How Formula One Became Fashion’s Favorite Sport

As F1 becomes more and more successful internationally and online and its drivers become increasingly involved in the fashion space, trends have also started to shift in the direction of the sport. On the fall/winter 2022 runways, moto- and racing-inspired silhouettes, like padded color-block leather jackets and gloves as well as helmets, appeared at some of fashion month’s most prominent shows, including Dior, Balmain, David Koma, and Coperni. In May, Chanel held its Resort 23 show on the beaches of Monte Carlo, nearby where the iconic Monaco Grand Prix has taken place since 1950. For the collection, Creative Director Virginie Viard designed racing suits and mechanic’s overalls in a glamorized fashion, made of sequins and tweed. She also featured checkered flag patterns and helmets printed with the number five on them. The trend continued the following season, with Ferrari and Stella McCartney both showcasing racing suits in their S/S 23 collections, and brands such as GCDS, Dion Lee, Eytys, Balenciaga, Courrèges, and Diesel all included pieces similar to those worn in motorsport.

Perhaps even more influential are the prominent figures in fashion who’ve been all too ready to embrace the trend. Dua Lipa donned Givenchy racing gear during her recent trip to Japan, and Rosalía wore moto-inspired looks throughout her Motomami World Tour. Content creators Emili Sindlev, Camille Charrière, and Chiara Ferragni have all, too, added to the racing craze with their outfits, leading mass fashion brands like Zara to introduce moto styles of their own to their offerings in recent months. 

Thus far on the fashion circuit, though, many trends have leaned more toward bikercore than specifically F1, but Fashionista editor and F1 fan India Roby is predicting a transition into “motorcore” any day now. “Right now, people are bunching all things motorcycles and race cars into one big trend, but we’ll probably see more people set them apart soon,” she says. “I feel that we’re close to a fashion-F1 breakthrough.” According to Roby, with the hype around the sport currently at an all-time high as we approach the end of the 2022 season and the fifth season of Drive to Survive on its way, the combination of F1 fandom and fan fashion is about to explode. And when it does, she says vintage merch—like Ferrari varsity jackets, one-piece utility jumpsuits, balaclavas, and team-branded caps—will be impossible to miss.

Clearly, anyone who still thinks modern-day F1 starts and stops with on-track racing is sorely mistaken. And as Roby implied, the sport’s connection to the fashion world isn’t on course to end anytime soon. According to Gaur, interest in driver style is the highest it’s been since she launched @hamazinglew. “When I started posting about Lewis back in 2018, I was the only such page in F1 on Instagram,” she says. Now, ID accounts are commonplace for practically every driver as well as their partners, who oftentimes end up influencers themselves. (See Charlotte Siné, Isa Hernáez, and Carmen Montero Mundt for proof.) “Personally, I think this is great to see within a sport which has been so narrow-minded in its ideologies,” says Gaur. F1 is changing and, in turn, becoming more inclusive and far easier to get involved in, especially for fans who didn’t grow up watching races. At the rate we’re moving, it won’t be long before fans start arriving at the sport for the clothes. Once they hear the fast cars, I guarantee they’ll be hooked.

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