It also helps that Hamilton dared to try anything. “He’s very brave with what he wears,” McNeil said of Hamilton, who has become the North Star for many menswear lovers. “Sometimes I think, ‘Well, that’s crazy! Lewis likes to say, “No, no, let’s try it. I think I can make it.” (A similar exchange occurred around the Rick Owens lawsuit). Hamilton and McNeal schedule two “very large” four-hour fittings a month, and they’ll go from there to 40 to 40 ) Potentially looking for a variety of outings. “It’s almost like sparring,” McNeil said of the dense fitting. “He has such a deep love for fashion.”
There are somethings Hamilton, a plant-based vegan Animal rights activists and animal rights activists, would avoid: Includes leather and suede. “The only exception we have is shoes, especially dress shoes,” McNeil said, noting the lack of suitable alternatives.
Fans can look forward to more eye-catching one-on-one looks from Hamilton as the season continues. In the pipeline are bespoke looks from Prada, Martine Rose, Grace Wales Bonner, Bianca Saunders, Zegna, Willy Chavarria, Paloma Spain and more. One exciting main line: the chic jumpsuit suit. “Lewis and I were talking, and we were wondering, what if we had different designers do their designs on bodysuits. So we were basically experimenting with some young independent designers.”
This is the first time McNeal has worked with an athlete client. In the past, he has worked under Jason Rembert, Kerby Jean-Raymond of Pyer Moss and Rachel Johnson, and has worked on editorial and branding projects. He’s excited that the look he creates for Hamilton can have a meaningful impact on other men’s fashion choices. “Men are very willing to take risks with their fashion these days,” he said. “I’m excited to see how this is going to shape the future of menswear. Even now, when you look at the NBA tunnel, all these players are so ostentatious and exaggerated. There’s a lot of development.”
The experimental results of the duo have been shown. “We’d be in places like Zurich or Australia and all these kids would dress like Lewis Hamilton and say how much they loved him. It’s crazy.”