We’ve been waiting with bated breath for Knicks player Amar’e Stoudemire’s long-rumored Vogue feature and now it’s finally here. And in what can only be described as the cherry on top of our sports beat cake, the piece was written by european editor at large Hamish Bowles — who you might remember from last summer’s essay on surfing with Blake Lively and who, in this instance, submits himself to a training session and a game of one-on-one basketball with the 6 foot, eight inch phenom.
Bowles is as known for his fashion as he is for his bon mots; the piece had us LOL-ing within the first paragraph, which ends with the following exquisitely written sentence: “Until very recently I had absolutely no idea what the Super Bowl was, although it conjured up images of something perfectly lovely from Steuben.”
As for Stoudemire, he told Bowles fashion made him feel wealthy. “When you put your fashion on—you know, your tailor-made suits or bow ties and fedoras—you feel like you’re swagger,” he explained. “You feel elegant and rich.”
The fact that he lives in a penthouse apartment in the Meatpacking District with its own recording studio and barbershop probably helps, too.
But even if you don’t care about Stoudemire, the Knicks, or how they relate to fashion, Bowles’ hilarity makes the whole thing a worthy read. A few more examples, just to whet your appetite.
On his athletic prowess:
At the hour of my birth, my ecstatic father cradled the mewling marzipan-pink bundle in his arms and uttered the immortal words “He’s got footballer’s knees.” But Dad’s words rang like a witch’s curse through my infancy and childhood as I first crawled, then toddled, then walked, then ran away from every manner of ball—and their number was legion.
On the Knicks uniform:
“When you put your uniform on, you feel more dominant,” Amar’e tells me. “You feel ready to take over, have a great game.” I wasn’t quite sure about the ultramarine, orange, and white mélange, but when I put it on for the first time it’s giving me eighties Stephen Sprouse (although NBA regulations stipulate that the shirt is tucked inside the shorts, rather than worn Teri Toye–minidress style).
And finally, on dressing for basketball games:
January 14 is my first basketball game. The Knicks are playing the Sacramento Kings, ranked at the bottom of the league. I’ve been given Amar’e’s seats and have attempted to approximate the team colors with a teal Balenciaga twinset and an orange Charvet tie. I realize the purple socks are a mistake as soon as I see the Kings’ colors, and I discreetly fold down my trouser cuffs.