When attending spring training to discuss fashion and style with some of MLB’s biggest players, one name continued to come up when discussing baseball’s best dressed: Matt Kemp.
Don’t think going to San Diego from Tinseltown will change his runway approach to dressing. Kemp has recently reached a new pinnacle for a baseball player by accomplishing what few sports figures have been able to do: Having top designers vying to dress him. It’s hard to deny that the Padres outfielder has become the face of fashion for baseball.
If one was to take a look into Matt Kemp’s closet, they would see a very well-curated selection of designers such as Givenchy, Phillip Lim, Balenciaga, Tom Ford, and Balmain amongst other high-style names. He’s also a self-proclaimed “shoe addict” with a collection that fashion’s biggest stars would envy; it’s stocked with everything from Lanvin to Christian Louboutin to Nike Airs.
Kemp’s love for fashion doesn’t stop with clothes; he also takes pride in his accessories. His closet is brimming with everything from hats by Worth & Worth to an impressive watch collection that includes Rolexes, Hublots and Audemars Piguets.
I was lucky enough to have the chance to catch up with Kemp during a quick break at spring training and got the 411 on his unique sense of style and how it has evolved. He credits his grandmother, who was a seamstress, as the original inspiration for falling in love with fashion.
MK: I don’t discriminate. I love it all! If it looks good, I’ll wear it.
JM: Pop culture really hasn’t shined a light on fashion in baseball as much as basketball or even football. Are you hoping to change that?
MK: It’s a little different for baseball players because we aren’t seen as much as basketball players or football players. You don’t really get to see us when we are dressed up.
JM: The walkway from the car to the arena locker room backstage before the basketball games has become the new runway for menswear.
MK: Exactly — but baseball players have to wear suits when we are on the plane, so no one sees it, and there are no cameras on us when we are arriving to the games.
JM: Baseball players almost have to create their fashion platforms via social media or special events.
JM: You have to wear suits while traveling for the games. Who is your go-to designer for suits?
MK: I love Calvin Klein; that’s one of my favorite designers for suits. I actually just bought 12 new suits from them. I also have a couple of Tom Ford suits that I love.
JM: Are you more of a custom or off-the-rack suit guy?
MK: I have a few custom suits, but I can also go and buy something off the rack and make it nice.
JM: We’ve seen you go through a few different fashion stages while you played in L.A. You went from being a jeans and T-shirt guy to a button-up shirt guy to what we know now as the very stylish Matt Kemp.
MK: Style always changes; you have to continue to evolve your style … like how Kanye continues to change up his look. Now I am getting more into trying more colors.
JM: The one thing Kanye, Dwyane Wade and Russell Westbrook have in common is they are fashion rock stars who aren’t afraid to push the envelope. Will we eventually see you in a pink pants or fish shirt?
MK: Man, Russ is the only guy who can rock that! He lives on the edge; he can do a little more edgy stuff than me. He has tall and skinny body type. I’m a bigger guy.
JM: Do you enjoy getting dressed up and the concept of putting the right things together?
MK: I love it. I love fashion. I love to go shopping.
JM: It seems as though the fashion community has taken a love for you as well. You recently did the Gap ads and a great ad for Oakley. What’s next for you in fashion?
MK: I would love to get with more designers and do some things.
MK: No, baseball is a little different, It’s time demanding during the season and the offseason so I haven’t been able to go (to the New York or Paris shows).
JM : Its almost become a seal of approval now for athletes to land a seat next to Anna Wintour during one of the runway shows.
JM: You have called yourself a “shoe addict” who is your favorite shoe designer?
MK: I actually had to stop buying them because I was buying them in every color and every style. They are my favorite.
JM: You were recently traded to San Diego from L.A., where you were pretty much dubbed Mr. Hollywood.
JM: How has your recent trade from the Dodgers to the Padres affected your style?
MK: It’s different (now). My love for fashion hasn’t changed, but now in San Diego it’s a little more laid back. In L.A. you have to get dressed up to go outside because TMZ or someone is always waiting to take your picture, but in San Diego it’s none of that so I can be a little more relaxed … when I go on the road I’m able to play up my fashion a little more.
JM: Is there anything that you won’t wear?
MK: (Laughing) No open toe shoes
JM: What would Matt Kemp wear if he was going to the grocery store, a basketball game and a movie premiere (where he was walking the red carpet)?
MK: If I was going to the grocery store I would wear a Nike jumpsuit and Nike shoes; for a basketball game I would wear a great pair of jeans and a leather motorcycle jacket, and for a movie premiere, I would wear a nice tux or suit.
Jayneoni Moore is a celebrity fashion stylist and an MTS contributor…story via Sporting News
Photos via Instagram/Matt Kemp