New Legacy Costume Designer on Dressing LeBron James – The Hollywood Reporter


“It was probably the most challenging project I’ve ever done,” costume designer Melissa Bruning says of designing the cabinets for Space Jam: A New Legacy. For starters, at the start of his work on the movie starring LeBron James and Don Cheadle, there was no Nike partnership in place yet. All Bruning knew for sure at the time was that the Looney Tunes logo was a staple on uniforms.

“LeBron of course wears Nike because he’s a sports star who has his own logo with them, but there was no agreement on the table that they were going to help. And with jerseys and sneakers and that kind things, you need a lot of time,” Bruning said. The Hollywood Reporter. “They prepare their lines two years in advance, so they can’t just return shirts to you. They are made from special fabric made from recycled bottles. There is a fabric process called sublimated, which means a computer prints the color and image onto a fabric.

Another challenge: the filmmakers decided that the real space jam the game would take place at night, “which causes problems [because] it eliminates a lot of colors. Grays will not look good. You cannot use black. You don’t want to use navy. They didn’t want to do white like the original,” says Bruning (Showtime’s Black Monday, War for the Planet of the Apes).

When choosing the colors, Bruning compared each to the Pantone shades that matched each character’s skin tone. “Does it look good on Taz and Lola and Bugs Bunny and LeBron? We wanted to see what would pop the most, and then we did a light test. We actually did [the uniforms] brighter because the lighting they used would dull the colors.

In the end, turquoise was chosen as the main color for the uniforms. “And then we had the brilliant idea of ​​making a jersey where a circle connects through the shorts, which is almost impossible – [it was] a mathematical nightmare to get it. So we had to print one, put it together, try it on a body and see how close we were, then clear the bottom of the circle, do it again. I had an assistant on it for a month to figure out exactly how to get it in LeBron’s size,” says Bruning, who had three fittings with the Lakers star to finalize all of his outfits in the film.

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Swimsuits made for the film by Melissa Bruning and her costume design team.
Courtesy of subject

James, who wears a size 15 shoe, chose sneakers from his own collection to wear in the film, two pairs of Nike LeBron 15 “Orange Box”, known as the Orangesicles. “He’s got his own shoebox — a real shoebox — like a wine cellar in Ohio,” says Bruning. “He was like, ‘I have two.’ So I think we could use those shoes and then they can scale it up afterwards if they want to draw on a different shoe then it’s their choice which they did To find matching pairs for his double photo and his replacement, Bruning researched and bid on pairs on Grailed and Fight Club.

While Nike eventually became a partner in the film, another key was thrown when Bruning received a call – “a week before we started using the jersey in the film”, she recalled – from SpringHill Entertainment, the company of production by James. “It was one of the producers saying, ‘Something amazing just happened, but it could mess you up. Anthony Davis of the Pelicans just joined the Lakers and LeBron [said] the two had decided that he was going to give her his number three. And he was going to return to number six on the Heat. So I had to throw away all the uniforms and start over.

“And it wasn’t just him,” Bruning continues, “it was him, his photo double, his green screen, like all the people who replace him.” The costume team has been hard at work creating the new uniforms. “We literally had to have someone [stand] on a machine that printed [the uniforms] out,” she said.

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LeBron James in ‘Game of Thrones’ armor.
Courtesy of subject

Bruning also created a range of costumes for scenes in which James appears in scenes from madmax, casablanca, The matrix and other Warner Bros. properties. “We had to do all of this from head to toe because nothing exists that matches LeBron,” says Bruning. A costume that was made was not, however, incorporated into the film: a game of thrones-style armor. “I cried a little inside that it didn’t work out,” says Bruning.

Melissa Bruning - Costume Designer - Pennywise - Space Jam A New Legacy

The costume designer’s team also created costumes for the many extras seen on the sidelines of the big game in Space Jam: A New Legacydepicting characters from a host of Warners properties, including This‘s Pennywise, Harley Quinn, Lord Voldemort, droogs of A clockwork orangeKing Kong, The Joker, The Penguin, The Jetsons, Mr. Freeze, The Pink Panther, Fred Flintstone, Superman, The Flying Apes of The Wizard of Ozand every “60s iteration of Batman”.

For Bruning, the film represents his career coming full circle in one way or another. Twenty-five years ago, the very first commercial she worked on was directed by Joe Pytka, director of the original SpaceJam.

The costume designer shares with THR the items worn in the film by James and the actors who play his family members, from John Elliott sweatshirts to Ami hoodies, as well as the favorite fashion items she’s got her eye on right now. Check out his picks below and check out even more official merchandise from Space Jam: A New Legacy here.

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LeBron’s sweatshirts

“He wore a lot of John Elliott, which is my favorite for tall men with style,” says Bruning. “[The designer has] a really super clean look.

In the film, James wears a John Elliott hoodie similar to this, which is made from custom knitted terrycloth and cashmere (knitted on vintage looms in Wakayama, Japan) with a waistband and cuffs ribbed. James and Nike collaborated with John Elliott on a capsule collection in 2018.

John Elliott Hoodie

John Elliott Hoodie


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LeBron’s blue suede jacket

The Lakers superstar wears a John Varvatos blue suede jacket in the film. The designer is currently selling a blue trucker-style suede jacket made from 100% goatskin suede “that has been washed and waxed to achieve its distinctive muted blue tone,” according to the product description.

John Varvatos suede jacket

John Varvatos Steven Trucker Jacket


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LeBron’s Wristband

James wears rainbow bracelets from Mr. Cohen’s boutique on West Third Street in Los Angeles. “I chose them on purpose because they’re Looney Tunes colors. When you see him at first, he has these bracelets that are beaded and a bit of an omen,” says Bruning, who adds that the store also makes custom bracelets. .

Mr. Cohen Pearl Bracelet

Mr. Cohen Rainbow Bracelet


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LeBron’s dress shoes, like Rick’s casablanca

James wears shoes from Magnanni, a third generation family business based in Almansa, Spain, in the scene where he plays Rick from the classic film casablanca. Nordstrom is offering Magnanni’s Praga Medallion Toe Oxfords in black or cognac, along with a similar pair available at the retailer’s Anniversary Sale.

Magnanni Men's Black Leather Dress Shoes

Magnanni Praga Medallion Toe Oxfords


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Al G. Rhythm Bow Tie

Space Jam: A New LegacyThe villain of , played by Cheadle, wears a bow tie from Brackish, known for his elegant feather ties. He also wears a silver denim jacket (similar here) and Dior pants and Saint Laurent, Common Projects, Giuseppe Zanotti and Christian Louboutin shoes.

Brackish bow tie

Brackish bow tie


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Cedric Joe Hoodie

Cedric Joe, LeBron James and Don Cheadle in Space Jam: A New Legacy

Cedric Joe, who plays James’ son, Dom James, wears a tan hoodie by French company Ami in one scene. “I tried to mix in as much high-end fashion as possible, mostly because they were a wealthy family, so I was able to shop in fun places,” says Bruning, who bought clothes for the film at Neiman Marcus, Saks and Bloomingdale’s.

Friend Hoodie

Friend Of Heart Hoodie


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The look of Ceyair J. Wright

Actor Ceyair J. Wright, who plays James’ son Darius, wears a black graphic sweatshirt from BlackBarrett by Neil Barrett. Among the brand’s latest bold styles is this black and white Thunderbolt t-shirt, available at Farfetch and on the designer’s website.

BlackBarrett by Neil Barrett Graphic T-Shirt

Black Barrett by Neil Barrett


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Nike Tune Squad Jersey

Official Nike merchandising includes the turquoise and orange Tune Squad jersey made from 100% recycled polyester fibers.

Nike Tune Squad Jersey

Nike Tune Squad Jersey


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Bruning’s Personal Styles

Superdry Classic Joggers

“I lived in Superdry sweatshirts during the pandemic,” says Bruning. “I bought a pair of very Space Jam neon pink sweatpants.”

Superdry joggers

Superdry Track Pants


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Mara Hoffman pleated printed hemp skirt

For beach vacations, Bruning is a fan of designer Mara Hoffman’s Tulay pleated printed skirt in eco-friendly hemp.

Mara Hoffman Skirt

Mara Hoffman Tulay printed hemp pleated skirt


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Loewe Flamenco Leather Mini Clutch

The costume designer also loves this Loewe bag, the Flamenco clutch in mustard with tied drawstrings. It’s made in Spain and lined with suede.

Loewe Flamenco clutch

Loewe Flamenco Leather Mini Clutch


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Tropical Farm Rio Collage Tunic Dress

Bruning loves Brazilian label Farm Rio’s colorful Tropical Collage tunic dress as a swimsuit cover-up. (If you prefer to be more minimalist, check out other tunic options here.)

Farm Rio - Tunic Dress

Tropical Farm Rio Collage Tunic Dress


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Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2 Women’s Sneakers

For a workout, Bruning is a fan of Nike’s Air Zoom SuperRep 2 Trainers in Lime Green, designed for circuit training and HIIT classes.

Nike HIIT Shoes

Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2 Trainers


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Stone and Strand Initial Charm Necklace

Bruning calls Stone and Strand’s initial charm necklace, with an M of course, as “special jewelry for the everyday feel.”

Fine Diamond Initial Charm Necklace with Stones and Strands

Stone & Strand Fine Diamond Initial Charm Necklace


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