When it comes to style, Rudy Gay and his kids agree on at least one thing: comfort reigns.
The Spurs forward released a merch line, RG22, earlier this year. The design of each piece is inspired by something from his life or career, and his fabric and fit choices were all made based on what he would actually wear. “Kids won’t wear everything,” he says, explaining a lesson he learned when working with Superism on his children’s line in 2018. “Personally, I wouldn’t wear everything either, so you have to make sure it’s comfortable.”
His RG22 Angelic Sweatpants, for example, are made with 100 percent French terry cotton. Denim patchwork angels were added to the pants based on two tattoos Gay has on his arms in honor of his sons, 5-year-old Clint and 4-year-old Dean. A cotton Ol’ St. Mike Tee with an image of St. Michael the Archangel also is based on one of Gay’s tattoos. “Honestly, it’s just about being creative,” Gay says.
Basketball has long been and remains Gay’s primary passion and focus, “obviously,” he says. But he’s had a side interest in fashion since he was a kid, sparked largely, he says, by his sisters and cousins who were “always trying to be into the latest stuff” and by music videos they all watched growing up in Baltimore. “My dad told me one time when I was growing up, if you want something and we aren’t going to buy it for you, make it,” he says.
Gay channeled that directive into his clothing line, which includes T-shirts, shorts, hoodies and sweatpants, all available online for now. If it’s well received, Gay says the merch may grow and even be offered in local stores. Ultimately, though, he says it’s an outlet for personal expression.
Named one of Sports Illustrated’s Fashionable 50 in 2019 for his choice of vibrant colors, Gay’s reputation as someone with an eye for style has grown since he joined the Spurs in 2017. He attended Fashion Weeks in Milan and New York City during the last year and even walked as part of a Romeo Hunte show in New York.
The 33-year-old downplays the attention, adding that he selects looks for leaving the locker room based partly on the climate outside. He anticipated spending the spring helping the Spurs make their final push for an NBA Playoff spot, but instead transitioned to training from home, helping his wife homeschool and entertain their boys and binging the occasional Apple TV show—all while remaining comfortable stylish.