Kyle Kuzma on New York Fashion Week, his infamous pink sweater and more

By now, you’ve probably heard the NBA pre-game tunnel being compared to a fashion show. Of course, it’s become a bit of a cliché when it comes to discussing the relationship between basketball and fashion and it’s probably hard to find many similarities between the Louvre Oratory and the inner workings of Capital One Arena, but the point is hard to argue when you see some of the eye-catching looks showcased over an 82-game season. And one of the most talked about role models in the NBA pre-game tunnel is Washington Wizards forward Kyle Kuzma.

Since debuting her career in 2017, Kuzma has earned a reputation for her wardrobe that has featured bold choices like cotton candy blue blazers without an undershirt to cargo pants with pockets that extend to the ankles. Perhaps the most memorable outfit came last season when he arrived for a home game in November wearing a pink Raf Simons knit sweater that looked comically oversized even on his 6’9 frame. “. Social media did what social media does. Memes followed and Kuzma’s bubblegum pink threads immediately went viral. He still sees people talking about it almost a year later. He says he will soon be hanging the jersey on his wall, much like you might see other athletes hanging their own jerseys, a fitting choice since he sees it as more than just an item of clothing.

“It’s a work of art. I will never wear this again. It’s not really something you’re going to exhaust,” Kuzma told Complex. “It’s definitely something that will live forever.”

Fast forward to this week and Kuzma wasn’t just turning heads with her outfits in the back lanes of NBA arenas. He was strutting on a real track. On Tuesday night, he took part in Puma’s “Futrograde” presentation that took place at Cipriani’s Great Hall during New York Fashion Week, the first runway presentation for the brand under creative director June Ambrose. Her look was one of the most memorable on the show – a black hoodie layered with a black sequined basketball jersey on top and a floor-length black skirt made of puffer jackets with her flapping octopus-like arms for the lower half. After the show, he took to Instagram to show his love to Ambrose for the “iconic moment.”

“I believe Puma is the ultimate lifestyle brand,” says Kuzma. “Being at the forefront of fashion is something we’re proud of. I’m just very, very grateful to be a part of it.”

Ahead of Tuesday night’s presentation, we got to chat with Kuzma about his ongoing partnership with Puma, his infamous pink sweater, some of his all-time favorite NBA jerseys, and more.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Helen J. Jimenez