Zhou Guanyu may be a Formula 1 rookie with the Alfa Romeo team this year, but he’s already making an impact in one surprising way: The fashion world. Alongside Lewis Hamilton, F1's first Chinese driver is showing that self-expression is a critical part of the sport’s new direction.
“I’ve always had a fashion sense with me,” Guanyu said in an interview with Jalopnik during the United States Grand Prix weekend. “When you jump into Formula 1, though, it grows massively.”
Guanyu has a deep interest in Prada, and his decision to start showing off his style was inspired by Lewis Hamilton. While Hamilton’s recent looks have been the work of stylists like Law Roach, Guanyu says that his outfit ideas are entirely his own — with some additions from sponsors, of course.
However, his primary motivation for his Thursday outfits is comfort. He told me that, “I just pick things I think I feel comfortable in and that look cool.” In general, that means his looks are fairly understated on the clothing side, with his shoe choices serving as a statement piece. That’s often in contrast to Hamilton’s more bombastic, eye-catching looks — but for Guanyu, the goal is not to stand out, but to express the collected self he feels he is.
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His emphasis on fashion has also paid off. Guanyu noted that his “followers and client base” have grown in response to the interest he’s shown in fashion, largely because it expresses a side of him that you may not otherwise see.
“There will be people who absolutely love it and other people who don’t understand it,” he said, “but I guess that’s just fashion, no?”