Tennis Fashion Brand x Fashion Designer = Big Biz
I’ve talked for years about the exposure opportunities sportswear fashion designers have had on what I refer to as the court walk. Players wear the same outfit, sometimes for two weeks at a time (superstition prevents a change up) and can be out on court live in front of fans as well as web stream and television audiences for hours. The exposure is massive.
Tennis fashion brands have traditionally found players to wear their lines on court – the better the player does by tournament, of course, the longer the exposure. Top ranked players are best bets and some even have their own branded lines (like Nike’s Roger Federer RF line and Rafael Nadal Bull).
Now high fashion designers and sportswear brands seeking more publicity and bigger market are getting in the game and we are seeing some very fresh style.
Sneaker collaborations aside, adidas was the first to get into tennis fashion with a collaboration with Stella McCartney. Here’s Caroline Wozniacki in the latest Stella McCartney x adidas US Open tennis dress.
Fila has done a number of collections with Ginny Hilfiger (sister of Tommy and fab designer in her own right) and adidas has also worked with Yohji Yamamoto and most recently Pharrell Williams. We have a very exciting trend IMHO.
Designer x Tennis collaborations run a bit higher in price when compared with standard fare designs but Maria Sharapova’s latest tennis dress, the result of a Riccardo Tisci x Nike collaboration is running $500 USD decked in Swarovski crystals and high end stretch lace.
No question this dress will sell out and Tisci has a new customer that had never heard of him before.
I for one have found the infusion of fresh and supremely talented eyes invigorating.