WNBA star Swin Cash, 36, was selected as one Sports Illustrated’s inaugural “Fashionable 50” and graces the cover of the coveted issue. She ranks among Russell Westbrook, Victor Cruz, Serena Williams and Misty Copeland, who are also considered the most stylist athletes in sports.
“I’ve always dabbled back and forth between the fashion and sports worlds because when I was 14-years-old I had the opportunity to walk in New York Fashion Week,” she tells SI, “…then I went on to play basketball in college and now in the WNBA. Because I am 6-feet tall, I’ve always had to be creative and versatile with my clothes. I love to come to games dressed from head to toe, but I also work in TV as a commentator. So I can do that classic look or I can pull off an elegant dress for a black tie event. Or I can be tomboy chic at a football or basketball game. I love that I can be this chameleon and my fashion can really transcend through the different avenues and areas I work in.”
Read what she said to rolling out.
Describe how you felt when you were shooting for the cover of Sports Illustrated.
I was very humbled and honored they picked me for one of their inaugural covers for the ‘Fashionable 50.’ I’ve been in Sports Illustrated before but I was dressed in uniform for a game. I would never have dreamed going into my 15th WNBA season I would be gracing the cover like this.
What did you learn about yourself during this SI photo shoot?
I miss the grind of long hours being on set to get that one shot. I modeled when I was younger and it was a lot of fun. It was an artistic outlet for me. I eventually chose sports and committed to that for the long haul. So shooting for the cover of SI really brought things back full circle for me.
Why is it important for women to project classic and strong images?
I think it’s important for women to be the authors of our own stories and to show the beauty we possess inside and out. I say this all the time, how can we expect the next generation to learn if we aren’t the ones showing and teaching them? I want my nieces to see me as a woman who embraces her authentic self. I never feel the need to be the “baddest” chick as many like to say. I like to be the baddest me.
How would you describe your look on the cover?
I actually styled myself for the cover, which is a funny yet long story for another day. But I knew once I saw the dress I would know. I knew we were going to shoot on the streets of Harlem and so I chose the theme “Glam meets Street.” I could have easily selected Tomboy chic, but I felt that was too easy and typical. When I saw this red Michael Kors dress, I just knew [it was the one.] Immediately I went to Google and saw it on a model from the Michael Kors 2016 runway show. I smiled and said to myself, “Spanish Harlem won’t be expecting this look…let’s do it!” I paired the dress with a pair of my own Vince suede heels with an ankle strap, a black wraparound belt, gold hoop earrings and small gold bar chain. Then I felt ready … like Beyoncé commanding the ladies to get in formation!
How has being a TV correspondent helped with the fashion shoot with SI?
Being on TV helps me out in many ways. I understand how things will be viewed and reported. That’s why I was very deliberate in making sure as an African American woman this cover was reflective of who I am. I have different talents and interest beyond just the game of basketball that I’ve been blessed to play. I don’t believe as female athletes we should be put in a box, so that’s why I’ve spent my whole career proving people’s stereotypical box of a female athlete doesn’t exist in my world.
How would you describe your fashion style?
My style is very versatile. Whatever I’m wearing will never look like I’m trying to be fashionable. That’s just not me. I feel I can go from the girl next door in my Nike sweats to Tomboy chic in the streets of NYC, to the cover of Vogue in couture and not miss a beat. I’m not saying this in a cocky way at all. My mother raised me with the mindset that you “wear the clothes, the clothes don’t wear you.” I mean seriously, I’ve seen people wearing designer clothes from head to toe and they look a mess. It costs a lot of money so they think it matters. But to me it doesn’t.
Name a few of your favorite designers from head-to-toe?
Shoes – I’m a big Stuart Weitzman fan. I wear a size 11 or 11.5 in heels and SW always come through for me with fashionable ones. Also Vince, Jimmy Choo and Sam Edelman. Clothing – Ted Baker, Helmut Lang, Robert Rodriguez J brand jeans Top Shop (tall) My dream would be to partner with a designer or store like Top Shop to do a signature tall line for women and girls. I am asked all the time where do I find clothes because of my height and body type. Tall women love to dress fly too and everyone, I would love to do a collaboration like that one day soon.
What colors are you rocking for this spring season and why?
Right now I’m loving shades of blue I’m not sure why but it’s sticking. I just wore a blue Herve Leger dress to the SI party and I just loved the color.
What new fashion designers have you found interesting enough to consider purchasing?
I’m looking now. New York is the place to be especially for young vibrant designers to find.
What Hollywood celebrities’ fashion sense do you appreciate right now?
I really love how J Lo constantly slays the red carpets and magazines with ease.
Kerry Washington is always classic.
Zendaya is one my favorites and my nieces too. Her beauty shows inside and out.
What was it like to be a part of the First Family and NBA project during the Easter program?
It’s always an honor to get asked to participate with POTUS at the annual Easter Egg Roll at the White House. I’ve met POTUS a few times but this time was really special because my family was with me. President Obama was so kind to take pictures with us and give us some encouraging words. I’m going to miss the first family. The President and his family will leave a legacy of hope for our country.
Finish the Sentence.
Three things that I must have when I travel…
Phone, phone chargers and backup phone charger lol
A winning is…
What I strive to do daily, be the best me.
Driving toward success is like driving to score because…
There may be some bumps along the way, but the strong always finish.
When young girls see my image I want them to…
Know that being a female athlete doesn’t limit you in any way. Be un-apologetically fearless.