Hooping at All-Star Weekend with Canada Goose and Union LA’s Chris Gibbs
All anybody could talk about over the course of All Star Weekend in Salt Lake City, Utah, late this February was 6’2 G League point guard Mac McLung’s dazzling (and unexpected) victory at the slam dunk competition on Saturday night. During the day, however, all anybody could talk about was a spectacular installation in the middle of the NBA Crossover fan event at the city’s Salt Palace convention center downtown — namely, the huge, exclusive Canada Goose pop-up that saw A-list celebrities and basketball legends mingling with enthusiastic fans.
Canada Goose had every reason to be the talk of the weekend, with the brand debuting a hotly anticipated new NBA-themed collection designed by acclaimed fashion designer Chris Gibbs, of the legendary streetwear label Union Los Angeles. The collection, which features reversible bombers, colourful liners, winter-weather coats, and striking fleece vests, among other pieces, was on full display not only throughout the installation, but also on many of the NBA Crossover attendees, who could hardly wait to don this exclusive wear.
We were lucky enough to get a first-hand glimpse of the All-Star action, shooting hoops with fans at many of the Crossover pop-up events — including a hugely exciting game of H.O.R.S.E. that Canada Goose organized and which came with a hefty grand prize for daily winners — and meeting some of the top NBA talent on hand to talk about their love of Canada Goose. Leading Canadian hooper Shai Gilgeous-Alexander of the Oklahoma City Thunder, who many are calling one of the top candidates for this year’s Most Improved Player award, shook hands and snapped photos with guests, while Chicago Bulls legend Joakim Noah loomed large in some of the best pieces from the collection.
Chris Gibbs himself was a constant fixture of the pop-up, meeting with sneakerheads and streetwear buffs who could spot the iconic figure from across the room. The beloved guru of the ’90s who helped usher in a new, more prestigious era of streetwear talked about his love of basketball, his passion for quality clothing, and how he’s always been incredibly selective about collaborations, turning down more vastly clients than he accepts. You could see this discerning aspect manifest itself in the clothing, which brings that care and knack for detail to coats and liners with serious technical merit. “A lot of designers are interested in ideas and concepts, but for me it’s always about the design first and foremost,” Gibbs told us.
It was such a bustling and vibrant atmosphere at the Canada Goose activation that it was the ideal way to get excited about the All-Star game proper. On Sunday night, the league’s biggest and most talented stars took the floor at the Vivint Arena to face off under the aegis of Team Lebron and Team Giannis, with Jayson Tatum of the Boston Celtics in particular going off to land a record-breaking 55 points during the game. It was a spectacular enough performance to make you yearn for another crack at the game of H.O.R.S.E. back at the Crossover — the only time all weekend where even the humblest fan had a shot at looking like an All Star.