Lewis Hamilton Reveals His 4 Biggest Sources Of Style Inspo | Men's Health Magazine Australia

Lewis Hamilton Reveals His 4 Biggest Sources Of Style Inspo

In this special guest-edited section, 
Tommy Hilfiger’s new ambassador, 
F1 superstar Lewis Hamilton, reveals 
the influences that have ignited 
his champion mentality and made him the man he is today.

Michael Jackson

“Michael Jackson was the greatest for me. He had an incredible journey, voice and talent. Thriller is my favourite album – it’s timeless” – LH

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Things got a little messy there at the end. Between the $1m-a-month live-in doctor, the prescription drug injections, the divorces and the, ah, you know . . . the court stuff, Michael Jackson’s music started to seem like a secondary act. But now, nearly a decade after his death, is it any easier to seperate the music from the man? Thriller, after all, remains the best-selling album of all time, moving over 60 million certified copies, as well as one of the most honoured, collecting a historic eight Grammys. It’s 13-minute video was trailblazing. Jackson reimagined the art form. He made MTV MTV and after his death the video was inducted into the National Film Registry. How many other pop artists have received that particular honour? Let’s see . . . none. “He had more raw talent as a performer than any of his peers,” read a piece published in The Atlantic a year later. “But the King of Pop reigns as the century’s signature artist not just because of his exceptional talent, but because he was able to package that talent in a whole new way. In both form and content, Jackson simply did what no one had done before.” And when that esteemed cultural monitor said ‘signature artist’ it wasn’t just talking performing artists. His contribution outranked that of any other actor, author, visual artist, whatever, working at the time. Jackson will always be a complicated figure. A severely messed-up childhood doesn’t absolve the adult who survived it. And maybe the contribution of an artist can’t ever be judged separate to a personal life so gravely problematic. But for a second, when you’re busting out your moonwalk at a wedding, when Man in the Mirror’s litte-big-tiny-huge crescendo has you feeling your feelings, or when you’re doing the arm bit of Thriller for shit-all reason except that it’s cool, it feels like it can. Ow! Shamone. – Meg Mason

Muay Thai

“I’m really into Muay Thai boxing. It’s a full-body workout that makes me feel like a gladiator”– LH

If boxing, as popularly proclaimed, is the sweet science, then Muay Thai is a pungent form of applied physics. Few fighting styles are as ferocious in tempo or as physically exacting as the Thai discipline, also known as the art of eight limbs – fists, elbows, knees and shins. Originating in the 18th century, the sport’s popularity has surged with the rise of MMA. Now embraced by both elite sportsmen searching for an edge and office workers escaping their comfort zones, it’s a discipline that asks questions of both body and mind. At its best, the blizzard of moving body parts combines sublime efficiency with brutal results. At the same time, it imposes unparalleled physical demands, says Pongsakorn Srithep, a triple-belt Thai world champion, currently teaching at 8 Limbs gym in Bondi. “The variety of training makes it very punishing,” says Srithep. “You need high-intensity cardio, endurance and strength.” Practice is ritualistic, akin to sharpening a knife against stone, in prep for bouts that swing between furious exchanges of kicks and punches to tight, sinew-eating clinches. The precision and wits required to throw and evade blows in the fray call on the fighter to subvert ego and pride in order to elevate focus to a higher plane. “There’s a lot of strategy – it’s physical chess,” says Srithep. Like all martial arts, to practise Muay Thai is to confront your fears. “To get in the ring with someone is daunting,” says Srithep. “Not everyone can handle it.” Ultimately, the discipline demands sacrifice. One repaid in the character defining traits: humility and self-respect. – Ben Jhoty 

Pharrel Williams

“Pharrell doesn’t conform to expectations and will rock-up to a black-tie event in the boldest outfit. He owns it and no one can do anything about it” – LH

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A leather moto jacket, flannel shirt, Docs and torn jeans is not, sartorially speaking, a risky decision. Unless it’s to make an appearance at the annual Costume Institute Gala, the Oscars of the fashion industry. In which case, opting out of black tie takes next-level confidence. Pharrell Williams has it. Somewhere in the red-carpet section of his wardrobe is a US$67,000 patchwork coat from Celine’s womenswear collection, velvet and camo-print tuxedos, Hermes Birkin bags, several fur hoodie, and The Hat. Mixed with the high-street pieces he collaborated on with Uniqlo, the denim edit he designed for G-Star Raw, and his Pharrell x Adidas kicks, style-wise it’s a broad church. But then, you don’t make fashion icon status by following the rules. And apparel isn’t even the man’s day job. At 45, Williams is a ten-time Grammy winning super-producer, turning out hit after hit for artists as diverse as T.I, Justin Beiber and Kylie Minogue. Turn on any radio at any time and chances are you’re listening to something that began as a three-note riff in Williams’ head. Then, of course, there’s the Academy Awardnominated soundtracks, presumably written around his considerable philanthrophic work. Success on that level can turn a man into . . . you know, kind of a jag. Somehow Wlliams has remained grounded, albeit fastidious. On his his approach to mixing tracks he told New York Magazine: “It’s like you’re super late to work, and you put on socks, and all of a sudden they’re both Nike socks, but one sock has a grey toe. No one’s ever going to see it . . . but you know it. Fucks my whole day up.” But if both Ed Sheeran and Mary J. Blige describe you as the humblest human being they’ve ever met, it’s likely true. “I’m not better than anyone else,” Williams said at Cannes. “It’s important to celebrate differences and pride yourself on being individual. That’s your thing.” In fashion, in music, philanthropy, film, that’s certainly his thing. – Meg Mason

Muhammad Ali

“I’ve always looked up to Muhammad Ali and the way he carried himself. He stood up for himself and his values, which is something that’s very true of the Hamilton family as well” – LH

Odd, perhaps, how we revere those adept in the savage arts. But to regard Muhammad Ali as merely a boxer is like calling Bradman a cricketer or Shakespeare a scribbler. Ali fought all right – as gracefully, skilfully, gallantly as any man has. His knack was to do the impossible. Sonny Liston was meant to be unbeatable; he quit on his stool to make Ali champion. George Foreman was a bludgeoning force of death; Ali pounced off the ropes to flatten him in the Rumble in the Jungle. And when the pep had left his previously lightning fists and dancing feet, his response was to mine his reserves of hitherto secondary traits – perseverance, nous, stamina – to outbox Leon Spinks and become king of the heavyweights once more. Was he The Greatest? Probably, though who’s to say? As a fighter he was not without flaw. He held his hands low; he rarely went to the body. But Ali is shortchanged when his quiver of attributes is reduced to speed, power and precision, astonishing though these were. There was also the toughness. Or granite chin. “Man,” said Joe Frazier after losing the Thrilla in Manilla, their epic third fight, “I hit him with punches that’d bring down the walls of a city.” The ring craft was a fraction of the Ali magic. A warrior who looked like a film star and raved like a poet, Ali was charismatic, loquacious and exuberant, able to play the hero or villain with equal magnetism. And while he was scathing at times of opponents, this was balanced by a joy underpinned by innocence. “I don’t have to be who you want me to be,” Ali declared the day after dethroning Liston. “I’m free to be who I want.” It was a sentiment he honoured to the hilt. Defiant and principled, if not always a voice for unity, Ali converted from Christianity to Islam and discarded what he called his “slave name” (Cassius Clay) for one bestowed by a separatist black sect. He stood up to the US government, refusing to be sent abroad to kill men with whom he had no quarrel. He saved his best for the opponent he couldn’t conquer, the Parkinson’s disease that ravaged his once-perfect body over more than 30 years. Remember him how you will, as the twinkle-toed entertainer, the bellicose agitator or the dignified, trembling old man. There was a dash of greatness in them all. – Daniel Williams

By Mens Health Staff

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