2 players sport work of Chicago designer on WNBA draft night

When you're 6-feet, 2-inches tall, it can be challenging to find clothes that fit well

Jasmine Minor Image
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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CHICAGO (WLS) -- When you're 6-feet, 2-inches tall, it can be challenging to find clothes that fit well.

Many of the athletes during Monday night's WNBA draft were turning heads, and not because of their height.

Some were sporting eye-catching designer fashions.

Two of the players wore clothes from a Chicago designer.

Robin Harris spent nearly two months with players designing and creating their looks for WNBA draft night. But, ultimately, she said no matter what they wore, it was all about them feeling confident.

"I felt like I was at the Oscars," said Harris, CEO of Model Atelier.

The Chicago stylist and CEO has dressed WNBA draft picks before, but she said this year was different.

"It was the most highly anticipated viewership. Like everybody was going to be watching what the girls are wearing, and I just feel like this class are more influential," Harris said.

It was the first time the WNBA draft was a ticketed event, and the fashion didn't disappoint, as Harris was ready to go.

"Our team, with at least three sewing machines in the room, and then, at the other end, we had hair and makeup," Harris said.

This year, Harris' team helped dress WNBA player Rhyne Howard and WNBA draft picks Nyadiew Puoch and Alissa Pili, who was named one of Vogue's best dressed.

"I had to include the tribal in my dress. A lot of indigenous and Polynesian girls don't get to see their role models, and I am just so blessed to be in a position to be that for them," Pili said.

"I kind of use fashion as my ministry, so to speak, to kind of infiltrate it into my love language, to help women feel confident," Harris said.

Harris said that confidence building is a six-week process. She talks the players through fabric choices, design, hair and makeup.

"I will do my fittings virtually, by the way, like I can't even touch the girls, really, because they're either in like the Final Four," Harris said.

But, on the biggest night of their lives, it's all about the small, quick touch-ups and, of course, lessons in how to strut the orange carpet.

"It's one thing to go get the top designers, but baby is another thing when you own it and know how to pose," Harris said.

At 6-foot-1, Harris said she knows it's not always easy to find the right fit, but she was determined to make the athletes look and feel beautiful.

"I would love to consider myself like a part of the team because it's needed. And it helps with their personal confidence," Harris said.

Harris has just touched back down in Chicago. She said she hopes to one day dress Chicago Sky's new team members, Angel Reese and Kamilla Cardoso.