Designer Riccardo Tisci Collaborates With Nike For Sharapova US Open Dress
Maria Sharapova has a certain style, a certain look. Her appearance is typically regal, owing as much to her long blonde hair and 6′ 2″ frame as to her tennis resume which includes five Grand Slam titles. (Of course, there’s also that pesky suspension thing, but that’s in the past.) Her return to this year’s US Open is marked by a collaboration with the designer Riccardo Tisci and Nike, which has resulted in the NikeCourt Maria Sharapova x Riccardo Tisci Stadium Dress you see here.
And the coordinating bomber jacket:
We’d seen some hints of this earlier this week on Twitter, always a good source for
— Team Sharapova (@team_sharapova) August 22, 2017
….and now we have the big picture. (These images via Maria’s Twitter, BTW.) This dress includes lace and is studded with Swarovski crystals and will retail for…get ready…$500. A matching bomber jacket will retail for $700. The black ensemble will be for night matches at the Open, a nod to the black dress she wore when winning the Open in 2006.
She told Vogue:
It was always going to be black. It wasn’t even a question of what we were going to do for the night matches. When I think of anywhere that I play, I want to bring a sense of elegance to the feeling that I have when I walk on to the court. That’s really what I felt with the 2006 dress, and what I really wanted to relive in this dress is the moment of elegance and thinking of Audrey Hepburn and her classic Givenchy dress.
Speaking of The House Of Givenchy, (when you’re in high fashion, you’re a House) Tisci was their creative director until earlier this year. In the same Vogue interview, he said:
I respect Maria so much as an athlete and she respects me so much as a designer, and both of us work for Nike, so it came up as a collaboration that we’d like to do together. To me, it was very special to design an outfit for an athlete playing on the courts. That moment she had in 2006 was a very iconic moment, and we wanted to honor it, and be inspired by it. We decided to use lace and crystal, which are very me, and black, which is my favorite color and very representative of my career but also the color that has brought a lot of luck for her. So when we started talking about this project, it just made sense.
Fair enough. This is an image thing for Nike, who is just unmatched when it comes to these kind of deluxe displays for the Open. Whether it’s this Little Black Dress or the new Federer/Jordan sneakers, they find a way to own the media during the run-up to the event. This isn’t meant to be a dress you’re going to see at every sports retailer at the mall. It’s to position their athlete in a certain light. Performance…coupled with fashion. In their eyes, why can’t the the two concepts live together? (Nike just did a Swarovski deal for golfer Michelle Wie, too.) In Vogue, Tisci added,
She’s performing in it, so you have to respect the sort of things that are important for an athlete to play. I’m very happy because it is very modern and pure. Everything is very geometric. The lace looks like the classic fishnet they use on tennis outfits, and the shape, the design is very pure. It’s very elegant, very minimal but at the same time very strong.
Vogue says the dress and jacket will go on sale at Nike.com on August 26. Nike says it will be on sale only at Nike LAB in SOHO NYC.
— Team Sharapova (@team_sharapova) August 16, 2016