An entrepreneur finds his niche in the street-style world of pro b-ballers.
Profile by Steve Root
Since childhood, Chad Avery had a passion for fashion and always wanted a career doing “something” with clothes and style. What he couldn’t have known was that “something” would entail a mash-up of street-style-savvy baller NBA players and a little thing called the internet, which was only a twinkle in the eye of the masses.
But serendipity is one clever matchmaker. Flash-forward to 2016 when Avery was working as a production manager for the NBA, wrangling events like the All-Star Game, Global Games and the draft, and he had a lightbulb moment: With young players rolling up to each game decked in designer wear, why not create an online space celebrating their style?
Thus, Fashion Fits was born, a social media feed solely dedicated to photos of pro-baller fashion. Now, Avery is setting his sights even higher than the basketball net and working to launch a fashion line of his own.
Here, Avery offers some insights and tips on building your own unique brand — from lightbulb moment to product line and beyond.
You have to just take your shot
“The NBA wasn’t focusing on what the players were wearing when they arrived at the games, they were just focused on what was happening on the court. I thought, ‘no one’s doing anything with this,’ so I started the account and it’s grown over the years. I’ve been able to connect with some of the players, do interviews, talk with them about fashion, do tours of their closets and many other things, and now I’m launching my own clothing line. My goal is to take over the sports fashion world before all of the big companies step in and try to put their stamp on it.”
Making pro-baller fashion accessible to the every fan
“I like to highlight on my website what the players are actually wearing and break it down by label and price and then show the total cost of the outfit, say $3,000, for example. But then, since my followers probably aren’t rich like the players, I’ll give the ‘Balling on a Budget’ version where I try to find the same outfit but more of a pocketbook-friendly version, so you’ll get a similar outfit for maybe $200 or $300.”
Know your audience! And give them what they want
“I can tell from comments that I have a mix of basketball fans and fashion fans, but it leans more to the latter. The players are very influential with what they put on. Fans will see their idol, some cool basketball player wearing something, and it gives the sense of, ‘oh, if they’re wearing it, it’s cool, so I wanna wear it.’ So, it’s a mix of people who love basketball and those who love the street culture that comes along with basketball.”
Put your passion into action
“I’m very passionate about fashion, so all along, the plan has been to start the account, grow it as big as I can, then start my fashion line, then send it to all the players, have them wear it, then post them wearing it and just kind of own the whole market! I’m not there yet, but I’m on my way.
I started with a simple black T-shirt and then broadened to the Forever Fitted Collection, which launched with an acid wash T-shirt and bandana-print shorts, and up next will be Cozy Crew sweats and pants in an array of colors.
I manufacture overseas, so that’s meant countless days of me staying up all night working with people on the other side of the world. It takes a long time, it’s super frustrating, the communication is challenging. I do the packaging, the fulfillment, the shipping … it’s me doing everything.”
Chad Avery’s 3 Biggest Tips for Creators
New York City-based Chad Avery built a following reporting about and commenting on the street style of NBA players in @NBAFashionFits. More recently, Avery started Fashion Fits, where he plans to design and sell his own line of cozy crew looks.