We Need to Talk about Serge Ibaka’s Closet

The Congolese professional basketball player lives for custom suits and Gucci. Toronto.

By: Noah Lehava
Styling: Jodi Taylor, Noah Lehava
Photography: Renée Rodenkirchen

Its slightly ironic that we ~finally~ made our way into Toronto Raptor, Serge Ibakas closet just a day before he packed up his things from Toronto to head south to Miami and New York, last year. (As you know, COVETEUR HQ resides in the great white north). Ibaka is a bit of a nomad—just ask him where his home base is, and hell tell you in his soft, deep Lingala-Spanish cadence, everywhere. Although, the pro athlete always considers Brazzaville, Congo, his true home. 

It’s his upbringing in the Republic of Congo that he credits for his love for well-made pieces. The style [in the Congo] is very elegant. Everyone wants to be recognized. Theres a lot of color,” he quipped. It all made sense the moment he stepped out in an impeccably tailored, custom (not sure if you know what 6’10” looks like in person, but it’s *tall*) mint-green suit and caramel wing-tipped shoes. He was very dapper indeed. 

That love for style is something he hoped to capture with the African-print shirts he designed in collaboration with Alba to raise proceeds in support of his namesake foundation, Serge Ibaka Foundation, that helps empower youth. And when it comes to his off-duty (er, off-court) sartorial affinities, he unboxed an entire collection of sustainably sourced beaver-felt Nick Fouquet hats, Lanvin leather jackets, and Dior denim for us to play. Hell be the first to tell you his personal wardrobe has come a long way. 

Click through to see more of Ibakas favorite pieces, more on how hes hoping to build his foundation and to find out who his dream designer collaboration would be with.