Chris Evert has launched a tennis and activewear collection aimed at women over 30.
This story first appeared in the April 20, 2015 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The tennis legend, who holds 157 singles titles, 18 Grand Slam singles titles and six U.S. Open wins, among other tennis-related accolades, has designed Chrissie by Tail in partnership with Tail Activewear. The collection, which features about 100 styles, is divided into three groups by color: highlighter yellow and powder blue; neon pink, and atomic blue. It’s available on tailactivewear.com and in 200 specialty stores this month.
“I’ve always dreamed of creating my own line and Tail felt like a natural fit as a partner,” Evert, 61, said. “For years, as I dropped my children off at school, other moms would say, ‘When are you going to start a tennis and active line that’s built for women’s bodies?’
“The other lines available are beautiful, but they’re designed for the 18-year-old body,” she added. “I’m designing for myself, but the unique fits and styles will appeal to women of all ages.”
Evert describes her personal style as “feminine with a little edge.” “I like the cleanness of classic tennis whites, but at the same time I also love vibrant colors,” she said. “I actually think they’re more flattering on women. You want to look good on the court as well as perform well. I’ve been in the game for so long, I’ve seen different trends come and go. Chrissie by Tail includes my favorite details such as mesh on a dress, pleated and ruffled skirts and cap sleeves — these have been part of my signature style on the court.”
For example, the Lilliana skort for $73, in yellow highlighter, has an asymmetric ruffle and the Ziara skort has a row of pleats at the hem. A neon pink dress, $99, has a zipper detail and double flounce. There are several legging styles and skeggings, $85, with mesh sides and shorts. Zip jackets are $105, long-sleeve cardigans and wraps, $85.
Evert said the line consists of stretch fabric with recovery for high performance. “All fabrics have great wicking,” she said. “Tail fabrics are known for their moisture management, comfort stretch and sun protection. Most fabrics are protected with UPF 40-plus and are easy care — most can be machine washed and dried. The fabrics also have an extremely soft and luxurious hand feel, including our luxe jersey and luxe slub.”
When Italian activewear company Ellesse relaunched its business in North America in 2011, Evert took a minority stake in the U.S. arm, signed on as its spokeswoman and collaborated on a full line of tennis apparel that bowed the following year. The collection was never sold at retail in the U.S., however, and Ellesse is not sold in America.