For an elevated echelon of athletes, Wimbledon — with its grass courts, all-white dress code and strawberries and cream tradition — could be considered palatial in terms of sporting events. With 11 tournament wins, Roger Federer might be considered king.
In time for the crown jewel in London’s tennis circuit, the British skate label Palace has linked with Adidas to create a court-ready collection. The Adidas tennis by Palace collection debuts globally on July 3. To help get the message out, photographer Alasdair McLellan shot Palace-sponsored skateboarders Blondey McCoy, Lucien Clarke and Rory Milanes, along with Adidas-supported tennis players Sascha Zverev and 2017 Wimbledon women’s singles winner Garbiñe Muguruza. As “affiliated brands,” Adidas and Palace are “exploring new ways of collaborating through sport,” an Adidas spokeswoman said Tuesday.
The two brands have whipped up an assortment of items including a white terry tracksuit with removable sleeves, an engineered polo shirt, a graphic T-shirt and two styles of short. For the women’s range — a new frontier for Palace — there is a dress, a tank top with shorts, T-shirt and skirt. Each garment has a short legging in line with those worn by leading tennis stars.
Rounding out the assortment are accessories such as crew socks, and “no-show’ ones, a tie band, caps, wristbands, a white terry bucket hat, tennis balls and an umbrella. Those items will retail from $18 to $74, whereas the apparel will sell for $74 to $254. Shoppers can see the pros testing out the new high-performance clothing on a video on the Palace site. Wimbledon is familiar territory for the streetwear-driven London-based skate brand started by Lev Tanju in 2012. He was unavailable to comment about future plans for women’s wear, an Adidas spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Expectations are high for the number-three ranked Zverev who has won eight career titles and reached his first major quarterfinal at this year’s French Open. Like the German-born Zverev, Muguruza is also ranked third for the women’s singles. She is the defending champion at Wimbledon. But sportswriters took note when she was upset by Barbora Strycová at the Birmingham Classic earlier this month. Zverev, Muguruza and Caroline Wozniacki will be among the 38 sponsored athletes who will wear the new label to compete at Wimbledon.
Dating back to 1877, Wimbledon has a lot of lore in terms of international sporting events. The stringent dress code reportedly dates back to the 1880s, when it was decided that perspiration clothing stains were too unattractive. Another more appealing tournament tradition has sustained the test of time — strawberries and cream. Still in the qualifying rounds, the main draw at the 132 edition of the tournament gets under way July 2.