New book explores connection between basketball and fashion

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Mitchell Jackson has been an NBA fan for as long as he can remember. When the opportunity to write a book about the intersection of basketball and fashion arose, he jumped at the chance. The book, titled “Fly: The Big Book of Basketball Fashion,” explores this connection.

Jackson said in the 1970s and 1980s, social media wasn’t around. This made it hard for fans to see their favorite players dressed up unless it was posed images. Former NBA Commissioner David Stern changed the game again when he instituted a dress code in 2005. Social media has helped make basketball fashion an industry.

Now you see basketball players with collaborations and sponsorships by high-end fashion brands as well as a movement towards bringing attention to racial injustices through clothing.

Jackson joined Arizona Horizon to give us the scoop on his newest book.

“I loved fashion, I would get into my uncle’s closet and try on stuff, as well as look at magazines,” Jackson said. “Years later when I started to write, I began writing about basketball, this was a book that was in my pantheon.”

According to Jackson fashion requires the person to have information about what the trends are. Fashion also mirrors the culture because it’s shaped by cultural forces, political and social.

One of the earliest pictures of the book was of Walt Frazier, a 2-time NBA champion and 7-time All-Star.

“There was an era, I called it the era of flamboyance, he really represented that, like a new freedom after the civil rights movement,” Jackson said.

Mitchell S. Jackson, Author of "Fly: The Big Book of Basketball Fashion"

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