Everybody’s serving up looks this summer, literally

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tennis fashion 2021

Instagram; Courtesy of Trademarks; Coach: Juergen Teller

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Style Points is a weekly column on how fashion intersects with the rest of the world.

Runways may have been the new runway last winter, but for summer 2021, the fashion eye is resolutely on the short. This week Lady Gaga flew in a matching Nike ensemble, and fashion figures from Winnie Harlow to Babba Rivera have embarked on the hobby.

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Tennis has always gone hand in hand with style, whether it was Lili de Alvarez, the pioneer of Schiaparelli’s split skirt at Wimbledon in 1931 (she received death threats for wearing the then controversial culotte style) or Serena Williams sporting a royal designed by Virgil Abloh Nike tennis dress, completed with a tulle tutu. But for those of us who don’t have a Grand Slam tournament to our name, the options have always seemed a bit more limited, wandering as they do on the side of country-club traditionalism.

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The good news: As more people have flocked to socially distanced sport over the past 18 months, the sometimes heavy tennis apparel industry has taken on a new lease of life, with offerings moving away from the singles. preppy and more to “anyone who’s heard of Glenn Martens.” You no longer have to choose from pieces that seem like they came out of Richie Tenenbaum’s closet; those who want to channel Andre Agassi’s Technicolor punk looks (minus acid-washed daddy’s shorts, that is) or Williams’ haute couture pieces now have a myriad of options.

trainer hari nef spring 2021

Hari Nef models a Coach spring 2021 look with racquet patterns.

Juergen Teller / Courtesy of the Trademark

Tennis has long been steeped in elitism, but the sport is evolving and with it new fashion offerings have appeared for everyone, even those of us who grew up playing on uneven public courts. Furi Sport, a new black and female-owned label, is focused on inclusion in sport and branding itself as’ not your traditional tennis brand ‘, with its website warning’ PURISTS DON’T NEED TO APPLY ”. Off-the-shoulder polos and other streetwear-influenced pieces that wouldn’t look out of place in a streetwear-style image sit alongside his selection of tennis gear. The Los Angeles-based Year of Ours line also prioritizes inclusivity, with many of its styles – which include printed tennis pieces – available in sizes up to 2X.

david koma spring 2021

David Koma spring / summer 2021

Courtesy of the brand.

The track, too, has been peppered with tennis references lately. Ahead of his spring / summer 2021 show, David Koma had missed his favorite sport, so he paid tribute to him by showing off on a tennis court and having fun with the iconography, especially in the form of a pair of oversized racket-shaped earrings. And Coach offered playful interpretations of the tennis motifs, as modeled by Hari Nef in his lookbook.

In May, Marysia launched a capsule collection called Marysia Sport Clean, with designs named after female tennis players, including Williams and Naomi Osaka. Last month, Alo launched a collection of sports equipment, including tennis rackets. And as fashion brands got more into tennis, tennis brands got more fashionable. Example: 51-year-old Prince, who has an “off-court” collection ready for your next post-game beer.

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Courtesy of Alo

College tennis skirt – Bouton d’or

Alo Yoga
aloyoga.com

$ 68.00

Retailers, too, fall into the category overwhelmingly. Net-a-Porter said WWD it would put more emphasis on sportswear, including tennis clothing, for the coming season. And The RealReal recently announced that it is accepting new tennis equipment, among other sporting goods, alongside your favorite bags and balls. If you decide to swap yours for some new looks on the court, it looks like you won’t run out of options.

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