'I have 130 pairs of shoes': Model swimmer Ryan Lochte on his passion for fashion as he reveals post-Olympic plans to design
20:42 GMT, 11 June 2012
Golden boy: Ryan Lochte wants to pursue a career in fashion once he is done with the Olympic pool
Many would say that three-time Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte has already achieved his dreams.
But the 25-year-old New York-born swimmer has revealed he plans to ditch the pool one day to pursue his real passion – fashion design.
The sporting champion told The New York Times: 'I want to be different, and fashion gives me the outlet to do that'. In fact, he said he 'hated talking about swimming'.
The swimmer, who is expected to
qualify later this month for several 2012 Olympic Games events that will
see him face off against fellow U.S. champion Michael Phelps, said
there is more to him than the sport.
'I don't want to be stuck in the swimming world,' he said. 'I don't just eat, swim, sleep – I don't do that.'
He has already demonstrated his unique style at previous competitions.
laid-back Olympian, who owns 130 pairs of shoes, wore diamond grillz
over his teeth when he collected a gold medal at FINA Swimming World
Championships in Shanghai last year.
He also designed a pair of emerald
rhinestone-encrusted sneakers with Speedo.
protests, he is not able to wear his debut design to the London Olympics at the end
Instead, he must wear the Ralph Lauren U.S team uniform; it's a rule that he believes 'stinks'.
He told that paper he will pair the outfit with his own accessories.
'Maybe like red, white, blue [grillz],' he said.
He added that his idol is Lil Wayne, often donning the same type of flashy jewellery that the rapper is renowned for.
Superstar: The swimmer hates talking about swimming' and said there is more to him than the sport
Most notably, Mr Lochte recently appeared on the front cover
of Vogue magazine, his beloved industry's undisputed
The swimmer became the fourth man to ever be featured on its front cover.
He and a handful of his sporting peers took part in a photo shoot with American It model Karlie Kloss, which appeared inside the issue's pages.
And he is receiving further fashion cred outside of the photo studio as well.
He is often dressed by Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren when he attends public events and has been signed by Ford Models modeling agency.
Malone, the director of marketing at Speedo which is one of the
swimmer's sponsors, said she and her team are genuinely big fans of Mr Lochte.
Super star: The athlete (center) featured on the cover of Vogue magazine with Hope Solo (left) and Serena Williams (right). In doing so, he became the fourth man in history to serve as the magazine's cover star
'We always sort of internally refer to him as the rock star of the swimming community,' she said.
Speedo has sponsored him since 2006 and has him under contract until 2016.
'If someone's zigging left, he's zagging right,' she added.
'He wants to stand out.'
Meanwhile, Bob Dorfman, the executive creative director of Baker Street Advertising said his appeal is 'through the roof'.
'He has potential for winning golds and then just the fact that he's so damn good-looking,' he said.
'If he can't beat Michael Phelps in
anything else, he can beat him in that category.'