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Inside Jordan Clarkson, Meta & KidSuper’s Team-up Ahead of Paris Fashion Week

Just before inking a new extension with the Jazz, the spirited scorer created a custom suit and sneakers with Meta and designer Colm Dillane for KidSuper’s big Paris show this summer.

For years, perhaps no one across the NBA has showcased their style both on and off the court better than Jordan Clarkson.

Whether it be the Utah Jazz shooting guard’s detailed collection of Steve Wiebe-inked tattoos and his accessory-heavy nightly style standing out on the hardwood, or his tunnel fits touting new silhouettes that are instantly highlighted on Instagram, JC has been leading the charge when it comes to the league’s fashion-forward looks. 

Throughout his nine seasons in the Association, the accolades have been stacking up for the 31-year-old. Clarkson took home the Sixth Man of the Year Award to cap off the 2020-21 season, debuting a hat and hoody from Tuff Crowd’s latest collection at his celebratory press conference. He’s also the first NBA player to be named to SLAM’s All-LeagueFits First Team in four consecutive seasons, taking home LeagueFits MVP honors in 2020.

Clarkson has long channeled his style and creativity online through the web of platforms in Meta’s orbit in particular, including Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and going forward, the newly launched Threads. Creators like Clarkson have been able to network and collaborate on projects through a variety of platforms at their fingertips.

“All of these things become an everyday use for me,” he told Boardroom. 

Headlining a new global campaign with Meta dubbed “It’s Your World,” Clarkson recently teamed up with prolific designer Colm Dillane, founder of fashion label KidSuper, to leverage Meta’s network of apps to help create a custom suit and sneaker to be featured in the latter’s Paris Fashion Week show held in late June.

Image courtesy of Meta

“One of my favorite things about KidSuper is being introduced to new people and opportunities,” Dillane said of the project. “Through the ‘It’s Your World’ campaign, I’ve been able to work with Jordan Clarkson and a bunch of people that I respect, and now we’ll be able to work together again and keep in contact through our Meta products.”

Boardroom recently caught up with Clarkson to hear more about how the design project and campaign came together, which NBA icons inspired the suit silhouette he was looking for, and how his creativity comes to life through fashion.

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NICK DePAULA: In the spirit of the ‘It’s Your World’ campaign, how have you used Meta’s products over the years and what have you liked most about expressing yourself through those platforms?

JORDAN CLARKSON: The majority of Meta’s products are things that I use every day when I’m talking to people and connecting with people. Even in the Philippines, when I’m over there to play, I’m using WhatsApp. All of these things become an everyday use for me.

Even when it comes to my girl, that’s how I met her — through DMs. It’s just crazy how it becomes an everyday routine of communication and connection with a lot of people. It’s a great way to bring people together. 

What goes on in Jordan Clarkson’s world? 

For me, it’s about basketball, creativity, fashion, and family. That’s really it. Those are the things that my world is all about, but not in that order. 

Where does your creativity come from? 

In middle school, I was able to draw and was super artistic and always creating stuff. My creativity really started when I was in middle school and high school, drawing and making things. Then, my interest in clothes really came together and I started cutting clothes with scissors and making my shirts and pants look a different way than everyone else. Now, I’m here and letting it all flourish. 

Coming out here to LA [as a rookie with the Lakers] during my first years in the league, I was getting connected with people that I’ve had the opportunity to meet and really get a lot of insight from. 

Seeing Brandon [Jennings] being really involved with his clothing brand, Tuff Crowd, and seeing him creating a whole brand and him being one of my closer friends, has been inspiring. Other guys that inspire me are Russell Westbrook and Pharrell. Pharrell is a guy that I always watched. I’ve never met him, but he’s always been an idol of mine in that space with how much he’s created outside of music. 

How did the design inspiration and ideas begin for this Paris Fashion Week project with KidSuper?

The big thing was he was DM-ing me and texting me about wanting to do a suit. It was, ‘A suit! A suit! A suit!’ Well, I’m not too big into wearing [traditional] suits; I really wanted to do a boxy silhouette look suit instead. A baggy look, if you were to picture an Allen Iverson or a Tim Duncan suit back in the day.

We found a middle ground, and I was sending him inspiration pics of how I would want a suit to fit like. He did his own thing, found his inspiration based off of what I said, and then we bounced around ideas from there. 

How would you describe the shoes and how that design came together?

Those Big Red Boots were a little bit of an inspiration, just a little, and then he put his own mind into that. I definitely wanted the net accessory on it, and it became something we created through sending ideas and messages back and forth to make it happen. 

Jordan Clarkson with Colm Dillane (Photo courtesy of KidSuper)

What was it like being a part of Meta’s commercial and seeing the spot come to life?

It was super cool during that time. All of the relationships and everything around it was super organic. Working with [Dillane] and talking to him, even before that, through all of the apps, was free-flowing and felt like just us getting on the phone and hollering at each other and throwing ideas at each other. When we got to meet in person, it was cool and he was a real high-energy dude. He’s a real creative, man, and he’s a character. 

From a business standpoint, I’ve found it really interesting how you’re a sneaker free agent and you have your Lululemon apparel partnership. That’s allowed you to do things that might not be available to athletes typically signed to a traditional shoe deal. What was your approach in going that route? 

The best thing for me is the flexibility. Me being so creative and having my hands in a lot of things, I’m always transitioning into different worlds and being able to connect with different people. Me being who I am, I need that flexibility. I love to create and bring on different people in different projects. Being able to be flexible through it all has been great. 

How would you describe how your style has evolved over the years?

I know each of my looks that I’m putting together. Each time I’m putting my clothes together, a lot of that is easy to me. In the beginning, I was working with a stylist at first, and I was like, ‘Man, what do I need this for?’ No diss to stylists, but I just felt like I could really let my creative juices flow if I came up with what my look is and who I am. I really take time to put everything into it and make sure that people can see my creative side, when they see me.

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