“I’m a big believer that when you look good, you fight good,” says two-time world champion boxer Amir Khan. The 25-year-old Bolton-born fighter isn’t just one of the best pound-for-pound pugilists in the world – he’s also one of Britain’s best-dressed sports stars, has modelled for Prada and is a regular on the front row at London Collections: Men.
At the London launch of his new Burton menswear campaign in London recently, Khan wore a tweed jacket and jeans as hundreds of fight fans queued for his signature. GQ.com sat down with him to talk dressing like a role model, his love of watches and the importance of a well fitting suit.
After the Olympic Games in 2004, everybody wanted to see Amir Khan. People started to see me as a role model, so I thought, “They can’t see me in trackies. I have to start dressing smart.”
I’m 100 per cent behind British designers. You have to support your own.
I’ve always liked to be dressed well. If you look at boxers, they’re never into fashion. Even when I’m in the ring, I always try and look good.
When I’m buying suits, I’ll pick the colour first but then the most important thing is it has to fit really well. I’m not going to wear something that looks baggy. I’ve got a wide back and big shoulders, so I need to make sure it fits well – I’ve bought suit jackets before off the peg without trying them on and the sizes have just been out a little bit.
Going to menswear day at London Fashion Week and doing shoots with magazines has helped me understand more about fashion. It’s got me more interested more in colour coordination and what looks good together. It gives you an inside track on how to show yourself off.
When I got my first big boxing pay cheque, I dropped it on a car I really wanted: a BMW series 6 convertible. I think I was only 17, I had only just passed my driving test. I’ve also bought a nice white Range Rover. When I got another big pay cheque I bought a house with a swimming pool. I work so hard I like to treat myself now and then.
I love my watches. I’ve got watches from everywhere from Audemars Piguet to Franck Muller. Today I’m wearing a Rolex Daytona – it’s a really rare one, stainless steel. You won’t see many of these.
I’ve got my own AK brand now, which I’m promoting, so I’ve started wearing it when I’m boxing in the gym in LA. From tracksuits to shorts, T-shirts, boxing kit, boots, everything’s AK. Available on the website!
Tinie Tempah dresses really well. I like the way he puts things together.
I don’t really know any footballers who dress well – except for David Beckham. He always looks good.
I’m going to get a nice bespoke suit for my wedding. I want to look amazing. It’s not enough looking smart – I have to look dapper!
I’ve got a lean body shape so that almost everything looks good against me. I can get away with things that not everyone else can.