He was often referred to as the “NBA’s weirdest player” by basketball insiders, a bad boy, outrageous and an outcast. Dennis Rodman was in a category of his own in sports and in life after sports.
Since the debut of ESPN’s Michael Jordan docuseries “The Last Dance” last month, Rodman and his antics have been put back in the spotlight. And while his Vegas nights out with Carmen Electra proved to be interesting, it was his unique 1990s fashion that caught FN’s eye.
The NBA star began making waves for his look when he was traded to the San Antonio Spurs from the Detroit Pistons in 1993. He made his debut with a blonde shaved mohawk inspired by Wesley Snipes in “Demolition Man.” At that time, this was a huge spectacle. After that day, Rodman began to find his niche in fashion, which was all about eccentricity and individuality.
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The evolution of Rodman’s wild style took off in 1994 after a fling with Madonna. From that point on, Rodman was becoming a rockstar in his own right, making headlines for dressing in drag and being an outspoken supporter of the LGBTQ community. Dyed hair in red, pink, green, was a signature, and during the 1995 NBA playoffs he dyed the AIDS ribbon in his hair, which caused a stir.
His tattoos and piercings were a trademark, too. So much so, his star belly-button tattoo was the inspiration behind the design of the Converse AS Rodman, his signature sneaker.
To put it simply, he was entertaining and sports culture couldn’t figure out if he was putting on a show or if this was his true self.
One of Rodman’s most memorable looks came in 1996 when he visited New York for a promo appearance at Barnes & Noble on Fifth Avenue for his book, “Bad As I Wanna Be,” wearing a full on bridal gown — veil, gloves and wig included. His book became a New York Time best-seller, for the record.
During his time with the Chicago Bulls from 1995 to 1998, Rodman was at his peak stardom. Looking back at his gender-bending outfits, it was clear he was setting the stage for how men can dress — whether it be in lace, sequins, skirts or glittering women’s tank tops. So today, would Rodman be called a weirdo? Or would he topping best-dressed lists a la Harry Styles and Ezra Miller, and be praised for pushing fashion boundaries?
To see what makes Dennis Rodman’s outrageous ’90s style all the more iconic, click through the gallery.