style file, ballers in the polo mansion

Social intelligence
Ballers In The Polo Mansion

Photo: Joe Corrigan/Getty Images

There was less elbow room than usual at the Polo Mansion last night, what with all the waiters, shop boys, bodyguards, and NBA All-Stars mingling among the tweeds. There was a tennis star, too, and a rapper/designer/entrepreneur/mogul, but the man of the hour was LeBron James (who, perhaps unbeknownst to some of this blog’s fair readers, was famous way before that Vogue cover). Looking dapper in Ralph Lauren pinstripes and rocking some serious bling—”they’re a couple of carats, a couple of carats,” James said modestly when pressed about his ear candy—the Cleveland Cavalier was out in support of his charity, the LeBron James Family Foundation. Despite looking awfully nice in that suit, James claims to have no plans for a future in fashion, or, as he put it, adding “off-the-court urban wear” to his line of basketball apparel for Nike. Sorry, guys.

Now back to that rapper/designer/entrepreneur/mogul. Clad in Tom Ford, Jay-Z explained his choice of attire as such: “I didn’t want to come to Ralph Lauren wearing Ralph Lauren. I thought it was like trying to kiss up.” Of course—we had the same dilemma ourselves. Inspired by all those point guards in the next room, we asked Jay-Z which fellow designer he’d want to challenge to a game of sartorial one-on-one. “Ralph,” he said. Go on. “Because he represents a culture, and I represent a culture. I’d square with him any day. I’d outstitch him any day. You let him know that. You tell him that.” Mr. Lauren, if you’re reading…
—Alison Baenen