“Apologies if I’m a little slow today,” Daniel Ricciardo says, seated on a couch through a Zoom screen. He’s touched down back in Monaco, his home base between races, and despite having flown in recently from halfway around the world, he has his signature grin.
The Australian Formula 1 driver, who has experienced an explosion in popularity and fame thanks to Netflix’s “Drive to Survive” series, has slowed down his travel schedule this season, having spent the year as Red Bull’s reserve driver. Days ago, however, it was revealed he’ll be replacing Nyck de Vries at Alpha Tauri to make his F1 return.
“I’ve realized how much we just operate on jet lag and a lack of sleep and all that,” he says of managing the breakneck schedule the sport’s drivers face as they race weekend after weekend around the world. “You kind of just learn to deal with it. I wouldn’t say you get used to it. But, yeah, it’s so tough. It’s actually probably the hardest about what we do, the sleep deprivation.”
This season he’s had the chance to get a little more sleep, as well as focus on a side project: his fashion line. Originally started as Ric3, this year he transitioned the name to Enchanté and has been creating themed drops around different Grand Prix cities. The latest, the beach club drop, comes out Thursday.
Ricciardo was originally inspired to start a clothing line after seeing how the clothing options for F1 all felt very merch-y.
“It was very team-oriented. It was just a lot of logos and sponsors, I would say. You could wear it at a racetrack and only at a racetrack — I feel like someone wearing a team shirt to a dinner feels a little weird,” he says. “I felt it wasn’t really ever very fashion-forward. So I wanted to do something a little bit cool with it. Like growing up, I listened to a lot of punk rock music and I would wear punk rock shirts and one of my favorite bands wears something and that would influence my fashion or the clothing I wanted to wear. And so I wanted to step into that world.”
He began with Ric3, which comes from his last name and his racing number, but started to feel the name was too motor-sport focused, and he’s always wanted his line to find a larger audience. They dabbled with calling a collection Enchanté in 2021, to see how it would perform without Ricciardo’s name attached to it, and were encouraged by the results enough to make a proper rebrand this year.
“I would love for people to see it as a brand on its own, as opposed to something necessarily associated with me,” he says. “Obviously I’m very proud of it and I do care a lot about it, but I would love for people to just look at it and be like, ‘that looks cool. I have no idea who Daniel Ricciardo is but I’m really into that.’ I mean, I love seeing it in the wild. I was in New York just before Montreal and I saw a few people walking around SoHo with some of the pieces on and I was like, ‘oh, that’s really cool.’”
He chose the name for a handful of reasons — the first of which being, naturally, “because I love the way it sounds.”
“I think it sounds so elegant and it makes you sound a lot smarter than you really are,” he says with a smile. “I don’t really know French, but when I say ‘enchanté,’ I feel like the perception is, ‘oh, he speaks fluent French.’ It’s a little bit of a laugh. But also I’ve spent a lot of my life here [in Monaco], based in the south of France. This is year 10 actually. This part of the world resonates with me in terms of it’s very summer-orientated. You’ve got the coast, your beaches, your day clubs. I feel like people associate Monaco and the south of France with a holiday. That’s what I want the brand to reflect: easygoing, happiness. We don’t want to take ourselves too seriously. That’s kind of the world where I think it lives and it works well.”
Ricciardo says his own sense of style continues to evolve with time and is heavily influenced by all the traveling he does for the sport.
“You are constantly inspired to try something else,” he says. “For many years, because I grew up listening to punk rock music and I loved extreme sports like skateboarding, I was always kind of into skinny jeans with oversized Ts and some Vans. But I love knits now. And I would say 18 months ago I would never have even thought of wearing a knit sweater. I’m probably showing that I’m in my mid-30s soon.”
He hopes to one day open a physical store in New York with a coffee shop attached to it; after all, “us Australians have the best coffee,” he says. He’s chosen to set the business out of New York as Americans are the most prevalent Enchanté consumers.
“I always felt like Formula 1 was pretty big here, but it’s gone just bonkers the last few years since the Netflix series,” Ricciardo says. “Honestly, when I was in New York, I felt like I got stopped more there than I would back home. Really. I felt like New York is maybe the most popular place, which is wild.”