serge ibaka style

Serge Ibaka is suddenly the face of designer fashion in Canada

Once upon a time, Toronto's top professional athletes were best known for endorsing such things a pizza, pasta and juice. Sometimes cars. A lot of times banks.  

Sure, they've got their shoe partners — Adidas, Nike, New Balance and the like — but few have their own underwear lines. Even fewer get front row seats at Paris Fashion Week.

Only one has ever appeared on Vanity Fair's annual list of the best-dressed people on earth: Serge Ibaka.

The Toronto Raptors power forward has deals on deals, like most NBA players do, repping for Adidas, among other brands — but Ibaka's no ordinary pro-ball pitchman.

The 30-year-old Congolese-Spanish basketball player actually looks like a model, and he serves as one for the likes of Prada, Givenchy and Kenzo off the court.

He reps for Gucci. He reps for Valentino. He reps for freaking Balmain.

Hailed by ESPN as one of the NBA's most fashionable men and a fixture in GQ's style section, Ibaka is often spotted before and after games in high end designer threads (some of which he no doubt got in exchange for simply wearing, if he wants to.)

While longtime Raptor and fellow NBA All-Star Kyle Lowry lends his likeness to AXE body spray, Ibaka appears at events for Hugo Boss and Tiffany & Co.

Many NBA stars use the off-season to relax.

Not long after winning an NBA championship with the Raptors, Ibaka crushed Paris Fashion Week in a Thom Browne skirt. 

The newly-minted NBA champion has his own underwear line to boot, in collaboration the Toronto-based startup Topik Wear.

Along with posing for the brand, Ibaka jointly designed three boxer brief styles known as Avec Class, MaFuzzy and The Serge.

A portion of all sales go toward the athlete's Serge Ibaka Foundation, which provides health services and education to disadvantged children all over the world.

It's hard to think of any other person living in Canada right now with as much actual international fashion cred as Ibaka, male or female, athlete or not.

Sorry real housewives of whatever: front row at Toronto Fashion Week doesn't make you it.

Being an immaculately handsome NBA player with great game, a generous heart and legitimate style chops seems to be more in line with what Canadians want in their fashion idols. That, and a really funny YouTube cooking show.

Serge Ibaka is definitely it.

Lead photo by

Serge Ibaka

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Serge Ibaka is suddenly the face of designer fashion in Canada