Don C on Basketball Culture, Fashion and the Influence of 'NBA 2K' on Both

The Just Don designer discusses leaving his mark on ‘NBA 2K22.’

Gaming
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The influence of basketball culture on designer and Just Don founder Don C‘s creative pursuits is as strong as his roots in his native Chicago. While that connection is obvious in roles like serving as Creative Strategy and Design Advisor for the Chicago Bulls, it also comes through in NBA 2K22, in which his real life designs are available to wear in the virtual world.

“Pretty much everything I do is inspired by basketball culture,” says Don. Like the game itself, he’s a true force operating at the intersection of sports and style. With the release of NBA 2K22, Don C reflects on his relationship with basketball and fashion, and the inseparable dynamic of both in pop culture — a phenomenon that the NBA 2K franchise has tapped into since its inception.

Since the late-‘90s, the many iterations of the now iconic game have uniquely captured the overlap of basketball and fashion, where style and performance execute as seamlessly as an alley-oop. Continuing to evolve in this space, the virtual realm of NBA 2K22 remains an incubator of fashion-forward spectacle. The franchise mirrors the real-world and celebrates the cultural zeitgeist of fashion as protest, representation and an extension of community. “It exposes a lot of people in our community to my brand and to my clothes,” says Don. “The reason that I put the product out there is to communicate and build community…to encourage the people that come after me.”

As one of the pioneering labels that elevates the in-game apparel customization in NBA 2K22, the Just Don brand solidifies its presence in pop culture and within the sport of basketball: “Even the term ‘NBA 2K’…that meant so much. It used to be like ‘2K,’ the year, but now we’ve figured out that [it’s] the brand — it’s for the future.”

Check out the video above to hear more about Don C’s in-game appearance in NBA 2K22 and download the game at NBA 2K‘s website.

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