Even though he has been in New York City for more than a decade, the view from a 78th-floor penthouse balcony—of the Financial District and the Hudson River, with an up-close-and-personal look at One World Trade Center—still astonishes Rangers goalie HenrikLundqvist.
“I gotta get a picture,” he says, pulling out his phone. The 35-year-old Swede is dressed in an expertly tailored, slim navy blue suit and a crisp, white shirt, accented with a tie bar, cuff links and a TAG Heuer watch. His hair is flawlessly coiffed, his beard and mustache so precisely trimmed that not one hair is out of place.
Against this skyline backdrop in early June, Lundqvist—No. 6 on SI's 2017 Fashionable 50 list—sat down with SI to talk about fashion in the NHL, his personal style and how it’s changed over the course of his 12 seasons in the league, and more.
Jamie Lisanti:Tell me about what you’re wearing now. Why did you choose this outfit?
Henrik Lundqvist: I like blue. Different shades of blue. (Laughs.) I try to switch around the suits. I don’t like to wear the same suits too many times. I have them on rotation a bit. But then I definitely have a few suits that I like a little more that I might wear for more important moments of the year, when I feel like I want to dress up a little more.
But I’m very comfortable in suits. We travel in suits, we wear suits to the games. Five days a week I’m probably in a suit. Over the years I just got used to it. But also on my off days, I have a chance to dress down. I’m a jeans guy.
JL: What makes a suit special? Do you have a favorite?
HL: To me, the No. 1 thing with the suit is the fit. It’s not the brand. Obviously when you have nicer brands you can tell in the material it feels better, breathes better. But I take my suits to a tailor to get them fixed after I buy them. For me I don’t like when there is too much going on, too many patterns. I’d rather go along with the clean look rather than the all over-the-place look.
JL: We just spent some time with Walt Clyde Frazier—his style is the opposite of that clean look that you prefer.
HL: Yes, but he pulls it off. New York is such a good place for that, you see so many different styles and people just own it. You can really be who you want to be when it comes to fashion—it’s comfortable. If you’re in a place where people aren’t as open minded to fashion, it might be harder sometimes to dress exactly way you want.
JL: When you first came here and first started playing on the Rangers, did your style fit in with New York?
HL: I think it fit in with New York but it didn’t really fit in with hockey. I remember all of the older guys, they were making fun of my suits, my skinny ties and my skinny jeans. But for New York, it blended it right away. But now you see a change a little bit in hockey with the younger guys, they care a little more about fashion.
But it’s funny, if I compare myself to regular Swedes or people here in New York, I don’t see myself as very fashionable. I have a certain way to dress, but it’s not like I’m trying to hit trends.
JL: So when you go back to Sweden for the summer, do you feel like you have to step up your game a little bit?
HL: When I was younger, I tried to. Between 17 and 24 there was a lot of trying and finding out what you like. Then you start finding the stuff you like. If people appreciate that, its good, and if they don’t, I’m fine with that too. I look in my closet I have stuff that I like. I don’t look in my closet and have stuff that I think other people might like. I think that’s the biggest change of being younger and growing up a little bit. At least for me.
JL:Is there an outfit you regret wearing?
HL: Oh, yeah. Plenty of outfits. A lot of jackets, coats. Definitely some jackets I wore just once and they stayed in the closet. When you look at old photos, you’re like maybe that wasn’t the best choice. But you learn from your mistakes.
JL: What do you think about the relationship between fashion and hockey?
HL: It’s big difference now than 12 years ago when I got here. Hockey is very old school and traditional when it comes not only to the game, but everything around the game. Now it’s changing with the younger guys—they care a little more about fashion. I think its cool to see players now-a-days, they express themselves through fashion. You see it in other sports more than hockey for sure, but it’s moving in the right direction.
The gap the people that didn’t really care and those that cared 12 years ago was bigger. Now you see most guys actually care about what they wear. Even though a lot of guys in hockey, especially on off days, it more about being comfortable than fashionable.
JL: What inspires you when it comes to your style?
HL: I must say, I really enjoy watching the [James] Bond movies now. Not only because they are really great movies, but they always bring in the latest technology, cars and fashion. It’s just fun to see. Last movie, he had some great looks. And I’m a big fan of cars. So it all ties in. And of course he’s a badass too, saving the world.