By D'Shonda Brown· Updated September 12, 2022
Just in time for New York Fashion Week, boohooMAN has something special coming for the fellas. Introducing the boohooMAN x O’Neal Brothers Tall edit, a forthcoming launch specially curated by American basketball players, Shaqir and Shareef O’Neal. While capturing each of their unique styles and aesthetics, the 50-piece drop is an ode to brotherhood and unity between the O’Neal brothers. The edit is said to be inspired by the grunge and renaissance trends, according to a press release sent to the ESSENCE team, and will cover a range of on-trend menswear styles, with Tall going up to 2XL, Big going up to 5XL, and inside leg availability up to 36 inches.
“This year, the team wanted to focus on the US market and what was trending over there for us, but we also wanted to make sure it still aligned with the brothers’ personal aesthetic. We introduced key new shapes such as boxy [and] long line silhouettes, which can be layered up for transitional looks. We kept the color palette neutral with pops of red to showcase the playful grunge/renaissance trend,” Shane Chin, boohooMAN’s Head of Design, said in an official statement. “We’re excited to work with both of the O’Neal brothers and believe this collection is a versatile range that will speak to the boohooMAN customer.”
When asked how the collaboration came to be, Shareef admitted that he had the brand on his radar for quite some time, including the time they partnered with his brother for the very first Tall edit in 2021. “I’ve always kept my eye on boohooMAN, mainly because they work with many dope artists I actually know personally. They did a collaboration with Quavo a few years back, and everything that he designed was something that I would wear in my everyday life. That’s when I knew they understood the culture,” he told ESSENCE excitedly. “What really sold me was when they decided to do a partnership with Shaqir last year. When they approached me to be a part of this campaign, there was no way I was saying no.”
According to Shaqir, the boohooMAN team allowed the brothers to be “involved as much as possible” when it came to the creative and design process, which he appreciated as the talent. Shaqir continued, “It was back and forth style guides and visions boards with the brand. Even the location of the shoot was important to us. We had to make sure the collab represented us.” While he describes his personal style as “a mix of high fashion and streetwear” inspired by his personality and culture, his brother identifies with a “very casual” aesthetic. Through the staple pieces featured in their boohooMAN x O’Neal Brothers edit, the upcoming launch perfectly captures the blend of the brothers’ styles.
Although the pieces were already designed, Shareef told ESSENCE that the selection process and creative direction behind the shoot had a lot of input from himself and his brother. “We met with the team on numerous occasions to go through everything. From the outfits to the set and story we wanted to tell all the way to what the gifting looked like, who received it, and the details of the launch event,” he explained. “I’m hopeful there will be a time in the future when we can really sit down and do more of the designing because I have a lot of ideas!”
When asked about the importance of Black male representation, Shaqir noted that Black men aren’t new to this, they’re true to this. “If you know fashion, you know we’ve been setting trends and styles for decades but haven’t always got the recognition. Fashion is about art, culture, and experiences, so we have the opportunity to share our outlook in fashion spaces. It’s important to make our mark on the industry and stay here and stay represented.”
Shareef added, “Having strong black representation in any space is really important. I think that as a culture, everyone is at a point where society can’t hide from the influence that we have on a lot of things – especially fashion [and] style. Before working with any brand, it’ll always be a priority for me to see how they represent black people in the projects that they’ve done. boohooMAN is one of those brands that I believe really gets it right every time.”
The boohooMAN x O’Neal Brothers Tall edit is now available at boohooMAN.com.
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