On court at the 40th U.S. Open, the stars include Rafael, Roger, Venus, Serena and Elena, but off-court, on the grounds of the USTA Billy Jean King Tennis Center in Queens, they’re the “It’s Showtime” U.S. Open graphic T-shirt; Ralph Lauren women’s heritage skirts, fitted polos and jackets; RLX men’s performance wear, and Nike’s authentic tennis styles worn by Federer and Nadal.
A spate of beautiful weather and record first-week attendance of 423,420 combined to spark purchasing of official U.S. Open merchandise “on pace with last year’s record revenue,” said Sarah Cummins, senior director of merchandising at the United States Tennis Association, which oversees retail merchandising at the two-week Grand Slam tournament. By the end of the event Sunday, sales of the Open’s 13 apparel licensees and seven novelty licensees could equal last year’s record take of about $13 million, she projected.
“My whole life is built on the weather,” Cummins said. “I wait all year for two weeks. Three days into this tournament, our hat sales were off about 1,500 units, because it was a lot less humid and hot than last year,” she continued. “Last year we sold about 65,000 hats; this year, we’ll probably sell about 60,000.”
The 500-square-foot Lacoste boutique at the tennis center will do more business over the two-week Slam than all but one of its 64 U.S. shops, its Fifth Avenue flagship, projected Bob Siegel, chairman and chief executive officer of Lacoste U.S.A. Apparel business for Lacoste at the event is split equally between men’s and women’s and demand is diverse — sweaters, fleece and polos are snapped up as well as the most sought after item, T-shirts. Annual revenue north of $200 million is 10 times more than Lacoste sold in the U.S. seven years ago, making it the brand’s biggest market.
Though the USTA merchandising group uses the previous year’s business as a guidepost, it’s tough to pick winners ahead of time. Assortments of U.S. Open goods are kept narrow and light until bestsellers emerge. Hot items need to be quickly replenished to capitalize on the biggest demand, which historically has occurred during the first week, cresting on the first weekend.
According to the USTA, the average visitor to the Grand Slam tournament is spending about seven hours roaming the grounds, shopping, eating and engaging in activities besides watching a tennis match — a phenomenon that has grown over the past three years with the addition of shops such as Ralph Lauren, Lacoste and Tiffany.
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
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For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)