They've hoisted trophies and earned sporting honors around the globe, but these SEVEN STYLE MVPS are also distinguished for their feats in the fashion world, launching clothing labels, lining front rows at runway shows and laying the ground for the modern athlete
YOU'D THINK it would be tough to match the thrill of racing a car full throttle at more than 200 mph. But when Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton walked into the Brooklyn Museum in early June to attend the CFDA Fashion Awards, the annual event that honors the best in American design, he experienced a buzz almost as heady (and it wasn't from the gala's plentiful flow of tequila).
"There were so many creative people from different walks of life who are constantly doing things that are out of the ordinary," says the 33-year-old Hamilton, who in 2017 became only the fifth driver in F1 history to win four world titles. "I've been racing a long, long time, and every year you want to find ways to raise the bar. And that's the inspiration for me."
Hamilton's love affair with racing began at age eight, when he would spend weekends with his dad racing remote-control cars and then, eventually, go-karts. After breaking into the sport at 21 and roaring to its pinnacle 15 months later, Hamilton says his interest in fashion also began to flourish. At 5'9" and 150 pounds with a cool, courteous demeanor accentuated by his British accent, Hamilton is hardly an imposing figure. But his style speaks loud and clear with a bold palette and an urban chic sensibility.
"When I was younger, I was definitely in my shell, but now I take a lot of risks," Hamilton says. "Hopefully when people see what I wear, they are encouraged to try something new."
Beyond inspiring new looks—a capsule collection collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger, Tommy x Lewis, will arrive this fall—Hamilton wants to be a part of the cultural movement that blends the worlds of sports and fashion. "Fashion is an expression of how you feel, and it's a way for you to establish who you are," he says. "I think it's important that athletes are not just seen as entertainers. We are actually quite more than that."