Interview: The Dolce&Gabbana x P.J. Tucker Miami Reignites 90s Hoops
Tuck. Tuck. Boom!
The reigning sneaker king of the NBA, globe-trotting baller P.J. Tucker has laced his sneakers in virtually every corner of the earth. Boasting an eye-watering collection of rare samples and game-worn Grails, Tucker’s prolific vault routinely draws the envy of teammates, opponents and sneakerheads (‘how did you get your hands on that?!’ is a sprawling sentiment on P.J.’s Instagram).
The latest jewel in Tucker’s crown is a collaboration with luxury Italian fashion house Dolce&Gabbana, the two new Miami colourways paying homage to the high-flying era of 1990s basketball. To celebrate the launch of the partnership, we linked-up with P.J. to talk Dolce&Gabbana’s edginess, his own personal style, and his ever-expanding list of influences.
All hail the king!
You’ve played a lot of basketball all over the world, especially in Europe. Has that exposure to different cultures given you a wider appreciation for personal style?
Without a doubt. Being able to play all around the world, being able to see different people in their element, in different countries, I think it all contributes to my total style. Not being locked in to seeing just one way of living, I think that is a big thing in fashion, and also in being able to curate your own style.
How does it feel to be collaborating with a luxury brand like Dolce&Gabbana? Have you always been a fan of the brand?
It’s a dream come true. I have been wearing Dolce&Gabbana throughout my entire adult life. I remember first going to the store in Italy in 2007! To be able to collaborate and do anything with them has been amazing, and a dream come true. I hope everybody enjoys it.
What is it about the Dolce&Gabbana style and aesthetic that you like?
More than anything, their edginess. There are no bounds, there is nothing too big, and everything is limitless with them. They can never take it too far, and I love that. Being able to see and wear pieces with lace and see-through materials. They design styles that most menswear brands wouldn’t do. Taking that risk, that for me is everything.
We see bits and pieces of all kinds of shoes in the Miami. What personally attracted you to that model? Is it all about classic, casual vibes?
It’s all about retro, classic, casual but yet high-fashion. With the material, the suede, it’s all exactly what I had in mind when first starting this process. I love that it’s the most simple yet unique in the way that it’s made. Most simple shoes, like the Reebok Classic, it only has a few bits and pieces and things that you can change about it. But with this Miami sneaker, you can really do so much with it. And to me that makes it classic.
Let’s take it back to the early 90s. Why and how did you revisit that era of basketball for this Dolce&Gabbana Miami colab?
That’s my favourite era. It’s the era that I grew up in, being a kid and seeing everything from fashion to cars, to basketball. For me, everything in the early 90s was so dope. So, to be able to bring that back a little bit in my own way was pretty cool.
The beige is nice and cool, super easy to wear. Talk us through the orange with the mustard laces, and hit us with the colour matching options. What are you wearing head to toe when you go out on the town after a game?
I’m going to be wearing the orange with some short light blue jean shorts, and an oversized really soft mustard-coloured button down with the sleeves rolled up. It feels like a summertime vibe. That’s how I’m wearing it out on the town.
And what would a legit Milwaukee colourway on the Dolce&Gabbana Miami look like? Feel free to go nuts on this one and get super creative!
That’s a good one! It would be retro Milwaukee Bucks purple with the green. That’s easy, that would be for sure the way I would go with that!
The NFT aspect of this campaign is very timely. What do you make of NFTs and how will it work with this collaboration?
I think it’s brilliant and unique – just like everything Dolce&Gabbana does, and like everything I do. That’s what makes this such a great partnership.
And finally, what’s next for the sneaker king P.J. Tucker?
Just keep being myself. Keep being P.J.
To celebrate the launch of the Dolce&Gabbana x P.J. Tucker Miami, 100 pairs signed by P.J. Tucker and paired with an exclusive NFT will be made available on June 29. The collection will also be available online from Dolce&Gabbana on June 29, and in select Dolce&Gabbana boutiques from late-July.