downtown girls basketball

Court-Side Hustle: New York Ballers Stunt In Winter’s Sportiest Looks

Meet 11 New York women that make room for downtown basketball on the side.

Photographer Kathy Lo

The 11 women in our winter fashion spread work as artists, writers, photographers, and accountants in New York City. But they all make time for basketball on the side, playing amateur team games on the courts around Chinatown, the Lower East Side, and Midtown. In these teams, the players have found tight knit communities that offer an outlet from the stress of their main hustles, and bonds that go beyond the court. Rocking the leggings, bombers, and mock-necks you're going to want this winter, they prove that having game is about working hard and feeling fly.

Styling Mobolaji Dawodu.

Styling Assistance Kyle Gayle, Megan Soria. Make-up Allie Smith, Kim Weber.

Aria McManus, Artist/Designer, 25

@ariamcmanus
@downtowngirlsbball

How old were you when you felt like you started to truly know yourself? Still don't.

What three words describe your ball game? Verbal and enthusiastic. Is there a word for stylish without being skilled?

How do you see yourself in 10 years? More freedom, but still on my grind.

Top Band of Outsiders, pants Puma, shoes Converse, watch G-Shock, sunglasses Illesteva, bracelet Wanderluster.

Aria McManus, Artist/Designer, 25
@ariamcmanus @downtowngirlsbball
Elesha Casimir, Textile Designer, 26

@zapora_keziah

What strength do you bring to a team? Consistency. I'm always there.

Describe a time you were forced to act older than your age. When I was seven, I had a lot of siblings to take care of and a lot of people relying on me.

What are you focused on right now? I'm focused on becoming an independent artist. Being able to work for myself, have my own studio, and not have to work for anyone else.

Jacket Tommy Hilfiger, dress Versus Versace, socks Nike, shoes Puma.

Elesha Casimir, Textile Designer, 26
@zapora_keziah
Raine Trainor, Artist, 24

@rainetrain

What strength do you bring to a team? I'm a verbal stimulator, and I like to wear wacky clothes to get people pumped.

What do you have to get done today? My friends and I have this little space on Broome Street where we built a little shack, a space called Arizona. I'll probably go over there.

What three words describe your ball game? Fast, chaotic, and a bit monopolizing.

How old were you when you felt like you started to truly know yourself? I've known myself since I was ten.

Jacket Nike, leggings Puma, shoes Pony, earrings Dinny Hall.

Raine Trainor, Artist, 24
@rainetrain
Maren Lord, Actress, 24

@marenclord

What quality do you most respect in people? The ability to be a good conversationalist.

What do you have to get done today? I got to go sell some Bitcoin—that's kind of what I do on the side. I deal in Bitcoin.

Where will you be in 10 years? New York. Hopefully in a better apartment in a better neighborhood.

Coat Topshop, turtleneck Rodebjer, shoes Puma.

Maren Lord, Actress, 24
@marenclord
Cherie Camacho, Manager at Opening Ceremony, 24

@thecamacho

Describe a time you were underestimated. I'm a woman and I'm really little. I think at first glance, people just don't know how much work I'm willing to put in, and how much I know.

What makes someone an athlete? Willpower. Anyone can be an athlete, but people don't do it because they don't think they can.

What's your grandmother like? She was super stubborn, a Taurus. She would never let us take care of her.

Jacket Opening Ceremony, top Topshop, leggings Nike.

Cherie Camacho, Manager at Opening Ceremony, 24
@thecamacho
Liz Raiss, Style Assistant at The FADER, 24

@walhaus

When was the last time you regretted something? I always regret it when I don't ask enough questions.

What three words describe your ball game? Clumsy, lucky, a little bit evil.

What motivates you? Being better tomorrow.

Jacket MadeMe, top Opening Ceremony, skirt Opening Ceremony, leggings Nike, shoes New Balance.

Liz Raiss, Style Assistant at The FADER, 24
@walhaus
Illy Lussiano, Hair Artist, 25

@illylussiano

How long have you been playing basketball? Since I was a little kid. My grandpa was a coach, my mom played, and I was always an athlete.

Where will you be in 10 years? On the coast of Calabria in Italy, sipping some wine with my mom and my family.

What strength do you bring to a team? The love, the glue.

Jacket MadeMe, turtleneck Off-White, top Topshop, skirt Topshop.

Illy Lussiano, Hair Artist, 25
@illylussiano
Maureen O'Brien, Writer, 25

@maureenohbrien

What's your grandmother like? My grandmother is strong. Irish Catholic. She's proud and she's willing to learn.

What's the last piece of really good advice you gave? Yesterday some- one told me they were afraid, and I told them to breathe into it.

Can you describe a time you were underestimated? I think I'm underestimated every day.

Jacket Off-White, dress Samuji, shoes Reebok, ring Wanderluster.

Maureen O'Brien, Writer, 25
@maureenohbrien
Liz Hopkins, Gallery Director at David Lewis, 25

@liz2cool

What do you have to get done today? I gotta install some art for a show tonight. And make sure the after party is gonna be hot.

What makes someone an athlete? A sports bra.

What's the last piece of really good advice you gave? Don't feel like everything is gonna last forever, 'cause that shit don't last forever.

Top Opening Ceremony, jacket Dries Van Noten, leggings Topshop, shoes Nike.

Liz Hopkins, Gallery Director at David Lewis, 25
@liz2cool
Miranda Levitt, Actress, 27.

@mirandalevitt

What three words describe your ball game? Scrappy, aggro. I don't know, un-sportsman-like?

What quality do you most respect in people? I respect people who aren't judgmental.

Describe a time you were underestimated. People underestimate my ability to pull it together and focus.

Jacket Sonia by Sonia Rykiel, dress Apiece Apart, turtleneck Topshop, shoes Nike.

Miranda Levitt, Actress, 27.
@mirandalevitt
London Zhiloh, Model/Actress/Poet, 21

@londonzhiloh

What makes someone an athlete? You want something? You go and get it.

When did basketball become important to you? My older brothers all played ball, so I used to go outside and play with them. I was obsessed with it after that. I would never make shots, but I was always like, "Give me the ball!" anyways.

What's the last piece of really good advice you gave? When you strug- gle, it's not the end of the world.

Jacket Puma, shirt Maki Oh, leggings Nike, earrings Wanderluster, shoes Nike.

London Zhiloh, Model/Actress/Poet, 21
@londonzhiloh
Kathy Lo, Photographer, 28

@kathylo15

Kathy Lo, Photographer, 28
@kathylo15

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Court-Side Hustle: New York Ballers Stunt In Winter’s Sportiest Looks