Last week, NBA All-Star Weekend wasn’t the only thing that had New York City buzzing: it was also Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week. Of course, we were in the building for one of the sickest fashion shows styled by Chicago Sky’s newest point guard Cappie Pondexter’s style management company.
Cappie founded 4Season Style Management with her stylist, Lisa Smith-Craig, a few years ago to help other athletes navigate and find their own sense of style. It has quickly grown, branching off into brand management, editorial, working with designers during New York Fashion Week, and styling hosts and guests on “BET’s 106 and Park”. Although Cappie is currently playing overseas in Australia this off season, Lisa and the rest of their team are steering the ship forward, working with designer Laurel DeWitt to showcase her latest collection during NYFW. Laurel is known for her intricate metal piece work and the unconventional way she transforms it into wearable art. In this recap below, we captured some of the behind-the-scenes preparation that went into the show. Modeling in this show were actress Amber Rose, and Kasseem Dean, Jr., son of singer Mashonda and rapper/producer Swizz Beatz:
After the show, we had a brief conversation with Lisa, where she told us all about 4Season Style, how she got on board with Laurel DeWitt, and some of the projects that they are working on. We also touched base on Cappie’s work ethic, and she even shared some styling tips for other athletes:
What was your inspiration behind 4 Seasons Style Management?
“It started out initially as a place where we could service athletes. A lot of times, athletes can’t find what they want in stores, etc. So she, as an athlete, she knew how frustrating that was, and I was her stylist. So basically, she was like ‘Wait a minute….so….let’s do this formula. It worked for me, so let’s take this formula to the other athletes.’ And all of a sudden, athletes started wanting more. They wanted us to develop websites for them, wanting us to help them with a clothing line. So basically, it’s evolved. I’ve always been a stylist, always liked more editorial, but now we’re getting more commercial. We’re actually working on television. We do a little bit of everything.”
I noticed that you’ve done some work during Fashion Week last year, as well styling some of the hosts of “106 and Park”. Could you talk a little bit about how you got into those ventures, and how you got in with this show in particular?
“Laurel is someone that I’ve always admired as a designer. That’s one thing: as a designer, you want to align yourself with designers who have your point of view. Immediately when I saw her pieces, I sought after her, and I kept pulling pieces. I started getting in on magazines and getting in on different celebrities. So then, she’s like ‘You understand me.’ When you look at the pieces, a lot people say ‘Why are you wearing a metal dress?’ But she was like ‘Since you know me so well, why don’t you come along and be my creative director?’ So that’s how I got with Laurel. And you know, people started seeing my work, and then I was called to BET to actually style the host on the show. Cappie and I worked side-by-side on that while she was here before she went overseas, and that was great fun too. We did the awards, we did BET Honors, so it was pretty great.”
Cappie is a leader on the court. She’s very aggressive. One of the best ball-handlers and point guards in the WNBA and overseas as well. How’s her style as far as being a co-owner? Does she bring some of that leadership and that aggressiveness into her work here?
“Cappie is a leader wherever she goes, whether it’s on-the-court, off-the-court. And one thing that I have to say is that I miss her when she’s traveling, because we kind of complement each other. When I’m getting a little nervous, then she steps in. When she starts getting a little uncomfortable, then I step in. Basically, she has a different eye. We both have different points of view and they meet at a mutual point.”
She seems like a very hands-on person also.
“She is, she is. I’m the kind of person that would, perhaps, say something the politically correct way. She’ll say it like ‘No. That doesn’t work.’ (laughter). So it goes together.”
What are some of the things that you guys are looking forward to doing in the near future, potentially when Cappie comes and starts her season here in the United States? What are some of the things that you are looking to do?
As soon as she comes back, we have to do what we call “Athlete Re-Ups”. So basically, a lot of the players want to get in a lot of magazines, so we do their re-ups, which are branding photo shoots. We actually have a lot of music videos that are ready to go. Soon as Cappie comes, sky’s the limit.”
Who are some of the athletes that you work with? I noticed that you’ve worked with Essence Carson, Tina Charles, and Plenette Pierson. Who else are you working with?
“We also have Quanitra Hollingsworth. We have Ebony Hoffman. We have a few players that are in the midst of signing. We also have a new player, Michelle Campbell, she just signed over the last couple of months. Sometimes some players want to be discreet. They don’t want people to know that they have a stylist in place, and we respect that. And some are very open about our image development.”
For women out there who are athletic, who may have an athletic build, or just that kind of style, and they want to branch out of their comfort zone, what kind of tips would you give?
“One thing is to not sell yourself short. A lot of times, once you go into a store and you can’t find something in your size, you give up. If there’s one thing, you can start with your basics. Get your basics right, you know, your bottoms, T-shirts, jeans. If you can get your basics right, you can always add a jacket, add a scarf. Those are simple things that can change an outfit.”
Now if someone who may not be athlete wants to possibly use your services, in what way can they possibly do that?
They can reach out to us. Our website is 4seasonstylemanagement.com. You can always get us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And you can get me at email@example.com.
(Also check them out on Twitter and Instagram @4SeasonStyleMgt.)
(Photo Credit: 4Season Style Mgt.)