From the racetrack to the fashion industry, Lewis Hamilton has made a sizeable impact on everything he associates himself with. Who can forget the time he invited three emerging Black designers to join him at the Met Gala in 2021?
The British driver, who races for the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team, is an icon in motorsports with seven World Championships under his belt. However, it is also his ongoing effort to champion inclusivity within the sport, and a style signature like no other, that has made him a household name worldwide.
Ahead of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, Hamilton stopped by Dubai to attend an exclusive event honoring his team’s partnership with Swiss luxury watchmakers IWC Schaffhausen.
Vogue Man Arabia caught up with Lewis Hamilton for a quick conversation about his projects off-the-track, his favorite timepieces, and of course, fashion.
You are known for your incredible work off-track, championing inclusivity within the sport. Why does this continue to be important to you, and what more work needs to be done to achieve this?
I mean, we’ve only really started the work, what is it like, two years ago now? We’re just in the beginning of starting to see some real change. We have to continue to work to create more accessibility and particularly work on helping youth trying to get into STEM subjects so that we can create a better future for them.
What are your favorite timepieces from your watch collection?
My favorites are the Big Pilots, more so because I like the weight. I’m wearing a Big Pilot now, the Lake Tahoe, but I think I’ve just always liked the weight. Also, the first Big Pilot that I had, was a part of Top Gun. So at the back, it had a Top Gun badge and I was a massive Top Gun fan. But I generally love all the timepieces, particularly the Portugieser and I’ve done a new piece, the Tourbillon movement, which is my favorite movement.
If you had to give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would that be?
A piece of advice to my younger self would be pretty much what my dad said, which was never to give up.
Your race weekend outfits are always well thought out and create a lot of buzz. How would you describe your personal style?
I’ve always described it as urban-chic, kind of mixing a lot of high-end streetwear. But I guess it’s kind of evolving. It’s constantly evolving and I’m constantly discovering new designers. On certain weekends, [I am] trying to really shine a spotlight on up-and-coming diverse creatives. I enjoy that side of my life.
With a number of recent partnerships and launches, you continue to expand the Lewis Hamilton empire beyond racing. How do you decide which projects are worth putting your time and effort in?
The partnerships that we end up doing—and I guess it’s when you have the meeting with people—you see whether or not you connect and vibe, then I always find this an opportunity to learn from new people, learn from new opportunities. Also, when I ask the question of, you know, what are you doing in the background to help people? So we end up partnering and trying to make sure we’re always mixing it with some impact of work.