Towering at 6-foot-10, it was hard to miss Los Angeles Clippers superstar Blake Griffin on Wednesday evening as he hosted a Beverly Hills event with Ermenegildo Zegna in support of Team Griffin, Oklahoma’s premier grassroots basketball vertical powered by Athletes First.
The basketball player, clad in a cobalt blue Ermenegildo Zegna Made-to-Measure suit and To Boot New York shoes, was surrounded by fans and his famous friends alike, including Los Angeles Galaxy player Robbie Rogers, Hand of God actor Julian Morris, Paper Towns star Justice Smith, Empire actor Mo McRae and Coupled star Terrence J — all suited up in designs by the Italian fashion house.
Though Griffin is currently recovering from a knee surgery, the Oklahoma City-born athlete showed no signs of slowing down during the event as he mingled with the well-dressed crowd and chatted with Pret-a-Reporter about his personal style, the one trend he has yet to try and the comedy directors he admires in Hollywood.
Tell me about the made-to-measure suit you’re wearing tonight.
This one just kind of jumped out at me, along with a lot of the other stuff that Ermenegildo Zegna does. I’ve had my fair share of custom suits and this is the one brand — the fit, everything, just goes together. It’s just kind of one of those things that I find myself coming back to.
When you’re picking out a suit or tux for a formal occasion, what’s the one thing you’re constantly looking for?
For me, it’s fit. The fit has to be exceptional. Growing up, I was always wearing my brother’s hand-me-downs, so nothing ever fit me. I told myself whenever I have my own money and my own choice with what I get to wear, it’s always going to fit me correctly. Obviously the fabric has to be great. Zegna’s fabric is unparalleled — it can’t really match with anything else.
Do you work with a stylist?
I do — Maya Krispin. She’s somewhere around here.
What’s the best style tip you’ve gotten from her?
I think she just knows my style really well and I think my style is classic. I don’t like to do too many bold things. I like to do a little bit of boldness, but mixed in with a classic look. You don’t have to do something crazy to stand out.
How about for your everyday go-to look?
My everyday go-to style is a lot more casual. I like to wear suits to games but during the day, going to the gym, I’m in my workout gear. Then if I’m going to lunch meetings, I like to keep it somewhat casual — short-sleeved button-ups, jeans and sneakers.
Any brands that you tend to gravitate to?
Suit-wise, obviously Zegna. Shoes are a big thing for me, just because it’s hard to find shoes that fit me correctly. Anytime I can find a brand that makes my size and fits me well … I love Common Projects, Del Toro — there’s a ton of different brands, but I kind of like to mix and match.
Is there one trend that you just can’t get behind?
It’s not that I dislike it, but I haven’t really gone with the huge holes in jeans. (Laughs.) I don’t mind one or two here [pointing at his knees], but I haven’t ventured out into the huge ones.
The Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers are playing tonight — what are your thoughts so far about the NBA Finals?
The first two games were a little surprising. As a basketball player, it’s hard to sit down and root for a team when you play against these guys, so I root for watching good games and the series. It hasn’t been the best series, but I’m hoping that will turn around.
I’ve read before that you would consider going into production in the future — is that something you’re still thinking about?
Absolutely. It’s something that I’ve taken a big interest in over the years and kept my eye on. Whenever I do things like that, I like to get in from the ground floor. I don’t want to skip any steps. I want to learn all about it, taking classes. Things like that are big for me because I want to respect the process of how everyone got to where they are. That’s kind of my stance on it now. It’s definitely something that I’m still very, very interested.
Any directors that you really admire in the industry?
I’m a huge comedy guy. One of my favorite comedy directors right now is Judd Apatow. I just feel like he shaped a lot of my life. Just from watching all his stuff that he had such an influence on, like Freaks and Geeks to his early stuff. He was such a big Larry Sanders fan — all those things I’ve grown up with, and I still follow him until this day. I read his books. That’s one of many. [Phil] Lord and [Christopher] Miller, who’ve done a great job with 21 Jump Street — there’s all kinds of different guys that I really look up to.
Have you met any of them?
I haven’t met Mr. Apatow. I have met Lord and Miller, and they were amazing. They’re such great guys, super nice, and actually took time out of their day to have a conversation with me, so that was a very cool moment for me.