I just go out there and just pick like three 'fits or like however many games I have, just have that many fits and then go from there, and then pick which ones I want to wear to a game. Sometimes, I just pick like three shirts and then jeans that go with it. But I'm always shopping, always looking at different designers, different new things coming up, because fashion is always reinventing itself.
CU360: Do you do a lot of shopping when you're on the road?
DB: Yeah. There's not a lot of shopping in Memphis, so it's either online or when you get to the road, you shop, find different sales, stuff like that. I go with a lot of my teammates, as well.
CU360: Who do you typically shop with?
DB: I shop with Kyle [Anderson] and Jaren Jackson [Jr.], mostly. Sometimes, I’ve got to do it by myself because I just like looking around, seeing different things. What's crazy was, when I was young, I didn't really like shopping. I didn't really like looking. I would just pick something out, try it on. But now I like it. It's a thing that I do incorporate into my game and stuff like that, feel confident, look nice. But I got to do a better job getting more haircuts and trimming up. But fashion's a big thing that I look upon.
Dillon typically does his road shopping alongside Kyle Anderson and Jaren Jackson Jr. (Zachary Schmidt)
CU360: Why did you start enjoying shopping and really embracing that experience?
DB: I think it's fun, you know, going out there, mix-and-matching different things, being in pictures and all that. And then, I get to see how it's so glorified and different things you can get from it. So I just keep just wearing what I wear. Maybe one day, shoot, I might style somebody in the NBA.
CU360: Did you learn from any of the older guys who were here during your first couple years? I know Mike Conley Jr. is a guy who's worked with a stylist [Brandon Williams], obviously, but he's very fashion-conscious. Were there vets on the team who showed you the ropes or gave you any tips?
DB: Nah, I would say it was my boys from back home. You know, they got great taste in the clothes and colors and stuff like that. I just adopted that. But then, I look at different players like Kelly [Oubre Jr.], who has great style. That was my roommate back in high school. I just take different things, see how they put it together with different colors, stuff like that. Things that I wouldn't think to wear, but you know, sometimes it might look good on me. I guess it's all fun and games.
CU360: It seems like there are a lot of Canadian guys in the NBA who are into style, like Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. Is there something to that, like where you guys come from around Toronto, Mississauga, that's more fashion-forward?
DB: Yeah, you know, I feel like when you get there, when you get to the league and then you put on a couple clothes and stuff like that, and you get some publicity and then, on top of that, you're confident in what you're wearing, it just brings out who you are. And Shai has great style. I love some of the things he puts together. Tristan [Thompson], he really puts stuff together well. So I guess it's a little competition when you go out there and put a 'fit on and see somebody looks at your 'fit and is like, ‘Wow, where did you get that?’ Or, ‘I didn't even see that when it was out,’ and it's an old piece. So I guess, coming from Canada, you just want to be a little different than what other people are wearing.
Dillon roomed with fellow NBA fashionista Kelly Oubre Jr. when they were teammates at Findlay Prep in Henderson, Nevada. (Zachary Schmidt)
CU360: Were you big into fashion before you got to the NBA?
DB: No, not really. You know, I barely knew what the designers were until I got here. I have a personal shopper, Megan Wilson from New York. She'll show me pieces and then I'll pick through them or I'll ask her, ‘Show me what's new with this designer,’ and she'll send it to me. She's been a big help with me picking different 'fits, stuff like that. But ultimately, I just stay true to myself and try to put 'fits that I like.
CU360: How did you get connected with Megan?
DB: Through Anthony Bennett, who used to work with her. I got connected through them. And then, ever since then, she's been great to me.
CU360: So she's not quite a stylist, per se, but she is someone who's helping to show you some things and you're putting the outfits together.
DB: Yeah, that's how it works. She just shows me different stuff and then, you know, there's no shops in Memphis, so she buys it and sends it to me.
CU360: Are there other people you look to for inspiration with fashion?
DB: Not really. I just really watch different designers. I follow them on Instagram. I just look at different things, like different runway models, you know, I guess how like Christian Dior runway models look, Louis Vuitton, all those different things. And then take pieces from there and see how it works, because some of the runway models, they look outlandish. So I like to tone it down a little bit and then make it into me.
CU360: How would you describe your style?
DB: I would say, I can jump out at you, but I can still show you some basic, some different things I can put together. So I guess I would say, I'm kind of like a chameleon. You know, I can show you some popping colors and then I can just blend in to the rest.
CU360: What do you make of the culture of fashion in the NBA? What's it been like involving yourself in that now, considering this wasn't a world you were a part of until you got to the league?
DB: I love it. I think Allen Iverson and all those other guys that were revolutionaries in putting on different clothes, what they want to put on, it just shows, you can be an independent in this thing. You know, you can show what you want to the world, like who you are. So it's a blessing and I thank all the guys that came before us, so it's good.
When it comes to his style, Dillon sees himself as a "chameleon." He says, "I can show you some popping colors, and then I can just blend in to the rest." (Zachary Schmidt)
CU360: What’s your favorite sneaker?
DB: I would say I like the Christian Diors. I don't know exactly the name, but I like the shoe that they have and different sandals and stuff like that, so I would say Dior.
CU360: And to play in?
DB: To play in? My feet have been terrible to me. You know, I have foot surgeries all over the place. I used to play in one shoe, but I really like the Kyries now. They fit well on my feet. And I used to be a real big Hyperdunk guy.
CU360: When you've had foot issues, is it hard to find a shoe that's comfortable?
DB: Yeah, it's all about just the comfort for me. It doesn't matter about the look or any of that. So it took me a shoe malfunction to finally wear Kyries, you know? So I just really like Kyries. I try to change it up, but then sometimes, I just be throwing shoes away.
CU360: You've said that you plan to compete for a spot on Canada's Olympic qualifying team. Now, if you get to the Olympics, you won't get to wear whatever you want during opening ceremonies, but what would it mean to you to rep your country in the Olympics?
DB: It would mean the world. You know, a lot of these guys haven't made the Olympics. It would just bring us closer and show off how great Canada basketball is. I know a lot of guys are putting their name in and trying to really do this thing. I'm one of the names—me, Shai, Jamal [Murray]—so I can't wait to get it going in the summer and try to make history.
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.