Lewis Hamilton Teases Hilfiger Collaboration
The racer hosted his first Tommy x Lewis event at the brand’s Regent Street store and used the opportunity to speak about his first steps in fashion, his love of vintage and need for self-expression.
LONDON — When plans to partner with Tommy Hilfiger took shape, Lewis Hamilton was a little bit starstruck — and very much keen to savor the experience.
“It couldn't have been more of a dream scenario to be able to learn from an icon like Tommy. So I really see it like an internship experience, because it's all new to me,” said Hamilton during an interview in London this week ahead of his first Tommy x Lewis event.
The Formula One racer attracted crowds of fans outside the brand's Regent Street store.
Mannequins teasing the first capsule collection that Hamilton designed alongside Hilfiger were scattered across the store. They wore brightly colored check shirts and kilts, bomber jackets and vintage-inspired denim.
“I really love vintage wear, so I've spent some time going through the brand's archives and really tried to bring some vintage elements into the collection. There's a velour tracksuit, which in my mind is quite a Seventies tracksuit given the bold colors,” said Hamilton. “The great thing was that they allowed me to play with a lot of different colors. Tommy is always known for color but this is even more bold than what they usually tend to do.”
The capsule also features a new H logo designed by Lewis across denim jackets, track pants and T-shirts. “If you look at every iconic logo that's out there, be it Nike, Monster or Coca-Cola, they live on, they're timeless. The Tommy Hilfiger logo is just as timeless, everyone recognizes it whether the brand name is there or not, and so I really wanted to have a logo that can stand the test of time. The dream is that people will wear these clothes and that you can eventually take away the Tommy name from it and it stands alone.”
Hamilton added that he has been spending a lot of time in Amsterdam at the Hilfiger headquarters, working and learning from the team about everything from the logo design to fabric sourcing and shooting the look book.
He will be back in August to finalize the designs of the next collection, shoot the accompanying campaign and style the clothes on models, ahead of the big unveiling that's set to take place in September, with a fashion show in Shanghai.
“We're still in the design process, but what I can tell you is that while this is focused on Tommy Men's, I really want it to be very mixed in terms of all the models and have both men and women wear the brand. Nowadays, women want to wear some men's clothes and I'd be really excited to see some women wearing it,” he added.
As he makes his first steps in the fashion world, Hamilton said he has been looking for encouragement and, at times, approval.
“If you just imagine someone who's just getting involved with the fashion world, you want to be accepted. When you get accepted it's when Donatella Versace says that she likes what you're wearing, when someone like Tommy says that he likes what you're wearing. I met Tommy outside my building almost five years ago and since then we kept bumping into each other. He always said he liked my style and my energy and for me it meant a lot to have Tommy, the icon, be so supportive and say positive things.”
Hamilton is also using the Tommy x
Lewis platform to speak about a broader range of topics that are close to his heart. A promotional video, released earlier this month, sees the racing star share “what drives him” and speaking about the importance of courage and persistence, sharing footage of his childhood years where he was karting and playing with Formula 1 toy cars.
“As a racing driver it's always been very difficult to express myself, but expression is such an important part of life. I was very restricted and very much in my shell when I was younger in the racing world. It's very pressured; you can't really show vulnerability, you are always being scrutinized from left right and center, so you have to build a thick skin and keep yourself guarded. What I love about fashion is that there are people from all walks of life sharing their own interpretations,” added Hamilton.
I Am DDB, Nick Grimshaw, Lewis
Hamilton and Eric Underwood.