There is something about tennis and fashion that goes perfectly hand in hand. Nowadays so many tennis players are getting involved in designing their own “tenniswear”, which is something you don’t see so much with other sports. Perhaps it is because tennis players, and female players in particular, get to experiment so much with the styles and colours of their tennis dresses / skirts / racerback tops and tanks / skorts / shorts. They have more freedom to express themselves through their tennis outfits, whereas the sportswear in other disciplines can be limited by high-performance requirements (think swimmers or track athletes). The strong link between tennis and fashion might also be because tennis is primarily an individual sport, and the players are so well known and recognized that they become important brand ambassadors, which is why fashion brands frequently look to collaborate with them. Venus and Serena Williams both now have clothing lines, and in the latter case the clothes go beyond tennis apparel to everyday wear, and Ana Ivanovic just mentioned a few days ago in an interview with Outside the Ball that she also wants to one day design her own fashion line.
My personal interest lies in the collaborations between tennis players and activewear brands, as female tennis players must have the best first-hand experience on what is needed to make you feel comfortable and fashionable on the tennis court. My favourite collaboration between a tennis player and an athletic apparel brand is Chrissy by Tail between legendary tennis player Chris Evert and Tail.
In this partnership, it was actually Chris Evert that contacted Tail, rather than the other way around (you can read more about how the brand started here). There are currently 8 collections in Chrissy by Tail which are mainly distinguished by a feature colour: Garnet Red, Imperial Purple, Belaire Blue, Allure Red, Pure Gold, Peony, Mauritius, Alegria (some examples are given in the photos below). Most of the pieces are characterised by bold blocks of colour, comfortable looking fabrics, and flattering shapes. Perhaps it is my age that attracts me to Chrissy by Tail (the collection targets the 30-plus demographic), but I actually think these pieces are so classy that they would look good on players of any age, size and shape.
Who do you think should be involved in the next big collaboration between tennis and activewear brands? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.