Last night at a mobbed charity event at the Polo Mansion on Madison Avenue, this year’s NBA MVP runner-up, Chris Paul, wandered past the cufflink displays with his girlfriend, Jada, who was delicate-looking and wore a blue silk dress. (They’ve been together since his freshman year at Wake Forest.) Mr. Paul wore a suit accessorized by a black-and-white checked scarf. "My look, I think it says I’m young, and you know, fresh, I didn’t put no tie on tonight," he explained. "I feel like Ralph Lauren makes all his clothes for me, because he always puts a 3 on the sleeve, and that’s my basketball number."
Nearby, several of his teammates from the gold-medal winning U.S. Basketball team wandered with their wives or girlfriends—Jason Kidd, Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James. Mr. Paul was the shortest of the players, and went mostly unrecognized by the photographers combing the store.
"Kobe was the biggest thing over there, ever, ever, ever—like doesn’t even compare to anything here," he said, of his Olympics teammate Kobe Bryant. "We were the only team that stayed at a hotel [the Intercontinental], but every time we went over to the village it was a madhouse." While in Beijing—"man, it was such a long, long time"—Mr. Paul had also seen the Great Wall, not to mention "tennis, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, I saw swimming about four times, I saw beach volleyball, I saw boxing…"
Speaking of Ms. Williams, she was on the third floor of the store, perusing the women’s department in a slinky black dress (a portion of the evening’s shopping proceeds would benefit Mr. James’s foundation, the LeBron James Family Foundation).
"I’m feeling good, yeah, really good," she said. She was in the market for "definitely anything that’s purple, because it’s so fall."
"I go for classic and chic, I always try to emphasize the waist, emphasize the sexy female body," she explained. Earlier, she’d greeted Mr. James and Jay-Z, who were sequestered in an alcove behind security guards on the first floor, submitting to flashbulbs. "I don’t really follow too many sports, but I obviously follow LeBron," she said.
Mr. James, meanwhile, was by this point posing for photos with his girlfriend, Savannah, and David Lauren and Lauren Bush. Mr. James tried to articulate his philosophy on dressing: "It all depends on what kind of day it is. It’s a prestigious event for myself and Ralph Lauren, so you put on a nice three-piece suit… You know the time and mood for certain situations you get dressed for."
He appeared with model Gisele Bundchen on the cover of the April issue of Vogue, whose editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour, made a brief appearance in a long white coat. "It was great," he said. "Annie Leibovitz, Anna Wintour… It was a great experience for myself."
He hadn’t found anything offensive about the cover, which had caused a brouhaha when it was compared to old King Kong movie posters. "It’s great, it happens, of course, with me, anything that I do has some type of pros and cons, " he said. "It was great, though."
And then a handler shooed the Daily Transom away.