Kendrick McDonald talks about his suit design business, designing suits for 2020 NBA Draft Picks

An Alcorn State University alumnus is taking his eye for fashion to a new level with his suit design company.

Kendrick McDonald, a former Brave’s men’s basketball standout who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2014, gained recognition for his new business, the Ken McDonald Collection. McDonald is a custom suit designer whose work was displayed for a national audience during the 2020 NBA Draft. Several of his clients, Kira Lewis Jr. (13th pick, New Orleans Pelicans) and Robert Woodard II (40th pick, Sacramento Kings), wore his designs when drafted. Markus Howard, who signed a two-way deal with the Denver Nuggets, also wore one of McDonald’s designer suits.

Founded in August 2019, the Ken McDonald Collection is based in Southaven, Mississippi. McDonald also has a meeting location in Jackson, Mississippi, that he uses to fit clients and show various fabrics. McDonald's first client was Portland Trailblazers guard and Mississippi native Rodney Hood.

Styling some of the NBA’s potential future stars was a significant accomplishment for McDonald. Exposing his work to a broad audience was the highlight of his experience.

“That was a huge accomplishment for my business,” said McDonald. “I finally felt accomplished. I’m hard on myself at times and had to learn to celebrate the wins in life. It was great for the world to see my work and know that I’m one of the best when it comes to designing suits.”

Watching the draftees wear his designs on a national stage made McDonald proud of his work and business.

“It felt great seeing those guys wear my brand on national television while living their dreams. Only a few names are called every year in the Draft, and for me to design suits for two guys on that level on one of the biggest days of their lives is a blessing.”

McDonald’s eye for fashion didn’t go unnoticed, as he partnered with Priority Sports and Entertainment to design NBA draft suits in the future. He’s thankful that his dedication to his craft has paid off.

“I’ve put in a lot of hard work, so it feels great to expand my business. I’m excited for the world to get to know Ken McDonald finally. God is the greatest.”

Growing up with a stylish mother and grandmother is how McDonald learned to be fashionable.

“My mom and grandma are very stylish. They’ve been into the latest fashion for as long as I can remember. From the suits to the hats and jewelry, they had it all and were trendsetters. They kept my brothers and me in the latest gear growing up, so fashion has always been a part of me.”

McDonald's idea to start a clothing company came from his father-in-law, noticing his fashion sense and suggesting that he turn his God-given talent into a business.

“The idea of starting my suit line came from a conversation with my father-in-law, Dr. Steve Smith. He noticed that I was into fashion and suggested that I start a custom suit business, and here we are today.”

COVID-19 has presented obstacles for McDonald’s company, but he’s found success at overcoming the hurdles to stay in business during these uncertain times.

“Due to the pandemic, my travel has been limited, which is the biggest challenge. However, I overcame that by offering virtual consultations for my clients. Another challenge is figuring out how to provide services to some clients on short notice. I’m currently working on releasing ready-to-wear items soon.”

Despite the challenges, the rewards of operating a successful business are fulfilling for McDonald. He prides himself on providing a quality experience for his clients.

“My greatest reward is when the product is finished, and my clients wear it for the first time. I see how it gives them a sense of pleasure. Another great reward is when I receive calls, texts, and emails about a professional fitting and how they heard of me. That keeps me going.”

Visit McDonald’s website at For consultations, contact McDonald at [email protected].