The Fashion of F1: Lewis Hamilton

Car racing doesn’t necessitate fashion. In fact, it inherently must always choose function over form. An individual F1 team can spend 285 billion dollars a year — quite literally incomprehensible. Yet, as these 20 drivers find themselves with hefty annual paychecks, in Lewis Hamilton’s case 57 million dollars, they spend their money dabbling in other luxuries of life. 

Hamilton drives for Mercedes Benz and is a six time world champion. Mercedes itself is outfitted by Tommy Hilfiger, a partnership begun in 2018. Formerly, Hugo Boss dressed the team. Despite what you might think, the team’s transition was not one of blue and red stripes and polos. Rather, Hilfiger adapted to the already existing branding, creating sleeker sports and streetwear in pinks, whites, and even yellows. 

If you’re new to F1 here’s a few things to know about Hamilton. He’s considered one of the best drivers the sport has ever seen and is obsessive in his desire to win. He would also really like you to know he’s a vegan, as his bio features his “plant based” lifestyle. If you’re looking for some 2020 motivation, his instagram page is chalk-full of videos telling you to achieve your best in his British accent. 

However, as much as he’s first and foremost a driver, concerned with winning, he’s also a classic GQ man. He consistently collaborates with the Hilfiger team to design collections he’s proud to call his own. He’s not new to magazine covers, Fashion Week(s), or accompanying Donatella Versace down a red carpet. He might be a legend to F1, but he’s also a name in the fashion world. 

Hamilton’s style is anything but subtle. Surely, on race days you might find him entering through a backdoor and attempting to be incognito, but when he’s in public, he stands out. A net worth of 285 million dollars, he’s got sufficient funding to stock his closet with logos. When he’s not wearing Tommy Hilfiger, he might be sporting a LV bag, or a full Valentino look. He seems to always protect himself from the sun, whether that be through sunglasses, a hat, or both. He always wears a suit to the Met Gala, but he rarely chooses expected colors, preferring velvet green, a zig zag print, or even a bold all-white look. 

What’s refreshing about Hamilton’s style is his zeal and commitment. It’s not unusual to spot him in a wild print or interesting boot. His numerous GQ styles take on bold looks — kilts, feathers, body jewelry — with such confidence that it continually pays off. It affords evolution and creative direction impossible for other celebrities attempting to upkeep a recognizable brand through fashion. 

What makes Hamilton unique from many F1 drivers is he’s made clear his interest in fashion is beyond simply the clothes he chooses to wear, but in the industry and art of the fashion world itself. Hence, his recognition as a celebrity is, of course, tied to his accomplishments in racing, but also situated in a separate sphere of fashion editorials, design collaborations, and so-called “fashion moments.”

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