“I’m very particular as to who I pick as clients,” Calyann Barnett told us when we talked to her in the midst of her insane schedule. Just weeks before she was styling her client Rajon Rondo for his American Express “Off the Court” series video where the Boston Celtic talks about his love of fashion. And just days before our interview –like 48 hours before– she was in labor with her adorable son, Prince.
In the business for seven years, Barnett has garnered a roster of clients that include Nicki Minaj, Dwyane Wade, Keyshia Cole, Usain Bolt and, of course, Rondo. For our interview we chatted about menswear trends, working with famous athletes and the NBA’s new partnership with American Express. “It’s great that American Express decided to do ‘Off the Court’ because with Rajon his thing is fashion and you get to see another side of him. It also appeals to fans who may be afraid to show their other passions.”
On how Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo’s style differ: “Dwyane’s style is very unpredictable, his biggest thing is wanting it to fit well. Rajon’s look is collegiate fresh, it’s very age appropriate. He’s the cool guy around campus. You see it when he plays basketball, it’s an extension of being on the court– ‘I’m that man.’”
When athletes say they’re “into fashion” to what extent do they mean that: “Some guys… when they say it, they mean it. With Rajon and Dwyane, I can say how much they’re into fashion. If they could go to the stores and go shopping for themselves on a regular basis, they would. But they can’t, so that’s where I come in. I’m an extension of them.”
On Rondo’s style evolution: “He got an internship at GQ and from there he wanted to know more. Learning how to put patterns together and dress more stylish fed his passion. He became this student and realized you can show your personality through how you dress.”
Read more of our interview with Barnett on the next page.