Even before the starting gun had officially been fired on New York Fashion Week, Olympic gold medalist Ryan Lochte could be found doing laps in the deep end of the celebrity-meets-fashion pool.
We first spotted him at the Joseph Abboud menswear show at the New York Public Library on Wednesday evening, where the Olympian joined a celebrity-stocked front row that included Kellan Lutz (he of the “Twilight” movies), Daniel Gilles ("Broken Kingdom," "Vampire Diaries") and the New York Rangers’ Brad Richards. (It should be noted that, as a matter of course, celebrity VIPs are often paid – or otherwise compensated – to appear at runway shows. Whether or not that was the case with any of the above-mentioned gentlemen we don’t know – or particularly care. We're just reminding you of the fact.)
Later that evening we had a chance to chat ever-so-briefly with Lochte at a star-studded party (we managed to cross paths with both designer Rachel Roy and multi-hypenate reality TV star Kim Kardashian in the foyer alone) at the Four Seasons celebrating shoe designer Brian Atwood’s soon-to-open Madison Avenue store.
The rising star of the celebrity circuit told us that he’s at New York Fashion Week for the duration (the shows in the Lincoln Center tents and around town run through Sept. 13), but surprisingly this isn’t the first time the Olympic swimmer has dipped his toes into the N.Y. Fashion Week waters. “I was here two years ago,” he told us.