It’s unofficial, but Verizon IndyCar Series fashion week is in full swing in Indianapolis as drivers prepare for the inaugural Grand Prix of Indianapolis.
Alex Tagliani’s wife, Bronte, is writing about track style in her blog, bellennoir.com. And on May 6 she organized a fashion shoot with drivers, 500 Festival princesses and Fox 59’s Sherman Burdette at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
They all looked to be having a great time as Tagliani checked styles and, in the case of IndyCar driver Martin Plowman, carefully rolled and cuffed a sleeve or two.
Driver Sage Karam, who made waves this week when he announced plans to field a car for the Indianapolis 500 with country music star Brantley Gilbert’s face on it, participated, too.
“Events like these are fun because it kind of takes the stress and all the pressure off of the racing,” said Karam, who added that he had a lot of fun wearing a pair of fur boxer shorts in an Indy 500 fashion show two years ago.
Later in the day, driver Simon Pagenaud and his girlfriend, Hailey McDermott, were the guests of honor at a Raleigh Limited cocktail party. The men’s clothier — with the help of the European line, Sand — is providing Pagenaud with off-track clothes this month in Indianapolis. To celebrate, Raleigh Limited invited a few customers, served a few cocktails and an IndyCar was parked in front of the store, causing a buzz.
Pagenaud arrived in an elegant, tapered Sand suit, a pair of Donald J. Pliner shoes but no tie.
“I don’t wear a tie, no. You know why, because my dad (who owns a supermarket in France) wear ties every day,” said Pagenaud.
As for the rest of his look, Pagenaud was pleased.
“I like dressing well because it gives me confidence. I feel stronger and I feel happy,” he said. “Sand gave me this opportunity and I shop here in Indianapolis and we connected together. They are interested in my image and I am interested in their clothes and the look they have. That’s what we connected.”
Pagenaud prefers tapered, elegant pieces, so Sand is a good choice, said Gerard Moreau, Raleigh’s manager and buyer.
“It’s a very updated but elegant style,” said Moreau. “Everything (race car drivers) do is at a fast pace and everything they wear is going to show that type of personality.”