NEW YORK — U.S. Open-bound players weren’t about to wait for today’s opening day festivities in Queens, an unlikely enough spot for a fashion show, to show off their on-court apparel.
Serena Williams, Jennifer Capriati, Kim Clijsters, Mary Pierce and Alexandra Stevenson were among the young guns strutting their new tennis attire and chatting up fans here Friday on behalf of their favorite brands. Dressed in low-riding lace jeans with a bejeweled thong and pink Puma top, the fair-haired Williams packed them in at Puma’s SoHo store and even decked out her dog in a black Puma T-shirt. Serious about her style, she showed off the body-hugging black zip-front catsuit, pink square-neck dress, miniskirt and top she plans to wear during the Open, which gets under way today in Flushing Meadows.
But Williams was quick to correct the crowd about the color: "Actually, it’s strawberry ice, not pink."
Brimming with fashionable, brassy players known for their zingers on and off the court, the Women’s Tennis Association has built an army of admirers. Given that, female players are continually fine-tuning what they wear.
"I don’t think you can play well or do well unless you look good," Williams said. She and her sister Venus, a Reebok-sponsored athlete, have put their fashion design classes on hold for the time being, but both plan to pursue it once their tennis schedules ease up.
As for any sibling rivalry in the style department, Serena Williams said it doesn’t exist. "We don’t have any rivalries," she said, adding softly with a smile, "I think I look better."
Venus Williams offered spectators at last week’s Pilot Pen Championship in New Haven a sneak peak at her Open outfits. As the anniversary of Sept. 11 approaches, the defending U.S. Open champion aims "to make a statement as an American" with her red, white and blue tank top, skirt and tennis dress, said Dianne Hayes, global tennis sports marketing director for Reebok.
"More companies are realizing the U.S. Open is a very significant opportunity to introduce a new collection. Our competitors see they can generate a lot of awareness for their brands through new products," Hayes said.Adidas used the Pilot Pen to show off the three-stripe separates Martina Hingis will wear.
Capriati and Clijsters pulled up director’s chairs to talk tennis with shoppers at The Sports Authority’s 53rd Street store. Both sported red, white and blue Fila outfits. The same looks were not so subtly placed on the racks near them. Fila is the Open’s official sponsor.
During a half-hour question and answer period, Capriati said shopping is something she likes to do in her downtime.
Nike put a dozen pros including Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt on the catwalk at its 57th Street Niketown store. Lindsay Davenport and Daniela Hantuchova missed modeling due to their Pilot Pen showdown Friday. But Stevenson and Mary Pierce hit the runway. Stevenson planned to wear the brand’s new Sphere label which incorporates three-dimensional moisture management fabrics. After dancing her way down the runway, she said, "Tennis is an entertainment industry. We play and people buy tickets to watch us. Without the fans, we wouldn’t have a job. I think fans like watching cute girls in cute outfits."
Asked if there is too much of an emphasis on female players’ appearance, Hewitt said the attention has helped to increase interest in the women’s game but may deter fans from focusing on their athletic abilities.
Agassi said he thinks the media’s coverage of women’s hemlines as well as their baselines is "a good thing," as long as it is part of the competition and does not displace the sport.
"I’ve seen the women playing, and they look pretty darn competitive," he said.
@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
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
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)