Pro Player Insider and designer Joelle Allen talks sports and style in an interview with Rose Mutombo, wife of former NBA great Dikembe Mutombo. Joelle caught up with Rose shortly after the 2012 Olympics in London, so they got a chance to discuss NBA players and USA Basketball, as well as the London Fashion scene.
Rose’s husband Dikembe, at 7-foot-2 and 260 pounds, was one of the most feared shot-blockers in the NBA. He won the NBA Defensive Player of the Year four times and led the NBA in blocks three times. He was an eight time All Star in his 18-year career that included playing with the Nuggets, Hawks, 76ers, Nets, Knicks and Rockets.
PPI: What game or moment was the most memorable for you from the London Olympics?
Rose Mutombo (RM): That is a very good question. For me it was watching the track field runner Lolo Jones. I have followed her from months ago about her back surgery and because of my medical background I was anxious to see how will she was going to perform at the Olympics.
I watched her come first at the semifinal qualification of the 400 meters at the Olympics. It was important for me because it encourage me to believe in medicine and also to accept that we live in a nation that provides some of the best medical procedures in the world. Being there to watch that happen and seeing how well she did in spite of her back surgery was a turning point for me.
PPI: Which players have you and your husband become the closest to on this Olympic team?
RM: There wasn’t one particular player. I was cool with couple of the players. I chatted quite often with Deron Williams, Chris Paul. Since we stayed at the same hotel with both the men and women on the USA Basketball team, we all became like a big family. We saw each other every day, we ate breakfasts and dinners together every day. I interacted pretty much with most if not all of our players and the coaches daily. It was an honor for me and my family.
Unfortunately, I don’t take picture with the athletes (just self-discipline, since I am the wife of a veteran athlete, I know better).
My husband, after playing in the NBA for so long and just recently retired, he remain pretty close to most of these younger players at the Olympics. I watched my husband interact with these great athletes such as LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Deron Williams, Tyson Chandler, Kobe Bryant, Anthony Davis… They all have such a great level of respect for my husband.
FASHION IN LONDON:
RM: At the Olympic games, most of us wore casual clothes, given the weather in London during that time of the year. There was a lot of rain and grey skies, so we mostly wore comfortable jeans and tennis shoes to the games. But since our hotel was located in the center of London and surrounded with high-ends stores and boutiques, I would say that I found my top stylish outfits on the street of London.
PPI: Who was wearing the outfit?
RM: Just watching people walking in the street, I was fascinated to see how much they love colors in London and particularly with mixing floral textured fabrics.
PPI: What made the outfit fashionable?
RM: The way that they put it together, mixing different patterns and colors using for example a blazer or a jacket to break the colors and coordinate the outfit. Also there are these shoes that were very popular – they look like tap dance shoes. Westwood in London make a lot of these shoes and it was as if the ladies from all over were wearing them. I don’t know if it’s something that I can pull together to wear and I hardly find such looks here in the States, but they put that together very beautifully and you can see royalty reflecting in the way that they dress in London.
PERSONAL STYLE QUESTIONS:
PPI: What is your current go-to fashion must have?
RM: Wow, that’s a good question! There are so many out there these days but my personal go-to fashion pieces are hand bags. There is this Burberry handbag that is called Orchard, I prefer it in suede color, I came across it while in London and I am not really in to Burberry but that one is a must have for this Fall.
Also the new Gucci purse Fall 2012. It has a finishing of fur texture, and it comes in black pony and black leather shoulder. The black leather is the one I prefer.
Finally is a Celine hand bag that came out a little earlier this past summer but still has lots of success, it is definitely must have. It has 3 variation forms of solid leather, suede and metallic pieces. These are my current fashionable must have pieces.
With clothing, my opinion is that they are no particular dresses, pants or top that I think of as a must. I am more into the currents color trends of the season. For example, this Fall my favorites color trends are military green, burgundy and metallic bronze. I go with colors first, then I make them work together into outfits that work for my wardrobe.
PPI: What store do you find yourself shopping at most for you and for your husband?
My husband is very tall. He is 7-foot-2 and half, so he mostly wears made by measures and for casual clothes Big and Tall is where he shops. I am not very picky with clothes. Most of my clothes are from my top two high-end stores – Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. I also love to shop international designers such as Karen Miller. I like their dresses and skirts, they are very feminine and colorful.
For casual I go to store such as BCBG, DNKY, I also like Vince Kamoto tops and blouses. Armani has the best jacket, my definite favorite.
For shoe shopping, I love Yves Saint Laurent in Houston, Texas. Boutique, Fendi and Gucci, of course. Harrod’s department store in London is my favorite place to shop. I also like Boutique by Jaeger (Jaeger Brand) and Royal Chicks Clothing from Boutique the Sting, so in London those are my favorite places to shop.
Written and Interviewed by Joelle K Allen , Designer/owner, IJO designs inc, www.ijo.ca
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