Athletes in the Front Row: Maria Sharapova and Simone Biles on Their Winning Style

“I’m a wedge girl but I just started getting into heels,” admitted Olympic gold medalist Simone Biles outside Vera Wang’s show this week. The 19-year-old gymnast might have conquered Rio but she’s still taking her first steps into the fashion world. “Most of the time I’m in a leotard so I’m just getting into fashion. Everything is so unique.” Biles arrived with her mother in a sleek tuxedo dress, shorts, and heels, ideal for her petite frame. “I have to go into the store because I’m pretty short,” laughed Biles, who said her trip to New York allowed her to cross off an item from her fashion bucket list. “I got a large tote from Louis Vuitton.”

Also taking in the collection was tennis superstar Maria Sharapova in the one-piece look she cites as an off-court wardrobe staple. “I love jumpsuits,” said Sharapova. “I have, like, twenty-five of them in my closet. It was a no-brainer for me.” She’s recently been photographed shopping in Los Angeles and in New York wearing fluid frocks and printed pieces, but for fall, she says, she plans to experiment a bit. “I love mixing it up—different shapes, layering, volume. You just want to be comfortable and fashion is so individual.” And what did the woman of the hour, Vera Wang, think of all the athletic talent in her front row? “I’m so excited,” said the designer. “You know I always wanted to be an Olympian. This is like the holy grail. [Simone] is someone who represents how great American youth can be.”

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