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.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye