Jimmy Butler gives us the inside scoop on his coffee company’s ice cream collaboration
ABOVE YEARS, we’ve grown accustomed to top athletes branching out and extending their star power to endless entrepreneurial endeavors. This trajectory covers everything from media companies to sneaker empires and clothing lines. With a caution: may cause unintended happiness warning label and hype-approved smiling logo, Jimmy Butler’s lifestyle and apparel brand BIGFACE is literally built around the pursuit of joy.
“Our number one thing is and will always try to put a smile on everyone’s face,” Butler said. men’s health in an exclusive interview. For Butler, that currently stems from two of his biggest passions: coffee and tennis, the latter of which may come as a surprise given the six-time NBA All-Star’s decade-plus career. From minimalist black and white patterns to sleek glass coffee jars, everything about BIGFACE’s visual presentation is not only stunningly modern, but intentionally unexpected. It’s no wonder BIGFACE touchpoints (including a pop-up at this year’s Miami Open) exude a cool optimism unique to a lifestyle brand at the intersection of sports, style, coffee and culture.
One thing Butler made clear is the amount of time and quality that goes into every product offering. For now, the online store offers a limited series of unisex clothing and accessories intended for both everyday and sportswear. The collection includes embroidered dad hats in a range of colors and our pick, the BIGFACE Tennis Club kit: a white knit performance piqué polo shirt with matching woven shorts. Butler is excited about the upcoming colorful drops set to release throughout the year, and if the latest drops of BIGFACE merch tell us anything, it’s that the collection will sell out very quickly.
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BIGFACE has come a long way in a seemingly short period of time. This is partly thanks to Butler’s eagerness to build with experts in various fields, but also to his gifted storytelling abilities. One of BIGFACE’s first coffee releases, Ever Leonal Diaz’s COE-M-1A in El Salvador, was crowned winner of last year’s Cup of Excellence. “I still have a lot to learn, but that’s where I started. I wanted the best coffee,” Butler said. men’s health in an exclusive interview. “They said okay, look, let’s walk before we know how to crawl. And I said, I want to fly.
The BIGFACE concept was born after a trip to the UK. Butler – as he describes him, a basketball player in a country where football is king – stopped by a cafe in London and struck up an unlikely conversation with customers waiting for his coffee to brew. Those three or four minutes led to a budding friendship and one of the brand’s missions exploring the unusual in common. “More than the quality of the coffee,” says Butler, “there are unique stories that make the cups special.”
It makes sense that Butler continued to collaborate with famed New York-based ice cream brand Van Leeuwen to bring his passion for coffee and community building to a new vertical. The Limited Release BIGFACE Coffee Affogato flavor is a play on the Italian dessert traditionally served as vanilla ice cream topped with a fresh espresso. Van Leeuwen’s version features swirled sweet cream and cold-infused ice cream, the latter made with BIGFACE’s single-origin ancestral grape exclusively from Ethiopia. From connecting over a shared dining experience to joining forces on the tennis court, BIGFACE is about creating moments that bring people together.
“Find a way to have something in common with everyone. Have a cup of coffee or, in this case, Van Leewan’s fabulous affogato ice cream. Sit down and get to know each other,” Butler said. Men’s health. “That is and will be our goal forever.”
While the BIGFACE tennis collection is now sold out, you can still purchase a few merch pieces, as well as the special COE-M-1A roast and pint of BIGFACE Coffee Affogato.
Sara Klausing is a style editor with over ten years of experience. Next posts at vogue and Google, Klausing specializes in forward-looking coverage at the intersection of fashion, culture and technology.