Australian brings wool on court
The upscale tennis wear brand “Australian” isn’t so well known to today’s tennis fans- but they have a long history. Despite the name, it’s an Italian line- and you can see Ivan Lendl (pre-adidas) Petr Korda and Goran Ivanisevic wearing it back in the day.
Now Australian is back in the news. They will unveil the world’s first pure Merino wool tennis collection during the ISPO trade fair, in Munich, January 24-27, 2016 in collaboration with The Woolmark Company. I would surely love to wear one of these. I prefer cotton tennis shirts, so I really can’t imagine what these would feel like. You can bet it won’t be scratchy, heavy wool like your old winter coat. (Sadly, like Ellesse, it’s doubtful you will find this line outside Italy..or in Ellesse’s case, Japan. These boutique Italian lines just don’t have the distribution.) Sorry, these are the only press shots they made available:
According to Woolmark:
“[the line] offers…modern winning performance due to the many excellent qualities of the wool fibre, such as natural breathability, elasticity and odour resistance. The collection’s fabric of choice is 140 pure Merino wool Jersey by Reda Active. The collection is 100% made in Italy, through an innovative technology that highlights wool’s natural qualities, creating an innovative and performing product – which is highly breathable, thermo-regulating and, last but not least, ideal (for) outdoor sport activity. The Australian collection comprises polo shirts, T-shirts and shorts, inspired by the clean and classical silhouettes of the 1960s.”
Given some of the wild neon styles we’ve seen Down Under at the Australian Open, the Australian brand may just have some relief for our tired eyes.
Editor’s note: Wool’s presence in activewear is growing. Companies like Ibex have a tremendous following for high end 100% wool performance apparel that very naturally and effectively handles body temperature regulation. A few years ago when Tonic was launching they were considering wool garments, an idea that was scrapped likely due to cost. It will be interesting to see if wool thrives in tennis.