Playing in New York City for over a decade has given Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist plenty of time to develop his style. The Swedish-born NHL star has been named the “most stylish athlete” in sports as part of New York Fashion Week and has previously developed his own fashion line with Bread & Boxers, as well as a special edition watch with TAG Heuer.
Not bad for a guy who previously said that for a big part of his life, he had “no idea what I was doing” when it came to style and that he “made a lot of mistakes.”
“Over the years I learned that the best advice when it comes to style is simple: be true to yourself,” Lundqvist told Men’s Journal. “Year-by-year I tried new things and I learned from my style mistakes. I had some really bad outfits at the beginning—nothing worked together. You go through things and find out what you like and what works for you. Eventually, you get to: ‘This is me, this is who I am and how I want to dress.’ My best advice is to be yourself and try and stick to that.”
One thing Lundqvist has developed over the years as part of his style is a love of watches. Lundqvist has partnered and collaborated with TAG Heuer over the years, including when he helped design a special edition version of the Aquaracer Quartz watch.
“It’s hard to beat a TAG Heuer watch. As a brand itself, all they do is quality when it comes to timepieces and I’ve had a lot of fun working with the brand,” Lundqvist said. “Their mindset and motto at TAG Heuer is ‘don’t crack under pressure.’ That mindset, that’s what it really is for me and is such a big part of what I do. Being a goalie, you’re the only guy back there. You can’t afford to make mistakes—and if you make mistakes, it’s going to cost you. So I really take that slogan to heart.”
Lundqvist spoke with Men’s Journal about playing in New York for a decade, how he trains, and his favorite types of watches.
How did you develop your style?
It was never a goal of mine to be trendy or anything, a lot of times I like things that might be out of style. I don’t really care because I feel comfortable in it. And once you have that confidence in yourself about, you don’t even think about it. Sometimes it can take some time. But New York is a great place for that, you can try everything. No matter what you do, there’s going to be someone else dressed even wilder on the street [laughs]. I want to feel comfortable when I dress because when I’m uncomfortable, I don’t feel like me. So I dress how I feel and it’s great to use style as a way of representing myself and I try and stick to that. So once you figure that out, you can try to be consistent in your style.
What are some of the ways you train for the NHL season?
The last couple of years have been a lot more focused on my leg workouts. Core for me is also very important as a goalie. I try to keep my back and hips feeling the right way. I think also as we get older, the best way to maximize your strength is by making sure everything is in line and making sure you’re stretching, which helps prevent injuries. Sometimes those smaller moves make the big differences, by building those little muscles you keep everything else healthy. One of the other things I like to do is tennis during the summer. It’s a lot of quick movements and in a funny way, it’s a lot of the same movements as I do in hockey. I try to make working out fun when I can, and tennis is something that’s great for exercise and I like it as well. But overall for me, working out my core, back, and legs are essential.
What have you enjoyed about collaborating with TAG Heuer over the years and your partnership together?
It’s hard to beat a TAG Heuer watch. As a brand itself, all they do is quality when it comes to timepieces and I’ve had a lot of fun working with the brand. I remember one project with them we did over the summer, and I got together with someone back in Europe and we drove these amazing cars. And their mindset and motto at TAG Heuer is “don’t crack under pressure.” That mindset, that’s what it really is for me and is such a big part of what I do. Being a goalie—but also for artists, being athletic, or when you’re training—the biggest part is your mindset and how you deal with your emotions.
Being a goalie, you’re the only guy back there. You can’t afford to make mistakes—and if you make mistakes, it’s going to cost you. So I really take that slogan to heart. It’s been a lot of fun working with the brand for a few years now. I had the opportunity to design my own watch last year and it was exciting. TAG Heuer always means the best and they have a great group of people there that I’ve worked with.
How has your training changed over the course of your career?
I guess as I’ve progressed in my career it’s more just figuring out what do you need and how do I get through it to keep myself at my best. When I was younger, I trained a certain way and as you get older, you have to tweak that a little bit. Maybe you work out a little less or with a bit less intensity, or you lower the weights when you need to. As you get older, you listen to your body more and I noticed over the years, like my back and hips needed more attention. Now, I need to be more focused on those areas to make sure they’re all where they need to be and stay healthy. I make sure I’m strengthening the areas around those and so over time, you learn what you need and give an extra focus on those areas.
You previously collaborated with TAG Heuer on a special edition of the Aquaracer Quartz watch. What was that experience like for you in helping design a model?
Obviously, they have the brains and the knowledge when it comes to making a watch. For me, it was great to be able to get some guidance from the experts and go back and forth about the designs. Getting to tell them what I like and don’t like. The final result was to have a watch that I would be proud of and excited about, and we came up with some great designs for it. It was a lot of fun to be part of the process and it was also fun to give a couple of watches to some of my friends as gifts and be the one who helped design it. And to be able to have my own number on it and have it made in collaboration together, it was special to me, especially as someone who loves watches.
If someone is looking to buy a watch for someone as a gift, what are some things they should consider and what picks do you suggest?
What’s great about watches as gifts is that there are so many different types and styles, so you really can think about how it fits the person. Getting a TAG Heuer as a gift is always a good option. It comes down to you knowing the style of that person and at least a little bit of how they dress, in case you want to get one that they’ll wear when they dress up. And you can also be personal if you want, and engrave something on the back. It’s a gift that somebody will probably have for a long time, so it’s one of my favorite types of gifts to give.
What kinds of watches do you look for when you’re picking a timepiece?
I like them dressy and clean. For me, the watch is always like that final thing I do when I get dressed in the morning. It’s the last touch on the outfit. You get ready and think about: ‘What am I wearing?’ Then you look at your options, and the watch is going to accent it. I also love music and love going to shows when I can and I’ll usually wear a leather jacket to them. So for that, you want maybe a bigger watch or something like that. The watch is usually the final touch on my outfit. My favorite ones are the TAG Heuer Carrera and the Aquaracer, which is why I was so excited to design a model of that set.
What have you enjoyed about living and playing in New York City for a decade?
It’s been an incredible ride for me and my family, having been here for 15 years. It flies right by. Being part of the city is a big piece of playing here. And being part of the Rangers, it is such a great organization and a truly first-class organization all the time. The way they are to the fans, it has been amazing. Being part of the community means a lot to me and I just love the city. The first few years you feel like a tourist and you’re playing a game for a living, and then slowly year-by-year your mentality starts to change. Sometimes when I go back to Sweden now, I forget that compared to New York, people aren’t always walking so fast and honking and all that [laughs]. But I love the city and I’m really grateful for all that I’ve experienced.
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