It's not often that a professional athlete starts a clothing line and does it the right way, but John Salmons may just be the exception to the rule. With the help of designer Sherman Brown, John was able to make a full-fledged clothing line consisting of both men's and women's ready-to-wear called Salmons & Brown.
The collection has a very upscale and almost preppy look to it - perfect for the work place, works when you're ready to go from the office to the club.
The Salmons & Brown collection had a launch event this past Thursday and in addition to John Salmons, celebrities like The Wire's Michael K. Williams and High Society's Tinsley Mortimer were in attendance for the launch.
We got the chance to sit down with John & Sherman to talk about the collection, their inspirations and fashion follies before the event.
You can take a look at the interview below, as well as some pictures from the event in the gallery above. Check it out!
GlobalGrind: How’d you guys hook up to begin with?
Sherman: I met John. John got traded to Sacramento from the Bulls and I was actually sitting in my office and I saw John at a press conference. He was just dribbling the ball and I was looking at what he was wearing. I was like, that shirt looks tailored; he must get his clothes tailored. I did my research and discovered that he and another client of mine shared agents. I reached out to the agent ... In a couple months they finally allowed me to make John a suit. Not really sure if he liked it too much but it at least it showed him the capabilities of our company and what we can do. I made some more clothes for him and John is sort of freaky guy when it comes to clothes, he just loves clothes.
After sitting there for a couple hours our first time around he was just asking me questions and looking at fabrics. I just left the book with him and he gave me a call back with all these crazy orders for like all these grade pants and we just developed a friendship. He’s always enthused about fashion and asked me a million questions. The more and more we talked, the more and more we realized, let's do it together and start a line. This was a couple years ago.
What made you guys want to venture into women’s clothes as well?
John: We just wanted to do a complete line. We didn’t want to start out with just men’s and not be known for women. So we wanted to start out from the beginning being known for men’s and women.
Do you have any brands out right now that inspire you?
Sherman: For me personally, I love Oliver Peoples. I know it’s not actually clothes but his shades are very structured and just very vintage feeling. Me being a tailor, I love tailored clothing. Ralph Lauren Purple Label of course does some great tailoring. I grew up around Oxford and being from Chicago they were like our hometown favorites and Hart Schaffner Marx.
John: I grew up as the biggest Ralph Lauren fan that’s out there. That’s always been my favorite brand growing up and till this day. But as far as our clothes; I think it’s more our style and what we like. We’re not really inspired by other brands, it’s just the feel that we want to put out there. Our aesthetic is what we want to put out there.
What originally got you into fashion John? Was it something that you always liked?
John: Yeah I’ve always had a passion for it. Just like when I first started playing basketball it was just naturally something that I loved to do. When I was able to start to dress myself and buy my own clothes it was just a natural thing. I always was into fashion. I grew up in a time when baggy clothes was where it was. But as time went by, the more I got into it, the slimmer my clothes got, the more I got a lot more serious with it. Then I met Sherman and went from there.
Do you have any plans of expanding into accessories or sunglasses?
John: We want to do it all. That’s our goal. Want to be able to get in every part of the fashion industry that we possibly can.
Do you have an outfit that you look back on that you are like what the f*ck was I thinking?
Sherman: How’d I know you were going to say that! I got married really young. I got married when I was 20 first time around and at the wedding I rented a tux, it was grey. I had on a grey tuxedo, a white vest on and tie. The groomsman had on a grey tuxedo and cranberry vest and tie. The little junior groomsman had on a grey tuxedo with a pink vest. So it was like cranberry, grey and pink; that’s not it. Then at the reception I changed into like a very Steve Harvey-ish mustard gold suit.
John: Aww yeah, I used to buy Ralph Lauren polo shirts. I used to buy like 4x tall.
So you had the tall tee Polo joints going on?
John: Yeah, extra big and extra baggy.
Would you rather be in shoes or in sneakers when you’re just kind of doing your thing?
John: Depends. It depends on what I’m doing, where I’m at or where I’m going. Even if I’m wearing a buttoned shirt or something and a blazer, sometimes I still wear sneakers with that.
Do either one of you guys have a “go to” outfit for days when you don’t have any plans?
John: Crisp white tees - particularly in the summertime. I like dressing up though. I like putting stuff together, just go in my closet and see what I can put together, try to make it by. But if I’m not trying to do anything, I’m definitely a white tee guy.
Ties or bow ties?
John: I’m a tie guy
Sherman: Yeah I’m a tie guy. I like a little bow tie as well, but overall we like slim skinny ties. Especially knit, we would say knit is our favorite.
Are you plan on opening a web store or just going to be doing straight in store?
Sherman: We’re going to do specialty boutiques and online.
Will the clothing be generally for guys of your proportion John, or will it be all shapes and sizes?
John: We’re definitely going to sell for my proportion, but it’s all across the scale. We’re doing the regular guy up to like my proportion, up to my height.
Sherman: Which is an XL tee, so we’re going to do an extra-large tall.