On paper, it sounds like an unexpected match: an American basketball superstar and an off-kilter, buzzy fashion label from Sweden. But when you consider that said star is one-of-one NBA style icon Russell Westbrook and the label is Acne Studios, trailblazers of rule-breaking Scandinavian style and denim connoisseurs, the pairing starts to make a lot more sense. When it came time for the brand to pick the face of its latest collection, Acne Studios turned to the menswear-loving athlete—and the surprising combination that seems just right for today’s wild world of men’s style.
“When I first got into fashion, I only dreamed of being the face of a campaign. For this dream to play out in reality is really exciting,” Westbrook tells GQ over e-mail. “To be the face of Acne Studios around the world really shows how far I’ve come.” And the MVP-level point guard isn’t exaggerating about that. When Westbrook first stormed the world of fashion, his boisterous sense of personal style created fans and haters in equal measure. But over the past few years, he's evolved into an undeniable player within the world of contemporary fashion. Westbrook has released a capsule collection with Barneys New York, collaborated with True Religion, and founded his own streetwear label, Honor the Gift—and his signature Jordan Brand sneakers remain in high demand. And now he can add being the face of a global fashion campaign to the list.
Shot by the acclaimed fine-art and fashion photographer Juergen Teller, the campaign focuses on Acne Studios denim, including some of the first jean styles ever produced by the brand some 20 years ago. Like much of Teller’s work, the photos of Westbrook are casual and cool—what you see is what you get. And when you’re looking at a chiseled professional athlete wearing beautifully designed denim, it makes for some striking imagery.
So why exactly did Acne Studios pick Russell Westbrook to be the face of the campaign? "I’ve been interested for a while in the relationship between fashion and sport," says Acne founder and creative director Jonny Johansson. "I wanted to connect with a sport that I’ve never played before, like basketball." Beyond being just an education in hoops, the approach the campaign took ended up in lockstep with the brand's broader sources of inspiration. "I am always interested in America, and how as Swedish people we perceive America," Johansson writes. "I like finding out things I don’t know about American hierarchies and mythologies, like sports players or denim." As it turns out, Westbrook "was the perfect subject matter for Juergen, because he was really unafraid and into the idea of having fun.”
Source : https://www.gq.com/story/russell-westbrook-acne-studios-campaign