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How Formula 1 racing has inspired both athleticwear and designer collections

By Jayne Mountford


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Formula 1 inspiration/ main photo Credits: Formula 1 inspiration/Launchmetrics Spotlight
A-list celebrities including Rihanna, A$AP Rocky, Lupita Nyong'o and Heidi Klum came out to watch the inaugural edition of the Las Vegas Grand Prix, held November 16-18 2023, confirming the booming interest in Formula 1 racing in The U.S. Consequently, opportunities for licensing and partnerships with both athletic and apparel brands have grown exponentially. As reported last month by FashionUnited.com, Puma named A$AP Rocky as creative director for its Puma x Formula 1 partnership. Puma said its focus will be on the intersection of motorsport and streetwear.

Tracing the trend

A bit like soccer, F1 was a sport that lagged behind in interest with the American public compared to the rest of the world. That all changed in 2019 with the debut of the Netflix series, ‘Formula 1: Drive to Survive.’ The series introduced millions of Americans not only to the excitement of futuristic-looking cars zooming around race tracks at speeds of over 200 miles, but also to the glamorous stars of the sport like Mercedes team member, Britain’s Sir Lewis Hamilton. Not only is Hamilton considered to be the greatest F1 driver of all time, he’s a closely watched fashion icon both on and off the tracks, endorsing many products Interestingly, even though F1 is majorly dominated by men, it has piqued the interest of both male and female designers and consumers.

Ferrari collection

Ferrari ss23/ look 12 Credits: Ferrari ss23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Formula 1 is a very exclusive sport with just ten teams, including the racing division of Ferrari named Scuderia Ferrari. Sensing a growing market within the fashion world, the brand hired fashion designer Rocco Iannone and started producing both men’s and women’s collections inspired by the racing team’s uniforms as worn by star drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Ferrari ss23/ look 30 Credits: Ferrari ss23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Christian Dior

At Christian Dior, both the women’s designer, Maria Grazia Chiuri and the men’s, Kim Jones have gained inspiration from Formula 1. For fw22 Chiuri showed jackets and gloves associated with the sport.

Dior fw22/ look 16 Credits: Dior fw22/Launchmetrics Spotlight
Credits: Dior fw22/Launchmetrics Spotlight

In 2022 Jones collaborated with the creators of the automotive game. Gran Turismo 7. They first created a digital one-piece racing suit, helmet, gloves, and rally-inspired ‘Diorizon’ boots. The outfit was then brought to life by the Dior ateliers.

Polish model Sabina Jakubowicz attended the ss24 Dior show wearing a version of the look.

Sabina Jakubowicz in Dior Credits: Sabina Jakubowicz in Dior/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Post-Pandemic motorsport fashion

Several collections, both men and women’s, have referenced the sport.

Marni ss22, designer, Francesco Risso

Marni ss22/ look 34 Credits: Marni ss22/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Look 34: a leather moto jacket in red, blue, black and white color blocks over blue and white shorts and a leg warmer, sporty socks and sneakers.

David Koma fw23

David Koma fw 23/ look 10 Credits: David Koma fw 23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Look 10: a collarless moto jacket in black, white and red with Marlboro logos over a white shirt and black tie; a color-blocked shearling skirt in red and black and mismatched red and black thigh high boots and gloves.

Casablanca ss24: designer, Charaf Tajer

Casablanca ss24/ look 7 Credits: Casablanca ss24/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Look 7: a crocodile print pressed leather moto jacket in color blocks of yellow, orange, black and white with the brand’s logo. The jacket was shown over a long black dress accessorized with colorful jewelry and black point toe sling-backs. The model carried a racing helmet.

Motorsport street style

Alexandra Guerin in Lamarque

Alexandra Guerin in Lamarque Credits: Alexandra Guerin in Lamarque/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Childrenswear designer Alexandra Guerin was seen at the AZ Factory ss24 show wearing a black and red leather moto jacket and matching mini skirt, both from Lamarque by Adelina Hodzic.

Indira Scott in Namilia by Nan Li and Emilia Pfohl

Indira Scott in Namilia Credits: Indira Scott in Namilia/Launchmetrics Spotlight

American model Indiri Scott was seen during Milan fashion Week fw23 wearing a vegan leather motocross jacket in black, white and blue by Namilia x Need For Speed worn with turbo moto thigh-high boots.

Look for Formula 1 and motorsports to continue to influence fashion during 2024.

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