For NBA Style Icon Kyle Kuzma, Outrageous Fits Come Naturally
"I don't really dress up for fans or try to showboat," says the Wizards forward. "I just wear what I wanna wear."
A first-round draft pick of the Lakers in 2017 out of the University of Utah, Kyle Kuzma was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2018 and became a world champion when the LeBron James-led Lakers knocked off the Miami Heat in the league’s Florida bubble in 2020.
Traded to Washington in the summer of 2021 after spending the first four years of his young career in L.A., Kuzma averaged 17.1 points to go along with career highs in rebounds (8.5) and assists (3.5) on the court last season. Despite those noteworthy stats, his most memorable moment as a Wizard was probably in the hallway of Capital One Arena when he showed up before a November game with his 6-foot-9 frame draped in a massive bubble-gum pink sweater.
While Kuzma’s fashion statement was mocked by some, his style was lauded by others and established the Flint, Michigan, native as debatably the NBA’s second-flashiest dresser behind Russell Westbrook, for whom he was traded by the Wizards. That reputation is likely to grow even larger as Kuzma is now associated with Belgian brewer Stella Artois and luxury fashion label POTR by Yoshida & Co. as the three sides have partnered up to launch the Secure The Bag program, an initiative that will give fans the chance to win a limited-edition tote bag or a $10,000 fashion shopping spree with the 27-year-old baller.
For Kuzma, who is finding a way to balance his love for basketball with his passion for fashion so that neither one detracts from the other, the partnership was a natural fit as he strives to align himself with the finer things in life.
“If you’re talking about beers, you’ll probably say Stella is the most attractive from a luxury standpoint,” Kuzma tells InsideHook. “That’s who I am as my brand. I only really do things that make sense for who I am as a person.”
And if that means wearing an oversized sweater the color of cotton candy or a form-fitting black ensemble that earned him the hashtag #LeatherMan, so be it. Kuzma has never been opposed to zigging while others zag.
“I don’t do things that other people do. I’ve never been a follower in my life,” he says. “I’ve always been off the beaten path ’cause I was a kid that was never on the right path. So for me, that’s just always who I’ve been.”
So what motivates Kuzma to reach for an oversized sweater with sleeves down to his knees? “I just wear what I wanna wear or what I feel comfortable in,” he says. “You go to your closet and pick out your favorite pair of jeans with a nice shirt to go to dinner. I do the same thing. I don’t really dress up for fans or try to showboat. I just wear what I wanna wear.”
Just don’t be surprised if what Kuzma wants to wear is something luxurious, something avant-garde….something someone else might leave in the closet.
“Anything can be luxury. It’s fashion. It’s beer,” he says. “Growing up in Flint and being poor, you always saw luxury. That’s what you want in life when you come from those types of environments. So, I feel like I’ve always had my eye on that. Although I’ve been pretty successful to a point, I’m nowhere close to reaching where I want to reach in life. There’s always more. There’s always better. There are always things that you can improve on. I’m just very thankful I have the opportunity to continue to expand.”
He’s already got the sweater for it.
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