SBD/August 23, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Djokovic Takes Active Approach In Collaboration Process For New Uniqlo Apparel Line

Djokovic was involved in the collaboration process and met regularly with the designer
Uniqlo yesterday announced plans to launch an apparel line modeled after performance wear created and worn by tennis player Novak Djokovic. The line will launch in the U.S. in conjunction with the start of the U.S. Open on Monday and will be available in international markets at a later date. The line at launch will consist of 10 items for adults, ranging from warm-up jackets and pants to shirts, shorts and accessories. Uniqlo has sponsored Djokovic since May (Uniqlo). FASHIONISTA.com’s Dhani Mau noted Djokovic was “actually quite involved in the collaboration process and had a very close dialogue with Uniqlo’s creative director Naoki Takizawa, who made several trips to Monaco (where Djokovic lives) and other places around the world to meet with the tennis pro to discuss the collection.” Takizawa said, “All the inspiration comes from him.” Djokovic said, “I think it’s good for tennis players to seek improvement with their sponsors and with the clothes that they wear. … It’s in the common interest of tennis players and the brands representing them to look good on the court. We (Djokovic and Uniqlo) both have common goals and high ambitions” (FASHIONISTA.com, 8/22).

MEN ARE FROM MARS...: In Boston, Christopher Muther wrote tennis player Venus Williams is “scaling back her previous attempts to turn the tennis court into a runway,” as the newest items from her fashion line EleVen "are a far cry from the eyebrow-raising ensembles" she wore to the French Open and Wimbledon. Williams' line of activewear is “a combination of geometric prints, watercolor art, and classic solids,” and is “heavy on tennis skirts and athletic wear.” She also designed a “Wonder Woman-inspired Olympic outfit to match” her sister Serena Williams’ tennis garb. Venus Williams said, “What I try to make is something that’s fun and colorful. There’s been a lot of white in tennis clothes, and that’s not what I want.” Muther noted she also is “designing menswear" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/22).

NEW FOR NEW YORK: In N.Y., Joanna Nikas reports Ralph Lauren gear will be "worn by court officials” at the U.S. Open. The “limited-edition replicas of those same outfits from the brand’s U.S. Open line -- worn by everyone from line judges to ball boys and girls -- will go on sale starting Monday.” The pieces, which include “exposed-zipper tennis dresses and color-blocked polos, will be on sale at the Arthur Ashe Stadium shop, as well as in select stores” (N.Y. TIMES, 8/23).
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