Style

What happens when players’ kids hit the All-Star fashion runway? They upstage their dads.

We can’t imagine a cuter scene during NBA All-Star week than the one that went down Friday night at Founder’s Hall in Charlotte, where basketball stars like like Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul sat giddily as their offspring strutted and sashayed down the runway.

Other stars’ kids also shined P. Diddy’s teen girls were there, although dad was not. Former baseball player Carlos Beltran brought his two daughters and a son. And ex-Carolina Panther Thomas Davis and his wife, Kelly, had their four kids, who seemed to feel right at home at a fashion show.

The invitation-only event, attended by some 450 guests and hosted by kids’ fashion retail company Rookie USA, featured clothes from brands like Jordan, Converse and Nike.

But nobody cared about the clothes, because of how gaga they were over the tykes, who clearly have been watching their parents work red carpets since they were in utero.

Greg and Kara Olson practically jumped out of their seats at the very tip of the runway when their children, Tate, Talbot and T.J., walked and pivoted in front of them.

And who could blame them? Daughter Talbot seemed to know exactly how to work the crowd when she walked to the end of the runway and flipped the hood of her purple hoodie off her head.

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One of of P. Diddy’s twin daughters, right, walks down the runway with other participants at Friday evening’s 2019 Rookie USA Fashion show at Founders Hall. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

P Diddy’s daughters (twins D’Lila Star and Jessie James, and older sister Chance) were clearly veterans of the fashion show game, blowing kisses, striking poses and holding hands with younger tykes who needed a little extra coaching down the runway.

The front row was a Panthers off-season reunion of sorts, with the Olsons, the Davises, defensive tackle Kyle Love, and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn cheering their kids on.

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Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles with her granddaughter Ayra Alexander. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

When the son and daughter of Houston Rocket Chris Paul and wife Jada Crawley hit the runway, their parents whipped out their cell phones and flashed wide smiles. Son Christopher dribbled a small basketball up and down the runway.

Chris Paul, born in Winston-Salem, told the Observer on the pre-show red carpet he was happy to be bringing the family to Charlotte for All-Star week. “It’s always nice to be close to home,” he smiled.

Thomas Davis’ wife, Kelly, said the family-centered event was a sweet departure from the adults-only invites the pair usually gets. “Normally for events like this, it’s just Thomas and I doing everything. So for the kids to be able to be involved, it’s great.”

So is the Davis family into fashion?

“I think the whole crew is, minus me. I”m the only one,” Kelly Davis laughed. Piped Davis’ daughter: “She’s super cheap, on top of that!”

The only athlete to walk the runway was perhaps one of the best known in the room: Oklahoma City Thunder’s Westbrook.

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NBA star Russell Westbrook and his son Noah Westbrook at Friday evening’s 2019 Rookie USA Fashion show at Founders Hall. Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

His son, 1-year-old Noah, is clearly inheriting his dad’s height (he came up to the top of his dad’s legs). Noah walked the entire length of the runway holding his dad’s hand, but when it came time to do the final runway walk with the entire cast, dad scooped him up and held him on his left hip. a tiny basketball perched under little Noah’s arm.

And what could be cuter than that?

Cristina Bolling writes about Charlotte culture for The Charlotte Observer and most enjoys introducing readers to interesting people doing interesting things. In addition to writing about the region’s style and fashion scene, she also covers topics ranging from the arts to immigration.
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