WNBA Draft: Caitlin Clark, Angel Reese and the Best Dressed


That is, in the end, why all of this matters. Fashion is the fastest route to personal branding, which leads to influence, which leads to an even bigger stage. Not to mention endorsements, no small consideration given the continuing salary disparities between men and women in professional basketball. (Ms. Clark’s starting salary will be $76,535.)

So there was Ms. Brink, chosen second and going to the Los Angeles Sparks, in a black and white asymmetric Balmain gown with a slit to the upper thigh and a rose on one shoulder. She found the dress with the help of the stylist for the actress and Sweet July founder Ayesha Curry (her husband, Steph Curry, being Ms. Brink’s godbrother).

And there was Alissa Pili, of Samaoan and Indigenous Alaskan descent, who was chosen by the Minnesota Lynx, and who worked with the designer Jason Wu to make a dress that, she said, paid honor to her heritage and the people who got her to the draft. Hence the gold Polynesian print on the skirt and a silhouette cut to showcase the tribal tattoos on her leg and shoulder and, she said, “to represent them on the biggest stage.”

There was a lot of white, not just on Ms. Clark but also on Aaliyah Edwards (No. 6, Washington Mystics), who carried a crystal handbag shaped like a basketball, because, she said, “I always have a ball in my hand,” and Celeste Taylor (No. 15, Indiana Fever).

Also red, on Kamilla Cardoso, the No. 3 pick, going to the Chicago Sky, who wore a sharply tailored suit, and Ms. Jackson, who, taking a page from the Oscar red carpet, swapped the crimson bustier and trousers she had worn on the orange carpet with some Cartier crystal sunglasses for a sparkling silver suit when she took the draft stage.

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