‘Senior Swag Daddy’: DeMarre Carroll’s Fabled six-hour Shopping Trips Revered, Feared by Toronto Raptors
They call him Senior Swag Daddy in the Toronto Raptors’ locker room.
To everyone else, he is DeMarre Carroll, but in those moments before he gets into his uniform, he stands apart from the rest of his teammates.
Three steps into the locker room on any given day, Carroll knows if he is on his game.
“I tell people this all the time,” Carroll said. “You know you look good when you walk in a locker room and four guys look at you and look away really quick. They letting you know you did your thing.”
And Carroll’s thing is dressing to impress. He does not blend in. He dresses to be seen and rarely is he disappointed.
In a locker room where one is more likely to find sweats and jeans, Carroll’s locker and his look are unique. It’s a lesson his mother taught him early in life and one that he adheres to today.
“She always used to say, ‘When you go out the house, you gotta make sure you represent your family looking good,’” Carroll said. “Ever since then, I’ve been big into fashion. Clothes have always been my vice. Just a way to get away from basketball. A lot of people have other hobbies. My hobby is shopping.”
Carroll’s shopping trips are legendary.
He can spend five or six hours in a mall, according to teammate and sometimes shopping mate Cory Joseph.
Carroll laughed as he told a reporter that Joseph gets tired after 45 minutes in a mall. Joseph later interjected, saying he’s good for two or three hours but can’t go for the five- and six-hour marathons Senior Swag Daddy is renowned for.
“I love shopping too,” Joseph said. “I can shop for a while too, but what he’s doing is outrageous. I tell him we have a game (the next day). I can’t be on my feet for five hours. I’m reasonable. Two or three hours and I’m done.”
Carroll, though, clearly appreciates the company. When Joseph is not available or up for a trip, he calls in his brother or his cousin to accompany him.
Joseph recalls a time in Los Angeles earlier this year when he did accompany Carroll to the mall for a few hours. But as soon as the two returned to the team hotel, there was a text from Carroll asking him if he wanted to go to Rodeo Drive for a little more. Joseph politely declined.
Carroll makes no excuses for his hobby and obsession. He loves to stand out, he loves to dress and he’s not about to apologize for it or change.
“I told these guys one day, “My swag is too high for you guys. You all are making me feel like I shouldn’t even come in here,” he said about walking into the Raptors’ locker room. “I mean, you see DeMar (DeRozan) with his sweats on and Kyle (Lowry) with sweats. But that’s who I am. I have to stay true to who I am.”
Carroll is not averse to wearing designer stuff. Earlier this week, he had on an outfit he purchased in Vegas when he was out there watching summer league action. It was a Dolce and Gabbana outfit, although he made some alterations to make it his own.
But the labels and names don’t interest Carroll. He’s just as comfortable mixing and matching as he puts together his own ensembles, but there are definite priorities.
“My shoes have always been big,” Carroll said. “Great shoes, great belts. The jeans and stuff, it don’t matter. I could go and get Wranglers and put them together with something and you wouldn’t know they were Wranglers. I will get them slim cut. It’s not all about the name. I mean, I spend on the shoes and the belt and the accessories, and then the jeans are whatever and the shirt might just be a T-shirt I got at Marshalls.”
But the end product is always distinctly DeMarre. Russell Westbrook might be the league’s poster boy for his own unique tastes in clothes, but Carroll doesn’t view fashion as a competition.
“If you trust your own style, you ain’t really worried about too many other guys,” he said. “Some guys might copy what you wear, but my marketing lady, she has been stressing to me that because I dress real nice, I have to put all my outfits on Instagram. Now, more and more people are talking about it.”