In the ’90s, I lived with a roommate in a nice-enough apartment building. We had a doorman, a marble lobby and the location was decent — not too far from the subway — but it definitely wasn’t Park Avenue. One day, I saw a tall, elegant man in the elevator. He was wearing the most expensive-looking pair of men’s shoes that I had seen in my life. I was transfixed by the shoes. The years might have affected my memory, but in my recollection, the shoes were a caramel-colored alligator with a high shine and an ombre effect. I know nothing about sports but, considering the man’s height and his extraordinary shoes, I thought, “This must be a professional basketball player!” Then I considered my merely okayish building and thought, “Well, he can’t be a very successful one if he’s living here.”
Not long after that, I saw the man in the elevator again. He was signing a boy’s basketball, and I peeked at the autograph. It was retired Knicks legend and Hall-of-Famer Walt “Clyde” Frazier. Yeah, I was a little off about the success thing. I still don’t know what he was doing in that mediocre building though. You can do better, Clyde!
Clyde does color commentary for Knicks games. When I’m at the gym, I occasionally see him on one of the televisions tuned to games. He’s still an amazing dresser. This year, I saw him wearing a lavender ensemble that was so beautiful I almost cried. The man isn’t afraid to make a statement. Here are a few of Clyde’s eye-popping looks. Click the photos to go to the sources.
Back in the day, Clyde wore hats with panache.
If I ever see Clyde again, I will ask him to sign the most fashionable thing on my person at that moment. He’s an All-Star in the style stakes! He shouldn’t be signing basketballs. He should be signing Prada shoes.
UPDATED TO ADD: Thanks to Elena of Fabulous Finds for pointing out a fantastic April New York Times story about Clyde’s style (the animal-print suits were custom-made, as are most of his clothes). It mentions an Upper East Side apartment that he’s been in for 30 years. It must be the same building I used to live in! To my relief, the article says he was about to move to Harlem, where he acquired three penthouse apartments. That sounds more glamorous and appropriate to me. Everything about Clyde needs to be glamorous. The story also says Clyde is opening a sports bar at the end of this year. I’m going to be hanging out there, stalking him. I NEED to speak to the man who told the Times, “If your suit is popping, your tie can’t.” That’s my new favorite fashion-related quote. Anna Wintour’s “Ask someone else” has been replaced in my heart after a mere 10 days.