OAKLAND — It’s undeniable the Golden State Warriors bring their A-game to the court, but players often also flex their fashion muscles while walking into the locker room before games.
Oakland clothing designer Akintunde “Tunde” Ahmad recently found out one of his creations was worn by Stephen Curry before an NBA Finals game at Chase Center.
Tunde studied abroad in Ghana while a junior at Yale in 2016 while studying journalism and documentary film.
“My background is not in fashion at all. This is something I stumbled into,” said Tunde from his studio in Oakland.
Ade Dehye is his brand. The clothes are made with fabrics straight from West Africa. Each piece is hand-woven, hand-dyed, and even cut and sewn in West Africa.
Tunde says his pieces are rooted in royalty, but recently learned his ranks are rising. Most basketball players turn their game-day arrivals into a little runway as they walk through the tunnel headed to the locker room.
After Game 2 of the NBA Finals, Tunde was surprised to see Curry wearing a royal blue overcoat he designed.
“I actually found out like everybody else, scrolling on social media and it popped up. And I’m like double take, triple take, quadruple take! I was like, ‘That is that!'” said Tunde.
He says fashion and culture from West Africa have been underappreciated for too long. He’s glad it’s getting eyes from people across the country and world.
“On the highest of stages, you have items that are 100% percent manufactured in West Africa and so West African productions, patterns and weaving and all the things that have been overlooked all these years,”
Since the start of the NBA Finals, Curry has been wearing clothes from independent black designers, using his platform to get them some name recognition.
Since then, Tunde says other celebrity stylists and athletes have reached out to him asking about possible collaborations.