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News » THE EVOLUTION OF MELOSTYLE Nuggets star has polished his fashion sense and has a sleek new shoe for '09

THE EVOLUTION OF MELOSTYLE Nuggets star has polished his fashion sense and has a sleek new shoe for '09

THE EVOLUTION OF MELOSTYLE Nuggets star has polished his fashion sense and has a sleek new shoe for '09 Carmelo Anthony doesn't miss a chance to put his best foot forward, and you can take that literally.

In addition to owning more than 300 pairs of shoes - size 14 in case you're thinking about borrowing a pair - the Denver Nuggets star forward will soon have his sixth shoe design released by Jordan Brand. (Named for superstar Michael Jordan, it's a division of Nike that features collaborations with elite athletes.)

Anthony, 25, has worked with Jordan on shoe designs for each of the years he's been in the NBA. His personal style evolution can be traced through the designs, as well, from the flashy bright blue retro-influenced style for 2004 to the sleek, streamlined look of the new Melo M6.

The athlete meets with Jordan Brand's design team several times when creating a shoe to discuss both style and performance features. "It comes down to what I'm inspired by, whether it's fashion, cars, music or materials," Anthony said in a phone interview from Los Angeles. "This time we were messing with different materials to make the lightest shoe possible."

Justin Taylor, Jordan Brand designer, said that the shoes are first and foremost created to perform on the court. "After all, Melo does have to be able to wear them for an NBA game," Taylor said via e-mail from Taiwan, where he's working on the next Jordan-Melo creation. Still, the goal is to make a shoe that's stylish enough to appeal to consumers who want to wear it casually, as well as those who want it to be highly functional.

Taylor said it was Anthony's decision "to take it to more of an off-court friendly look so we could be sure that it would still look good all the time, not just when it was on court."

Anthony includes personalized details in the shoes, and the M6 features elements of the Baltimore skyline, where he grew up; a star graphic to represent the Puerto Rican flag and his roots; and the AU79/08 on the outsole, a reference to the chemical symbol and atomic number for gold and Anthony's part in the United States' Basketball team's gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

While the $120 price tag on the shoes is going to keep many kids from being able to afford them, Anthony said they're competitively priced compared with other branded performance sneakers. He added that he's open to creating a less expensive shoe. "The idea's always thrown out there," he said.

Even before he cut off his signature braids a year ago, Anthony had begun his personal style transformation. The kid who was born in Brooklyn, raised in Baltimore and became a freshman Basketball sensation at Syracuse University before being drafted by the Nuggets in 2003 was initially known for his urban, streetwise style: baggy shorts and T-shirts, baseball caps.

But along with his increasingly high-profile image on the court and efforts like his Basketball camps for kids, helping fund a new practice facility at

Syracuse and starting a film production company, his image was growing up too. When a hand injury sidelined him in January, fans saw him sitting courtside in suits and ties, Italian shoes and cashmere sweaters.

One night he'd wear a red plaid jacket, another night a blazer and pocket square over a sweater, shirt and tie. "It's good to be fashionable," he said. "More people are looking at you when you're sitting on the sidelines than when you're on the court."

Well, maybe not, but it is entertaining to see him in something besides a Nuggets uniform or practice clothes.

Anthony attributes his makeover in part to NBA commissioner David Stern, who for the 2005 season instituted a business casual dress code for players when they were sitting on the bench during the game and not playing. The effort banned throwback jerseys, baseball caps, sunglasses and chains and required that players wear a sport coat, shirt, trousers and dress shoes.

"David Stern did a great job of getting people to dress, although nobody was feeling it at first," Anthony said.

While he likes to shop, Anthony's makeover is in part due to New York stylist Khalilah Williams-Webb, who, like Anthony, is a Baltimore native. They met through Anthony's manager and began working together a year ago.

"Everyone has seen the change in him," Williams-Webb says. "He grew up in the NBA and was ready for a more grown-up look, but we still wanted him to look young, fresh and clean."

Williams-Webb said Anthony is open to trying different things in his wardrobe. "He loves ties, and surprisingly, ascots, but he hasn't worn one yet." But forget about bow ties. "He hates them," she said.

Anthony's favorite color is red and he loves cardigans, according to Williams-Webb. For an appearance last week on Jimmy Kimmel's talk show, he wore a red Etro cardigan, shirt, tie, dark denim pants and Esquivel shoes. (It was during the taping that Anthony said he had between 300 and 400 pairs of shoes.)

Anthony admits to having developed a taste for European design. "I like Dolce (& Gabbana), Gucci and Louis (Vuitton). They're starting to cater to athletes," he said.

So, who's the best-dressed player on the Nuggets team?

"You're talking to him," he said.

And in the NBA?

"The same."

Suzanne S. Brown: 303-954-1697 or

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: September 29, 2009


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