Hugo Boss & Sharp
The defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors are not short of fan favourites. But on such a stacked team, Serge Ibaka might rank highest of all. The 6’10” Congo-born forward isn’t just a star on the court — he’s a social media icon, a YouTube sensation, and an absolute style legend, routinely pulling off some of the biggest tunnel fits in the league. We caught up with him as he headed to Florida for the NBA playoffs and a defence of the title.
How are you preparing for life in the NBA bubble?
By being mentally prepared and staying focused. It is a different environment but you need to follow your routines and keep working on the court.
What role do you think sports plays in the world right now?
Being as privileged as we are as professional athletes we can never forget that there are a lot of people around the world that have suffered and will suffer from this crisis. If we can bring joy and entertainment to fans during this time then I think we can have a positive impact.
What will it take for the Raptors to repeat the title?
To keep doing what we have done all season. We know what it takes to win and we are not worried about anyone’s opinions.
What have you learned — about yourself, about the city, about life — since achieving that goal last summer?
I’ve learned that the Raptors are Canada’s team and that we have the best fans in the world. Personally, it’s a culmination of a long journey, one that I want to use as inspiration for the youth to tell them that anything is possible.
Who are your heroes?
What advice or words of wisdom do you have for kids who are getting into the game?
To respect the game, not take shortcuts and listen to their coaches. They need to have a vision of where they want to be and be passionate enough to put in the work consistently.
How do you unwind off the court these days? What are your reading/listening to/cooking?
I listen to a lot of Afro beats music. And I am reading Macolm Galdwell’s Talking to Strangers.
One of the things you’ve made your own on IG is the hashtag “#avecclasse.” What does that mean to you?
It means carrying yourself with class. How you present yourself to other people can have a great impact. It is also fun to play with fashion. Also how you interact with other people.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like to say I do Art, because it’s a creative thing. You can play around with fashion and style. You are expressing yourself.
What do you like to wear on game days? On days off?
On game days I like to think about what I will wear beforehand, but when I start to get dressed I improvise depending on how I’m feeling. It’s creative so sometimes I dress up and sometimes I dress down. On days off I’m pretty laid back and comfortable.
What do you like about Hugo Boss suiting? What does it say about you?
I like the fit and the clean lines.
Who are your style icons?
Again, my dad. Also all the Congolese sapeurs that make of fashion their life.
What do you want to do next?
I want to keep winning on the court and creating off of it.
Serge’s Style Picks
Serge Ibaka knows how to make a statement. Whether that’s with his play on the court or his style on nights off, he’s one of the most elegant players in the league, always full of good humour and grace. Here, we break down some of the latest Hugo Boss pieces that really showcase his sense of style.