Hugo Boss, Armani, Celio … These ready-to-wear brands that now wear tennis shoes

8:22 am, May 31, 2022

To put Fabio Fognini and Benoît Paire in the same sentence, a priori it is better to evoke what is going through their minds than what they have on their skin. One exclaims in Armani, the other in Celio: not far from a big gap in the board chessboard, at least in the imagination. However, the Italian brand and the French brand have in common a new entry into the circuit. Governed for a long time by manufacturers of competitive sports equipment, such as the giants Nike and Adidas, or the historic Lacoste, Le Coq Sportif or Fila, the clothing scene has expanded considerably in recent times.

Especially on the male side. After putting his name on a basketball club (Milan), Armani has been with Fognini since 2019. Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova, Chile’s Cristian Garin and, recently, Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili complete the cast of the house. It’s hard to know more about brand involvement, “only Giorgio Armani” be empowered to talk about it, they told us.

Celio dresses Benoit Paire

Still online, the group Hugo Boss has landed this season with Matteo Berrettini. “Tennis is a classy sport”remembers the Italian, 10th in the world, as well “Everything we do together with Boss aims to return tennis to the world of fashion, and vice versa. “Converted essay? Not really for Marc Beaugé, a fashion expert and ex-15/1: “The t-shirt with edges is very smooth, the same shorts. The contribution of fashion here is very modest, which is not surprising for a brand with little reputation for its creativity. It’s just worth talking about socks: but why black? »

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The Armani line is validated: “Fognini’s suit is vetoed with so-called tennis stripes, which is already a form of consistency. These stripes, widely used in the world of clothing, give it a certain elegance. »

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With Celio, the positioning is different. It comes with a slogan – “Be normal” – and affordable prices (30 euros per polo). More than a midfielder, here’s a player who made people want to get on the court. Last season, Benoît Paire no longer had a sponsor, he bought his own costumes like a normal player, even thinking of creating his own line.

Celio mixed the ingredients and forged a deeper-than-average collaboration. “We offered to launch his collection, he immediately agreed and we made the deal in one day, says Sébastien Bismuth, who runs the brand. In the store, the line is a success and we have already extended it until the end of 2024 with Benoît. »

Forerunners of Uniqlo and H&M

Who plays in 100% cotton when the others give up the technical, breathable material. Marc Beauge: We believe that the range of colors has been very studied. Very fashionable colors that had never been seen before in tennis, such as greige, dull gray or very faded khaki. He is quite intelligent, in view of being able to bring the pieces to the city. » Off the track, there are some too “Exceptional” a series of T-shirts adorned with messages reminiscent of Baroque episodes traversed by the elegant dilettante.

The first foray into conventional ready-to-wear dates back just under ten years. Almost simultaneously, Uniqlo and H&M entered the Top 10, one with Novak Djokovic, the other with Tomas Berdych. The second collaboration was more eye-catching, not to mention stinging. “ Berdych’s dresses, quite striking, with many prints, seemed to be made of unsold H-fabrics.& M classics »Marc Beaugé mocks.

When he signed Roger Federer in 2018, the Japanese giant Uniqlo hit hard, putting the media in it: $ 300 million in ten years. A long-term strategy and a very focused approach: Kei Nishikori, a big star in the land of the Rising Sun, is the brand’s other ambassador, with sober lines.. “H& M and Uniqlo have just followed a trend, sums up Sébastien Bismuth. Men’s locker room dress codes are changing. From now on, there are no boundaries between sport and lifestyle. »

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