Hey everyone, Bernie’s back with another edition of Style Stealer. For this edition we’re taking it to the court with fashion inspired by the hit movie White Men Can’t Jump. The 1992 film directed by Ron Shelton centers around two basketball hustlers who meet on the court and learn to work together in order to double their chances of winning money. The movie starring Wesley Snipes, Rosie Perez and Woody Harrelson not only broke the bank at the box office, grossing $14,711,124 in the U.S. during its first week, but also introduced audiences some fresh funky fashion that capsulated the 90’s Venice beach scene.
During the 90’s, a lot of the street fashion trends came from the city of New York, but were starting to gain prominence and popularity on the West Coast. Yep the city of Los Angeles was not always about that Hollywood glam life. As more movies and television shows from Hollywood started to show more diverse and broader perspectives different parts of California viewers got to see life and street culture of our brothers and sisters on the West Coast. The movie White Men Can’t Jump is one of the most prominent examples of this trend. It wasn’t just the clothing that stood out in the movie, the kicks were just as fly and flashy. From the L.A Gear Catapults to the Reebok Pump Omni Zone’s – the film is the perfect representation of early 90’s kicks, proving the movie is just as worth watching for the shoe game as it is for the basketball.
With Sidney Deane (played by Wesley Snipes) and Billy Holye (played by Woody Harrelson) as the main characters of the film they both became the spokespeople for the 90’s streetball culture of Venice Beach with their fresh style. Sidney’s style consisted of biker shorts, sports tanks and cyclist caps epitomized the casual Venice Beach basketball style while Billy Holey’s style consisted of colorful patterned snapbacks, graphic tees and graphic crewneck sweatshirts that consisted of famous sports teams. Holey’s character also introduced the public to a new brand of sportswear that brought colorful and fresh prints, and originality to the game. Zubaz pants originally intended for weightlifters and surfers fast became the pants of choice for the Venice Beach basketball scene after this movie. We also can’t forget the Starter basketball jerseys and the Air Jordans that continued to gain notoriety when it came to street fashion in the 90’s and made even the secondary characters grab the audiences attention.
White Men Can’t Jump introduced the language and fashion of street ball culture to the mainstream. From the full on Yo Momma jokes to Billy and Sidney’s basketball gear there is no doubt that the movie both reflected and inspired 90’s street fashion both on and off the court as well as popularized big name clothing brands that then defined the decade. The movie’s influence on streetball culture and the inspiration it still gives people to this day is exactly why White Men Can’t Jump is our Style Stealer of the week.