Kristen Anyjoy was always asked about her growth.
At 6ft 4, Anyjoy stands above the others, but she never wanted to be defined.
“They didn’t ask me my name. I didn’t feel like a real person,” she said.
Anigwe has used height to her advantage in her football career, including her Current assignment with Phoenix Mercury, but there were some drawbacks to being a tall athlete. The clothes fit a certain mold and athletes like Anigwe have a hard time finding clothes that fit them.
“I used to wear the craziest things in school. I used to wear my dad’s clothes because they fit me,” Anejoy said. “That’s why I like plus-size clothes and my dad always wore big pants. I wear these oversized pants to school. Everyone was like, What are you wearing? And I’m like, I thought it was cool? ”
The young fashion designer continued to fix a problem she saw in women’s fashion, but it didn’t happen until after a critical point in her life.
While playing abroad in Turkey two years ago, Anigoy struggled with her mental health and needed an outlet outside of basketball. Reflecting on her life, she recalled memories of her mother’s European style that she had brought over when her family moved from England to Phoenix when Kristen was younger.
“People meditate, people read, and I paint or make mood boards. You do different things for different people,” Anejoy said.
Anyjoy found her cure through design and later construction KA . origins, a clothing brand launched in March. The brand was not only made to empower people to be who they are, but it was also an ode to her mom.
“This line was dedicated to my mom, so it was great watching other people wear it because she’s my mom. All this, all these ideas, I’ve been watching her dress grow up,” Anejoy said.
Items are handcrafted and designed to fit all sizes, including the tallest and sportiest frames. Anigwe works with a team of people to bring her designs to life with a carefully selected selection of fabrics and silhouettes for taller people.
“Being tall, you want to stand out and dress appropriately, so when I started my brand I was able to make clothes that fit me and find colors that make me happy,” said Anigwe. “I’ve used a lot of neutral tones because it’s so soothing and so liberating. It allows you to understand how to ground yourself in neutral colors. I’ve been able to express myself a lot and the brand is really my changing sulfur because there are different versions of myself in this brand.”
Anigwe launched her brand a little earlier Compete for a place on the list with Mercury at Boot Camp It finally started in the season opener. She’s created a routine this season that brings together both of her passions.
“I have a lot of help now. It’s very organized and I do a lot of styling. When I’m not training I’ll go home and put some clothes on and cool off and then watch TV and then make the clothes and design them. It’s really a therapy for me, so it doesn’t feel like a job, it’s my therapy.” More,” Anyjoy said.
Fashion has played an integral role in expressing the WNBA players. Unique looks before games provide a window into their personalities, but can also be a vessel for causes they care about. Many players around the league have Worn clothes to support Brittney Grinerwhich is still held in Russia.
When Anigwe was preparing to feature her teammates at a photo shoot for her brand, she knew the Mercury organization would be supportive given the team’s efforts to amplify the voices of its players.
“This brand means a lot to me because it is about empowering women and it’s also really connected to basketball at the moment because fashion is such a big expression of who you are. Having my teammates dressed and supporting my teammates is incredible,” said Anejoy.
Holidays are few and far between for Mercury, but Anigwe found a slot for Diamond DeShields, Megan Gustafson and Sam Thomas to be on a photo shoot with her in early June. The photos not only showed a different side of the guys but also gave them a better look at Anigwe’s other job.
“She works hard on and off the court. I just want to be there to support and try something new and get out of my comfort zone,” Gustafson said. I think it’s great that she pushed me to take part in that shot.”
Thomas is just starting her professional basketball career and recently earned her master’s degree at Arizona State. She has plenty of time, but Anyjoy’s photo session opened up a possibility.
“Everyone was like, Sam, you should be more of a model! I was like, I was so uncomfortable and confused. I don’t think I could ever do that,” said Thomas. “Everyone is like, you can’t tell in the pictures. Diamond and Kristen helped me a lot with posture and relaxation. It was a great experience.”