Lewis Hamilton is putting a new spin on the term “fast fashion.” In recent years, the world champion Formula One driver has slowly but surely steered into the world of high fashion — using the racetrack, and accompanying appearances, as his own makeshift runway.
At the F1 Grand Prix in Saudi Arabia this past weekend, Hamilton was first spotted in candy-colored fleeces, satin sneakers and wool trousers hand-embroidered with pearls from the Dior men’s Spring-Summer 2023 collection. A day later, the Mercedes driver stepped out in his most fashion-forward look yet: an all-black Rick Owens tunic and cargo pants paired with chunky boots.
These outfits are the work of stylist Eric McNeal, who has been previously responsible for dressing Hamilton in tie-dye Ferragamo, silk tracksuits from Acne Studios and a distressed Raf Simmons vest so quirky, McNeal himself said he couldn’t pull it off. Since 2018, the F1 Mercedes team has been officially sponsored by Tommy Hilfiger — a label Hamilton wears regularly — but while McNeal says he “loves” working with the American brand, it’s clear he hasn’t shied away from experimenting with other brands and edgier pieces.
So Hamilton’s headline-grabbing Rick Owens ensemble is far from his first brush with fashion. A long-time disciple of logomania, Hamilton was once known for his “more is more” approach to branded streetwear and clashing patterns.
Over time, his style has matured — as has his relationship with the industry; today he is a regular presence front row at fashion weeks and on notable red carpets. At the 2021 Met Gala, Hamilton hosted an entire table for Black talent, inviting the emerging designers Theophilio, Kenneth Nicholson and Jason Rembert to attend, among others. In 2022, he fronted a Valentino campaign alongside Zendaya.
For those not plugged into the motorsports scene, blink and you might have missed Hamilton’s sartorial ascent. But if the driver’s style evolution has passed you by, fear not: the Instagram account @lewishamilton_style exists to keep more than 20,000 followers informed on Hamilton’s seemingly vast wardrobe. After all, he’s got to be in the right gear.