Dwyane Wade On His Return To The Magic City And Balancing Business, Parenthood, Marriage And More

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Dwyane Wade
Suit: Dior
Sunglasses: Dior
Necklaces: Monisha Melwani
Timepiece: Hublot Classic
Fusion King Gold

Photo Credit: Bob Metelus

Photography: Bob Metelus 

Styling: Calyann Barnett

Grooming: Jason Amado

Makeup: Leslie Munsell 

Shot on location at the W South Beach Hotel

Miami is in mid-summer and it’s heating up. The Magic City boasts beautiful beaches, a thriving culinary scene, an art renaissance with deep roots in its own unique, blended culture and a booming entertainment and sports scene. Dwyane Wade, Miami’s most-adored NBA player, whose last name is synonymous with the area―instead of Dade County–Wade County, has returned home after a year and a half playing for the Chicago Bulls and the Cleveland Cavaliers, respectively. After the city’s collective heart was broken when he left the Heat as a free agent, his return to the city that has revered him is one that is sweeter than the team’s first championship win in 2006.


His departure was met with a wave of criticism and controversy as it left Miami without its fan-favorite star player. For Wade, the move was bittersweet. “The business of basketball sometimes gets in the way of everyone’s intentions and everyone’s plans and goals,” he says. “The opportunity came for me as a free agent to go back to Chicago. That’s always been one of the things since I was a kid that was on my bucket list. So I got an opportunity to check that mark off. I got a year to be back home with my mom, and my family got to see me in that Chicago Bulls jersey. Even though everyone knows that Miami is my basketball home and it became where I raised my own family, that Chicago Bulls jersey meant something to my family.”

Dwyane Wade
Suit & Shirt: Valentino
Timepiece: Hublot

Photo Credit: Bob Metelus
After a season with the Bulls, he joined his good friend and old Miami Heat teammate LeBron James with the Cleveland Cavaliers. “I went to Cleveland for an opportunity to see if we could compete for a championship and see what I can bring to a championship team,” he explains. “That was short-lived. Everything happens the way it should happen and for a reason. So, me getting traded back to Miami at the time I did in my personal life was needed; also in this community it was needed.” The homecoming for Wade could be felt around the world when the news broke that he was returning to his chosen home. “It feels good to be back,” he declares. “I think the time we had apart for the city, for the community, for the fans, for myself, made us realize that we are each other. We missed each other. We need each other. I definitely felt the love when I got back, and it was like I was here for so long that you just take it for granted. “It’s great to be back. It’s great to be back with my family, getting the chance to watch my kids grow, and just be back in Wade County.”


Wade, a serial entrepreneur, has been busy off the court launching multiple projects including Wade Cellars after a newfound passion for wine, signing a lifetime deal with Li-Ning that makes Wade and Way of Wade sneakers the cornerstone of its performance division and opening his first 800° Woodfired Kitchen with Heat teammate and longtime friend Udonis Haslem in Aventura this fall. While his future as an active player with the Heat is still unclear, Wade’s future is looking brighter than ever.


However, it wasn’t always that way. When asked what inspired him as he was growing up, he says, “There’s a lot of people individually that come into that journey that help inspire you or give you a little bit more and more motivation, but overall I was an inspired kid. I wanted to be different, I wanted to do different, I wanted to be the first, I wanted all these things. I was inspired as a young man just by my environment, and like I said, by what I didn’t see.”

Dwyane Wade
Sweatsuit: Valentino
Timepiece: Hublot Classic
Fusion King Gold
Shoes: Bally
Necklaces: Monisha Melwani

Photo Credit: Bob Metelus
This year, he collaborated and co-produced a basketball documentary with Chance the Rapper, titled A Shot in the Dark. The story was personal for him. “I heard about the story,” he says. “I was looking at some of the raw footage they were getting, and I was like, ‘Oh that’s me!’ I was that kid from Chicago. Fortunately enough, I made it out, but I know so many people who didn’t make it out. Some of those stories originated with me, and I wanted to be a part of telling that story from the kids from where I’m from. Even though they were the West Side of Chicago, it’s the same streets, you know? I was so glad that Chance got behind as well because the people of Chicago love Chance. He’s one of the faces of that city. It was so cool that both of us were able to tell the stories of those young men.”

Wade’s passion for growing and learning brought him to take a course on the business of sports and entertainment and has granted him the coveted role as a fellow at Harvard Business School. “My friend and [NFL] football player Brandon Marshall told me about this professor and about this book that she had written and a course that he took,” he says. “It was at the time where I was looking for something a little different. You need to see something, experience something different, so I decided to take the course. We went over so many different [business] case studies. It really made my mind work. It made me come back from that course as a better businessman . . . . From there, I just continued my relationship with Harvard. I continued to preach about the course and everything that I learned. I go back every year and talk to the kids and go over the case studies. I have my own case study at Harvard. It’s something I never thought would happen. It happened because I took a chance.”

Dwyane Wade
Suit, Turtleneck,
Shoes Sunglasses and
Bag: Dior Homme
Timepiece: Hublot
Belt: Alyx
Jewelry: Monisha Melwani

Photo Credit: Bob Metelus
Taking risks is something that Dwyane does regularly. This year in the coming fall he will be opening his newest restaurant, 800° Woodfired Kitchen. “This is my first time in over a decade kind of jumping back into that world, and I’m doing it with my teammate, my brother, Udonis,” he notes. “It’s a concept that we both really believe in. We’re happy we’re able to bring it here. It was something that we were able to follow and fall in love with in Los Angeles, and now watching this brand grow and then have an opportunity to bring it to Miami where we both call home. I’m excited about the opening of it. It’s been a process to get everything we needed, to get the right design, to get the right look, the right feel, but we’re definitely close to getting there. I know we both can’t wait to get the first one up and many more to follow hopefully.” The restaurant will also feature wines from Wade Cellars.


“Wade Cellars was born before I was ready,” he says with a laugh. “I didn’t start drinking wine until I was 28 years old. I wasn’t ready when I was younger. I know that my family has a history of addictive personalities, so I didn’t want to get addicted to something when I wasn’t ready for what possibly would come from it. Once I got a little older I felt like I could handle it, so I sat down and started to learn a little more about wine. I started drinking, like everyone, the sweet wines first because I love sweet stuff. Then, I got introduced to Woodflower and all these things, and then from there I built a relationship with someone who had other relationships in the wine business. I was approached to getting into that industry. We’ve had the opportunity to release a few different wines. It’s cool. It’s a passion. It’s fun.” Currently, Wade’s label has a cabernet and Three by Wade, which offers a red blend and a Rosé.

Dwyane Wade
Shirt:John Varvatos
Turtleneck: Hermès
Pants: Valentino
Socks: PKWY
Shoes: Valentino
Sunglasses: Verso
Timepiece: Hublot

Photo Credit: Bob Metelus
Outside of his business ventures, the father of three makes it a priority to raise his two young men, Zaire and Zion, with their feet firmly on the ground. “I guess the realest example I can give them is that we’re all imperfect human beings,” Wade notes. “We’re going to make mistakes. I always talk to my kids about learning from their mistakes. I’m not the kind of parent that goes off on the first mistake or the second mistake. I’m all about teaching them so they can learn, and I feel that’s the way that I learn best, and hopefully it’s good for my kids. I just try to set the example of life. I take them along this journey with me whether I’m doing great things in the community or I’m winning championships on the basketball floor, whether I’m going through hardships and everything in my life, I take them along with me. I talk to them about everything. I share everything with them. I let them know that even though your parents are supposed to be like superheroes to you that we also are imperfect and we also make mistakes.”


The balancing act between being a sports icon, businessman, father and husband is one that Wade manages with his eyes set on the long game. Famously married to actress Gabrielle Union, he says, “I don’t really think it’s a secret. I think that we both support each other’s individual careers. We both support our together careers, and I think along the way we signed up for a forever thing. We just take it day by day. We deal with the challenges that come with being apart as adults. I think the hardest part for both of us is not only being apart from each other, but the whole family aspect, too―the kids. We like each other. It doesn’t mean that everything is all perfect always, but for the most part we figure it out. Our ultimate goal is to get to grow old together somewhere, drinking wine and eating great food [laughs].”

Dwyane Wade
Sweater: Louis Vuitton
Pants: Marni
Socks: PKWY
Sunglasses: Jacques Marie Mage
Bag: Bally
Timepiece: Hublot Classic Fusion King Gold

Photo Credit: Bob Metelus

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