HBO's Ballers is headed back to TV screens Sunday July 23. Costume designer Tiffany Hasbourne dishes on what it's really like to work with the men of the hit show.
At the end of Season 2, Ballers’ main character, Spencer Strasmore, played by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, bared his soul in a humbling, unusual manner. The Spence we grew to love was confident and cocky, but now his clothes were dis-shelved, the buttons of his vest were undone and the pale pink hue of his button-down shirt seemed lackluster. Changing the tempo, the trailer for Season 3 suggests Spencer will shine again - new clients, new fires to douse, new conquests and yes, new custom suits with shiny shoes.
Season 1 of Ballers' has spoiled us. We get to see sports management at its’ stylish best through a series of fictional characters; Spencer, Rickey Jarret, Vernon Littlefield, Charles Greane and Reggie who dons the best "baller" lifestyle due to the expertise of Costume Designer, Tiffany Hasbourne and Co-Designer Robert Mata.
Tiffany Hasbourne has paid her dues, coming up the ranks she began her styling journey working with acts 50 Cent, Nas and French Montana. Understanding that growth is needed within fashion, she accepted an opportunity with Disney that forever changed her life. “I always say that Disney bought me my first house,” says Hasbourne. “I’d traveled the world with 50 Cent and Missy Elliott when I realized that there was so much more for me, I knew I had a bigger purpose within fashion and film. I just didn't know what that was.” Understanding trends within fashion and having a vast knowledge of film and sports, Tiffany was a perfect fit to the vision of Steven Levinson, the creator of “Ballers.” The HBO brand needed someone with a skill set that could transform athletes into "on the go" fashion statements. “When I was called to work on Season 1, it was as an assistant. I learned so much and quickly saw how different, but similar things were in hip hop and Hollywood, it was truly an eye opening experience.”
“We have a cast of eight principle characters and guests stars…shooting in Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Las Vegas,” says Hasbourne. Taking one scene at a time and factoring in all of the scene changes, Season 2’s wardrobe team keeps the wardrobe “amazing and accurate to the lifestyle.” Shoes are a big deal every season, literally and figuratively. The characters are dressed down to their socks. Some of the challenges presented last season included fitting Vernon Littlefield played by Donovan Carters’ character, who was hurt in Season 2. “Donovan was an athlete before being an actor, so we know what brands to go to to style him; of course, he’s still wearing the jewelry and the shoes, but coming off of an injury he was home more in slippers and robes or JD Washington who plays Ricky Jarret could be home cooking in a Chanel robe, having brunch in Alexander McQueen or partying in Balenciaga.”
“Coming from Cuban/West Indian background, I never imagined being apart of 2 hit shows (Hasbourne is the costume designer on the USA hit series "Shooter" based on the Mark Walhberg movie, starring Ryan Phillippe and Omar Epps). Knowing what it takes and staying focused, I encourage those around me. My assistant is now a member of the guild so she is creating her own story at 24 years old".
The Ballers wardrobe has become its’ own character on and off the small screen; taking more risks and exploring the baller lifestyle at its 2017 height. Tiffany and Stephen Levinson came up with the concept of doing a pop up shop before Season 3 shooting began. Spearheaded by SVP of Multicultural & International marketing — Lucinda Martinez and HBO executed this vision and Season 3 is hosting a Ballers Pop Up Shop, July 21st and July 22nd in Los Angeles collaborating with five designers represented this season, ROC96 X MadeWorn, Pyer Moss, Buscemi, Cazal and Hall of Fame on a co-branded capsule collection giving the audience a chance to touch and feel the apparel.
Ballers returns to HBO this Sunday July 23.