Two events consume national attention in late August and early September: the U.S. Open and New York Fashion Week. One man straddles the two worlds effortlessly: Swiss tennis ace and fashion icon Roger Federer. While his tennis career may be coming off its high point (everyone asks him about retirement these days), his presence in fashion circles only seems to grow. Remember the uproar after he cut his long hair? Or when he donned all black for a match? Just a few weeks ago he caused a stir when he wore Nike sneakers with orange soles—which were promptly banned (not white enough).
We got about 90 seconds to chat with Federer, 32, at Moet & Chandon's 270th anniversary party (he's now the global brand ambassador) at the Pier 59 party space in Chelsea. And if there's any doubt about his significance in the fashion world, it should be noted that Vogue's Anna Wintour arrived by helicopter to make it in time for the event.
DETAILS: How do you come up with new outfits for your matches?
ROGER FEDERER: I'm very involved with Nike. We have 12 outfits a year. They keep me changing all the time. It becomes very challenging; we discuss it a lot. We plan, believe it or not, up to one and a half years in advance. It's all on paper at first. We talk about the colors, where and what, and how to do it.
DETAILS: Will you be attending Fashion Week?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, I have to play well. That's number one. If I do, I have to match it up with my schedule so it doesn't conflict with my tennis. I have been in the past—Oscar De la Renta, Marc Jacobs, those guys—and I love it. I'd love to go.
DETAILS: Do designers help you come up with outfits for swanky events like this one?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I choose myself; I shop myself. I mix it up. Tonight's Dior and Louis Vuitton. I play around with it. Anything goes.
DETAILS: If you could play a doubles match with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
ROGER FEDERER: Good question. Nelson Mandela, maybe? Muhammad Ali? Michael Jordan? Bjrn Borg?
—James Oliver Cury