For the last few years, tennis fashion has been one of the biggest trends of the summer. Thanks to fans of Wimbledon and US Open, as well as people who’ve never held a tennis racket in their life, tennis skirts, vintage polos, and the like have risen in popularity off the court. And, while the pandemic has put on a hold on many tennis tournaments this season, the trend has once again taken over fashion: According to a Lyst report, searches for tennis-inspired outfits, tennis court shoes, and visors have all gone up in June. Now, to get you in the game, on and off the court, tennis pro Venus Williams’ clothing line EleVen is launching a new collection of tennis wear.
“I’ve always viewed tennis apparel as being functional yet chic. The pieces are so versatile and can take you from a workout to running errands to hanging out at home while being comfortable and still looking great,” Williams tells Refinery29 about why she thinks tennis is trending in fashion. “Right now, I think people are leaning more towards effortless closet staples that are not only easy to wear all day long, but also elevate their look — and I love that a cute tennis skirt can do that!”
The just-released Bold collection — made up of tennis skirts, athletic tops, and an exercise dress in can’t-miss shades of orange and blue — was inspired by “strong, bold, and fabulous women,” according to Williams: “I wanted the collection to embody each woman’s essence through bright and colourful designs that make her feel like an 11 out of 10 when wearing these pieces, so she feels confident and empowered to push her limits to be better than her best self.”
Having trained in Florida for the last few months, the tennis player says that “being able to stay cool and comfortable all day is what I need to help me perform my best.” With that in mind, the collection was made using EleVen Pro-Dri, a technology that makes clothing breathable and quick-drying, and EleVen Ozone, which protects against the sun’s rays. “Being a Florida girl, sun protection and feeling cool and comfortable in the heat is always top of mind,” she says. “I’m outside most of the day, whether I’m training, doing one of my #CoachVenus Instagram Live workouts or walking my dog Harry, so I have to make sure whatever I’m wearing is supporting and keeping up with me.”
In fact, Williams tests every single EleVen piece before it goes to market. “I pour my heart, soul, time, and energy into each collection I design. I put each piece to the test to make sure all the boxes are checked and the fit is perfect — it’s extremely important to me that we’re delivering nothing but the best,” she says. “As an athlete, I design each collection with movement top of mind to ensure the pieces not only feel comfortable and fit well but leave you ready to take on your day.”
Williams says that the collection is versatile and comfortable enough to be worn all day. “I love seeing tennis gear go beyond the courts,” Williams says of the tennis trend in fashion. “It’s always fun for me to see different ways people wear our designs! The pieces are designed to be mixed and matched, so one piece can result in multiple outfits and be perfect for wherever your day takes you – workouts, errands, even happy hours!”
While Williams says it’s hard to pick a favourite from the new launch, she says she has been living in the Flutter Skirt. “It is such a fun, colourful print for the summer that I think adds a little flirty flair to any look,” Williams says. With that, she hints that more bold colours and eye-catching prints are on the way for EleVen in the future, though she makes clear that the brand will continue to design with “bold, confident, and ready to take on the world” women in mind with every new drop.
“EleVen is more than just activewear — the brand was built on the idea of being the best version of yourself and pushing the status quo. I’ve always made it my mission to instil confidence in my community, and I personally always feel my best when I’m in a killer outfit. It sets the tone for whatever I’m doing and even changes the way I present myself,” Williams says. “I am always aiming to enhance and highlight the incredible qualities of the women who wear my clothes. Confidence and belief in yourself are the key to success!”
A cute tennis skirt doesn’t hurt.
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