Olympians to Watch at New York's Fashion Week

PHOTO: U.S. Olympian Gabby Douglas arrives at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards at Staples Center on Sept. 6, 2012 in Los Angeles.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

A lot of the buzz surrounding New York's Fashion Week is about which celebrities are sitting front row at each show. Who's sitting next to whom? Who got snubbed and is sitting in the back? But this year, a new batch of celebrities is in town to take in great fashion. Olympians from London will rub elbows with the stars at several shows during this year's Fashion Week.

"The athletes will add a welcome mix to the usual array of models, reality stars, and other boldface names," Michael Musto, culture critic for the Village Voice, told ABC News. "They'll get a lot of attention out if it and the designers will nab some added PR punch by having them there, so it's win-win."

Many of the athletes from the Olympic Games have become instant sensations since winning big in London. Gymnast Gabby Douglas and her team, the Fierce 5, have been seen everywhere, throwing the first pitch at Dodgers Games and walking the red carpet at the VMAs. Ryan Lochte has already lined up multiple guest starring roles on television shows, including "30 Rock." But will they really be taken seriously at Fashion Week?

"The ones with the most medals will way outshine the socialites because these Olympic heroes are golden in the public's eyes," Musto said. "Their triumphs are fresh, and besides, you can see those socialites any time."

Many of this year's Olympians have been vocal about their desire to have their own clothing line, leaving some wondering why they're really making the rounds at Fashion Week.

"Honestly, Fashion Week is really fun," Jessica Morgan, one of the writers for the fashion blog, Go Fug Yourself, told ABC News. "A lot of them would like to branch out into fashion, but I think all of them are here to enjoy themselves. I don't think there's necessarily a greater agenda here than that."

Click through to see which Olympians to watch for at Fashion Week.

PHOTO: Ryan Lochte
Charles Eshelman/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week
Ryan Lochte

Olympic champion swimmer Ryan Lochte has never been quiet about his love of fashion. From his bright green sneakers to that signature American flag, diamond grill, Lochte loves to be daring with his fashion choices. And a line of his own could even be in his future. The gold medalist applied Aug. 1 to trademark his catchphrase 'Jeah,' which he plans to put on clothing and swimwear.

Lochte has already started making his runway rounds. The swimmer was spotted Sept. 7 at Rebecca Minkoff's show and two days earlier he sat front row next to actor Kellen Lutz at the Joseph Abboud menswear show. But Lochte will have a bigger role than just sitting front row. He has landed a gig as a fashion correspondent for E! News, although he told the New York Times he is still figuring out which shows he's attending.

"It's a different atmosphere than my normal life," he said about the fashion industry. "It's very creative and energetic. I like seeing what everyone will be wearing, you know, the street style."

One of the shows Lochte could be spotted at is Ralph Lauren. He cited the classic designer as his fashion role model saying, "They make a perfect suit."

PHOTO: U.S. Olympian Gabby Douglas arrives at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards at Staples Center on Sept. 6, 2012 in Los Angeles.
Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images
Gabby Douglas

Since winning not one, but two gold medals, at the London Games, Gabby Douglas has been all over the country making appearances. She co-hosted an episode of "America's Got Talent," walked the red carpet at the MTV VMAs and she even led the pledge of allegiance at the Democratic National Convention. Now the Olympic champion may be following in the footsteps of past gymnastics stars Nastia Liukin and Alicia Sacramone and sitting front row during Fashion Week, the Times reported.

Since returning home from London, Douglas has become quite a fashionista, choosing form-fitting dresses and sky-high heels for each of her appearances. A visit to Fashion Week could bring even the champion even more fabulous styles to choose from.

"I'm not totally convinced the athletes are truly into the fashion, but either way, the designers would benefit from flat out giving them some outfits and I bet they'll do just that," Musto said.

PHOTO: Sanya Richards-Ross
Steve Mack/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Sanya Richards-Ross

Sprinter Sanya Richards-Ross has already started her Fashion Week appearances. The Olympian hit the Peter Som show Sept. 7, wearing a lace black dress from the designer. She also sat front row Sept. 6 at the BCBG Max Azria show, sporting a sexy, sheer tan and black jumpsuit. She brought along her London 2012 gold medals, evening posing with them on the red carpet.

Richards-Ross is still deciding what other shows she'll attend, her publicist told the Times. But she insists fashion is very important to her and her family and even wants to have her own line someday.

"If you'd seen my grandmother going to the grocery store you'd think she was going to eat lunch with the Obamas," she told Fashionista.com at the show. "We're always dressed up no matter where we're going. And I'm always bringing fashion to the tracks. Just being here is one of my dreams, of course getting the gold was my first."

PHOTO: Tim Morehouse
Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Tiffany and Cameron Silver
Tim Morehouse

Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse, who called himself a "fashion icon fencer" on his Facebook page, has been making the fashion rounds in New York City. He was spotted at a Fashion Week party Sept. 6 at Tiffany & Co for the film "Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution," where he brought three of his Beijing medals and draped them over models as they all posed for pictures. The fencer, along with his fellow teammate Dagmara Wozniak, also attended Fashion Night Out at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City Sept. 6. Morehouse was interviewed at the event by Fashion Week founder Fern Mallis for Sirius Radio.

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