Men's Fashion

Honor The Gift’s 2022 Summer Collection Is Russell Westbrook’s Ode To “The Coast”

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Russell Westbrook is an NBA All-Star, style aficionado, the creative director and designer of Honor The Gift, a dedication to the kid he was and others like him in America's inner cities. There is special attention to detail that Westbrook caters to, refining the normative aesthetics in traditional streetwear, and exploring silhouettes and finishes that elevate wardrobes with sensibly priced garments - far from basic[s]. In its sixth year of production, Honor The Gift is launching its 2022 Summer collection titled “The Coast.”

Honor The Gift is a Los Angeles-based and inspired label. It’s this sentiment that creates looks such as matching crewnecks and flare sweatpants with raw, exposed hems, western-style vests, and puffer hoodies. The prints are rustic, the colors are sun-washed. Westbrook is in “overall bliss,” growing his brand and playing the sport he loves. Westbrook mentions that “to be able to create a brand structured around the inner city and underserved communities” gives him satisfaction. He argues, “because that's where I grew up - where I’m from - [and] that’s what I relate to.”

He explains that “creating a design at the forefront of my inspiration is always amazing. To show it through the garments, the silhouettes, and materials, are something I truly embrace and love doing.” Westbrook learned fashion from his mother, who he often followed to the fabric district in Downtown Los Angeles, seeding a premature idea.

“My mom still, to this day, is my biggest inspiration [in fashion.] She got me into it [as] she’s always dressed to a “T” - from top to bottom. She, my brother, and my dad,” he describes how his mom kept his family well-dressed. “Based on what we could afford, my mom would do all the shopping for us. She opened that up to me and my understanding of fashion.”

It’s a love that comes at an absolute cost for most fashion lovers, preventing them from reaching their most expressive style. “That’s why it’s so important to me to have a lower price point because you [can] see how you can still be creative and still fashionable based on what you can afford,” affirms Westbrook.

He reminisces on his shopping experience exploring Los Angeles, “I can go to a shop [in Downtown Los Angeles] and learn, going with my mom, and looking at fabrics. Seeing these allowed me to [figure out that] this is what I really want to do [in fashion]. To be able to find a love for it and figure out what I wanted to do with it - I didn’t know then, but I have a better idea now.”

A combination of the streets he grew up on and the coastal beauty that nestles the city, Honor The Gift’s 2022 Summer collection reflects the nuances that make Los Angeles a place of dreams. “Each collection [I like to find] inspiration behind certain designs. I’m big into Mo-Town - that’s the music I listen to all the time.” The previous collection was based around that because of the lyrics each artist used to tell their stories.

“Coming up now, our Summer collection is based around the coast and water [of] Los Angeles. [I] use that inspiration to now create garments, whether it's the colors I use, [and] the cut of the garments give you a bit of insight on the inspiration,” Westbrook states.

“The Coast” is inspired by Russell’s surroundings growing up in Los Angeles. A color palette of blue, grey, and white, each color summarizing the sandy beaches, endless ocean, and the familiar blue skies. With great attention to detail, the Summer 2022 collection revels in raw-edged knits, HTG® embroidery, and graphic tees that all have a refined, vintage feel.

Westbrook relishes that “there are so many different beaches and different things around the inner city and outside the city. [But] reverting to the name of the garments - I have a Longbeach Crewneck, I have the Compton Short, I have a Rosecrans Knit, [and] the Century Camp Shirt.” The collection includes names like the City Bucket Hat, LA Tank, and the Neighborhood Tee [a likely reference to LA rapper Nipsey Hussle], paying homage to the elaborate cityscape embodying the California heat and sense of 'cool.'

“All these streets are in the city of Los Angeles; Century [street] has a park I grew up at]. Keeping it connected to the inner city, and making garments that people can buy high-end and low-end through [Honor The Gift],” Westbrook foresees through the geography.

He continues, “I’ve been blessed to shop higher-end, but I’m really big on wearing things that don’t have any labels. I bargain shop a lot, but I’m also big on labels that represent something, inspire other people.”

Bringing “The Coast” to life in its Summer 2022 collection, the illustrious California coastline and the blue hues of the ocean that reflect the bright blue sky are inherent in these bold designs. With sun-drenched colors and versatile pieces, this collection pays homage to the diverse city of Los Angeles.

Westbrook concludes, “I envision you put on a hoodie - you put on a shirt, a sweater, a cardigan - your confidence is different. I believe God has given everyone a gift, and we all should honor it. Whether in fashion or any field that you may be in or aspire to. I hope through my collection, through my [inspiration], through the clothes - [I] constantly lift them up, honor their gift, and [for them] to honor other people.”

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