ATHLETES INVADE MERCEDES-BENZ FASHION WEEK
The fusion of fashion and sports was evident throughout Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, with another season marked by sports-influences on the runway and sports stars in attendance. In recent years it has become commonplace to see athletes seated front row, among fashion’s biggest players, to survey new trends. Athletes across the sports spectrum were in New York this past week to view the Spring/Summer 2013 collections.
Fresh off their medal-winning performances at the London Games, Olympians were a big draw for designers. The week provided an opportunity for these athletes to extend their time in the limelight and fashion houses were happy to oblige. Olympic competitors became the “it” fixtures in show front rows, accessorized in their gold medals.
Since completing the games, gold medal swimmer, Ryan Lochte, has stolen much of the post-Olympic spotlight and he continued to do so with a whirlwind Fashion Week tour. If medals were awarded for attending the most shows, Lochte would be back on top of the podium. His non-stop Fashion Week schedule included shows like Joseph Abboud, Ralph Lauren, Rebecca Minkoff, Sherri Hill, Milly, Jeremy Scott and EleVen by Venus Williams, as well as appearances at parties for Details magazine, Emporio Armani, Brian Atwood and the US Weekly ”25 Most Stylish New Yorkers” event. On several occasions, he had fellow Olympic swimmer, Conor Dwyer, by his side.
With an eclectic sense of style and a clothing line already in the works, Lochte’s Fashion Week presence was no surprise and perhaps that’s why he was also tapped by the E! network to serve as a correspondent. His duties included backstage coverage and interviews with designers, other athletes and even Vogue’s editor-in-chief, Anna Wintour. You can check him out on-camera with E! News in the video footage here.
Olympic gold medal track and field athlete, Sanya Richards-Ross, was almost as busy as Ryan with countless runway shows on her schedule. Sanya’s lineup included appearances at BCBGMAXAZRIA, Herve Leger, Rebecca Minkoff, Tommy Hilfiger, Peter Som and Alice & Olivia. And just like Lochte, she revealed her interest in designing a line of her own.
“I love fashion, and I think I have a niche with sports fashion. Something comfortable, but yet fun and stylish. We’ll see,” she told Styleite.com.
Olympic gold medal swimmer, Nathan Adrian, made his Fashion Week debut and prior to arriving in New York, he tweeted:
“At the airport again headed off to check out fashion week. I have no idea what to expect but I am super excited!
Despite his fashion inexperience, Adrian fit in quite well. He was seated front row at the Tommy Hilfiger show and hung out backstage with the designer. He also spoke with The Cut blog and dished on his picks for the best and worst dressed Olympic swimmers.
Alex Morgan made her catwalk debut in the Just Dance 4 fashion show. The show’s looks were inspired by the video game and the Olympic gold medal-winning soccer star took to the runway donning a wild hairdo and a colorful outfit to match. Morgan switched gears to fashion spectator when she viewed the Veronica Beard presentation.
Aly Raisman, a member of the “Fierce Five,” sat front and center at the Badgley Mischka show. The Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast has expressed her passion for fashion on several occasions and has revealed design aspirations of her own.
Allyson Felix joined Sanya Richards-Ross at the Alice & Olivia presentation and the Tommy Hilfiger runway show. Here the gold-medal winning track and field star posed with Hilfiger himself.
Former Olympic figure skater, Michelle Kwan, showed her support for Vera Wang. Kwan has a longstanding relationship with the designer, who previously created her competitive costumes.
As in the past, NBA players were the dominate athletes at Fashion Week. But this year the game’s biggest style icons and runway regulars like Dwyane Wade and LeBron James stepped aside and gave way to a whole new crop of stylish NBA stars. Fashion was at the forefront throughout the 2012 NBA playoffs and finals, as players worked to one-up one another with their off-court ensembles. Taking in the shows could give these guys a competitive edge when it comes to their post-game fashions for the upcoming season.
The Lacoste show drew the largest NBA crowd with Oklahoma City Thunder guard, Russell Westbrook, Miami Heat forward, Chris Bosh, and Brooklyn Nets forward Kris Humphries lining the front row.
New York Knicks center, Tyson Chandler, has become quite a fashion risk-taker. He checked out the Altuzarra, Boy and Girl by Band of Outsiders and Alexander Wang shows decked in a black tunic, fedora and his favorite footwear, Esquivel shoes.
Russell Westbrook continued to showcase his crazy collection of shirts, which first debuted to fans throughout the NBA playoffs. He was spotted wearing a range of wild designs to the Lacoste, Billy Reid, Richard Chai and Zac Posen shows.
Kris Humphries covers the latest edition of New York Post Magazine, “The Fashion Issue,” where he revealed that the move to New York would mean an upgrade in his off-court wardrobe. To get the process moving, he observed the latest menwear trends at Lacoste and the John Varvatos and Converse launch.
Chris Bosh admitted that he and his wife, Adrienne, “help each other out style-wise.” The two checked out a range of runway shows including Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger and Duckie Brown. Bosh’s daily wardrobe was also documented by GQ magazine throughout the week. To see his Fashion Week clothing choices, read on here.
Rajon Rondo took his Fashion Week experience one step further. The Boston Celtics point guard spent the week as a GQ magazine intern, in an effort to learn the ropes in the world of men’s fashion. He attended shows including Billy Reid and Duckie Brown and provided coverage for the publication’s website.
For a recap of his internship. watch the video below:
New York Knicks guard, J.R. Smith, was another NBA player who made the Fashion Week rounds. He was spotted at Custo Barcelona, Duckie Brown and the John Varvatos and Converse launch with his brother and teammate, Chris Smith, and at the John Barlett show with New York Giants WR, Ramses Barden.
New York Knicks coach, Mike Woodson, sat front row at the Tadashi Shoji show.
Not to be outdone by his NBA competitors, Brooklyn Nets center, Brook Lopez, caught the Y-3 Yohji Yamamoto show.
Like Lopez, the always fashionable David Beckham caught the Y-3 fashion show and made an appearance at the Victoria Beckham show in support of his wife.
Maria Sharapova stepped off the U.S. Open courts and headed straight for the Victoria Beckham presentation where she sat with Anna Wintour. Later that day, Wintour took a break from Fashion Week to attend the U.S. Open women’s final, joining Serena’s family in her box.
Former tennis champ and Lacoste brand ambassador, Gustavo Kuerton, peeped the latest alligator fashions.
Similar to the NBA, NHL stars are never far from the Fashion Week action. New York Rangers teammates Brad Richards and Carl Hagelin posed together at the Joseph Abboud show. They also joined Kris Humphries at the John Varvatos and Converse launch event.
Richards and Hagelin also joined Kris Humphries and their Rangers teammates, Stu Bickel and Michael Del Zotto, at the John Varvatos and Converse launch.
Former New York Ranger, Sean Avery, Olympic fencer, Tim Morehouse, polo player, Nick Roldan, were the sportsman spotted at Michael Bastian.
Not only did athletes attend shows this season, but they put on shows as well. Venus Williams presented her revamped EleVen collection for the first time at Fashion Week. The tennis star’s unconventional clothing presentation featured athletes like Albert Evans from the New York City Ballet, as she showcased a fashion-forward line of activewear. Prior to the show, Venus offered a behind-the-scenes look at her Fashion Week preparation here.