Fashion Formula 1
Having reached an enormous viewership of 1.54 billion in the previous season, Formula 1 is currently viewed as the ideal advertising platform for investors and companies, who are competing to associate themselves with circuits, teams, and drivers, as well as having their own place in the sun.
The fashion industry couldn’t miss out, given that the sportswear sector is visibly expanding, with revenues increasing from $178 billion in 2021 to over $200 billion last year. “For fashion brands, collaborating with Formula 1 means looking at an evolving sport, full of young and ambitious fans, often with high purchasing power,” emphasized Manvi Mittal, a fashion publicist and creator of the Females in Motorsport podcast.
In conjunction with the arrival of American ownership by Liberty Media and the great success of the Netflix TV series ‘Drive to Survive’, the composition of the audience has significantly changed, with female participation in the demographic segment ranging from 15 to 35 years old approaching an unprecedented 40%. This has made Formula 1 “one of the most popular sports worldwide, if not the most popular on the planet,” as explained by George Ciz, marketing manager of Tag Heuer, a prestigious luxury chronograph brand.
The drivers themselves have long been flirting with the world of fashion. Lewis Hamilton is the face of Valentino DI.VAs in the PinkPP campaign and a global ambassador for Tommy Hilfiger. Daniel Ricciardo attended the Met Gala – a fashionable event in New York – with Thom Browne. Guanyu Zhou, Charles Leclerc, and Pierre Gasly have been seen at fashion weeks in Paris and Milan. Lando Norris, Max Verstappen, and Carlos Sainz have appeared on the covers of industry-leading magazines such as Vanity Fair and GQ. Moreover, in 2021, Ferrari launched a ready-to-wear line designed by creative director Rocco Iannone: “I enjoyed writing Ferrari’s creative lexicon, imagining an aesthetic and stylistic territory where the characteristics of the automotive world are recognized in clothing.”
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The first bridge between Formula 1 and fashion was Benetton in the 1980s, which approached the paddock first as a sponsor of Tyrrell and Alfa Romeo before creating Benetton Formula in 1986, rising from the ashes of Toleman. Tommy Hilfiger entered the sport in 1991 with Lotus and later partnered with Mercedes in 2018, working closely together. Recently, Mitchell & Ness, an American brand of basketball-inspired jerseys, entered into an agreement with McLaren. And let’s not forget Puma, already a sponsor of Ferrari, which signed a multi-year contract with Formula 1 as the “exclusive supplier” of accessories and clothing, as well as responsible for team merchandise sales.
The Chanel t-shirt
In this scenario, the golden showcase of the Monaco Grand Prix has attracted a large number of fashion celebrities to the paddock, such as Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Right in the Principality, Chanel presented a collection on the runway at the Monte-Carlo Beach Hotel, featuring bodysuits inspired by racing driver overalls and creations that evoked car racing and racing aesthetics, as reported by Nssgclub. Designer Virginie Viard wanted to draw female attention to sportswear, immediately gaining the approval of some prominent fashion influencers, making two particular t-shirts go viral.
These t-shirts feature camellias and the number 5, typical traits of the French brand, combined with a design resembling the 1973 Tyrrell 005 that legendary Jackie Stewart drove to victory in the World Championship and the Monaco Grand Prix.
Videos that appeared en masse on TikTok, produced by some influencers, along with an exceptional model like Charlotte Casiraghi during the race weekend, have turned the t-shirt into a true “fashion obsession” for Formula 1 enthusiasts. Given that it was presented in the luxurious setting of Monaco, where a billionaire has even spent $2.4 million just to moor a yacht at the port during the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, it’s not surprising that the price of the t-shirt is high. The base version is reportedly priced at $4,450, according to Highsnobiety, while the version with beads goes up to $6,000. The limited availability of the garment, which is part of the maison’s 2023 resort collection, could potentially increase its cost to $10,000. A cost clearly suitable for a prince.