How Johnny Weir Made the Winter Olympics Must-See Fashion TV
An advocate for the LGBTQ community as well as leather leggings.
Before he was the better-dressed half of the most flamboyant figure skating commentator duo on cable, Johnny Weir was turning heads in (literally) flashy ensembles on the ice rink. During his two Olympic appearances in 2006 and 2010, as well as during the many national championships in which he competed, the ice wunderkind made as much of a splash for his triple Salchows (which are not sow cows, as Google just informed me) as his ostentatious, self-styled fashion presence.
Now, alongside co-host and fellow former Olympian Tara Lipinski, Weir is an icon of over-the-top, dramatic fashions, regularly wearing luxury brands like Chanel, Louboutin, Versace, Hermes and Tom Ford, as well as of-the-moment labels like Off-White, Rick Owens and Vetements.
In 2011, Weir also stepped into the role of LGBTQ advocate, officially coming out as gay in his memoir Welcome to My World. "With people killing themselves and being scared into the closet, I hope that even just one person can gain strength from my story," he wrote of his decision to publicly disclose his sexuality. Since then, the skater has been figurehead for the community of young gay athletes and was one of the inaugural members inducted into the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Weir has since retired from competitive skating, and other LGBTQ athletes have taken up the torch to fight for gay rights on the ground at the Olympics — namely Adam Rippon, who regularly roasts the haters (including Vice President Mike Pence, a former advocate for gay conversion therapy) on Twitter whenever the opportunity presents itself.
But we can't forget that Weir — with his taste for flair and anything velvet or sequined — Zambonied the path for Rippon and other members of the LGBTQ Olympic community. And it's not like he would let us forget, either. Every time the former Olympian sets foot in front of the camera, or more accurately, outside of his door, he commands attention.
The past few days in Pyeonchang alone, Weir has served up looks, including leather Acne Studios pants, styled with Christian Louboutin shoes (naturally) and a full-on pompadour hairstyle. The next day, he stepped out in the most extra bejeweled Erickson Beamon neck cuff, a second pair of leather leggings and Versace boots. The Pennsylvania native and self-described control freak, who has styled himself since his skating days, noted he had to pack upwards of 10 suitcases for the 17-day event.
Weir's aesthetic — something between Liberace and present-day Gucci — has not gone unnoticed by the fashion crowd. In 2011, he was recruited to give an intimate performance for attendees of Elise Overland's fall collection on a makeshift ice rink at the Standard Hotel, and he was a front-row regular at shows for years. Weir's fashion prowess has also been recognized by those outside the industry — in 2014, he and co-host/BFF Lapinski served as Access Hollywood's Oscars red-carpet fashion commentators.
When he's not busy giving hot takes on the latest figure skating competitions, Weir can be found doing the most on Instagram, showing off a seriously impressive collection of Hermes Birkin bags and his hottest drag looks, as well as his gravity-defying hairstyles.
Love or hate his flashy style, there's no denying that at this point, Johnny Weir is Olympics fashion royalty. Long live the king.