NBA's Hottest Designer Wants to Make More Than Fashion, He Wants to Make Art

Ruth LeeContributor IJuly 27, 2020

B/R

If you follow the fashion-conscious stars of the NBA or NFL, not to mention the likes of Future or Migos, you're sure to have seen the signature logo hoodie of Olivier Rogers' eponymous label, Olivier. The image is bold and modern, with an assertive slant forward.

The same could be said about Olivier himself.

Born on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin (on the French side), Rogers is a self-proclaimed native of Providence, Rhode Island, having grown up there since the age of 12 after a stint in Brooklyn, New York. He doesn't have formal fashion training, but the instinct for the craft is in his DNA.

"I've always been into fashion," Rogers told B/R. "My mom's really into fashion. She always dressed nice. For the most part, I always knew I would either be making clothes or I would be a stylist."

With his natural flair for style, and an understanding that looking good doesn't have to cost you (Rogers is an avid thrift shopper), he eventually started making his own clothes.

"I didn't want to keep spending my money on Raf Simons and all these other brands when I can make my own brand," he said. "... Now I put my money into my own stuff."

So, Rogers started planning. Once he finished high school, he'd build a brand after himself.

He did just that in 2017.

The belief in himself and his steadfast point of view—that style should not be dictated by trendscarries into his pieces. And to Rogers, they are pieces, garments not simply to be worn, but to be displayed, like art, each their own collector's item.

One day in the future, Rogers hopes to showcase all of these works as a collection at New York Fashion Week, and in exclusive boutique stores from Milan to Paris and beyond. He believes Olivier items shouldn't be easy to get because he wants them to increase in value.

Only a few years into his career as a fashion designer, Olivier Rogers has won over a growing list of NBA stars as well as musicians such as Future and Migos.
Only a few years into his career as a fashion designer, Olivier Rogers has won over a growing list of NBA stars as well as musicians such as Future and Migos.Photo courtesy of Olivier Rogers

"I don't want it to be a thing where it's not worth anything later down the line," he added.

For now, the value in owning something from Olivier remains high, thanks to patrons such as Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, Kemba Walker and other NBA tastemakers. Quavo and Tyga were the first to put Olivier on the map in one of the first shirts he ever made. NBA up-and-comers such as Kelly Oubre Jr. and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander keep Olivier in their rotations, and Rogers considers the young Oklahoma City Thunder guard a close friend.

"Shai is a person that definitely believes in my brand," Rogers said. "… We have a lot of the same taste in fashion."

Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, wearing an Olivier hoodie, has become one of Olivier Rogers' most enthusiastic clients.
Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, wearing an Olivier hoodie, has become one of Olivier Rogers' most enthusiastic clients.Getty Images

While he acknowledges that big names both on and off the court cop his pieces, Rogers is quick to point out that this is still the beginning for him. What seems certain is that as the brand expands over time, so will its popularity.

Young NBA prospects like Jalen Green are already in the know when it comes to Olivier. And on Jan. 22, none other than Zion Williamson pulled up to his regular-season debut in a custom Olivier suit, with Rogers' logo printed all over the black-and-blue fit, while inside was a special nod to Zion's Duke roots.

If the future of fashion includes more Olivier, the NBA's young stars are already part of the movement. As Rogers puts it, the "sky's the limit for me."

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