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.
At #VFBestDressed @vanityfair #maffuzystyle pic.twitter.com/qUHwMoU9yO— Serge Ibaka (@sergeibaka) September 6, 2019
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.
Religion #kitendi #mafuzzystyle #avecclasse #pfw #parisfashionweek pic.twitter.com/XteVsgx9zz— Serge Ibaka (@sergeibaka) June 21, 2019
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.)
.@SergeIbaka celebrated the @Raptors's championship win in style. https://t.co/9GreesopxH pic.twitter.com/ybUIJMj7La— Vogue Runway (@VogueRunway) June 27, 2019
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.
Thank you @Tiffanyandco for having me last night #TiffanyMens #TiffanyPartner #avecclasse pic.twitter.com/vLnQyV38Ni— Serge Ibaka (@sergeibaka) October 24, 2019
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.
Imagine getting your shot blocked by Serge Ibaka and then seeing him later that day gallivanting in a blazer and a skirt. BDE off the charts pic.twitter.com/rdZAFdP0fl— Will &erson; (@WilfP4179) September 8, 2019
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.
Mafuzzy underwear on the way... Stay tuned pic.twitter.com/mxvz7v6iLh— Serge Ibaka (@sergeibaka) February 4, 2019
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.
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