Not a surprise, but the spring/summer 2009 adidas women’s competition line keeps low-key, staying with that bumblebee shade that we’ve been trying to expunge from the tennis palette for two years (Yonex is keeping adidas company during this sit-in).
The bright yellow is broken up by black lines around the back of both the tank and the cap sleeve top, while the standard three-stripe detail makes an appearance on the sleeve of the latter.
There’s a diamond in the rough, though: continuing with the Asian-inspired Australian Open top, adidas has produced this red mock wrap cap sleeve tee to kick of its players’ 2009 campaign. (With Anna Chakvetadze defecting to Fila, Dinara Safina and Patty Schnyder will be the highest-ranked women playing in these pieces.)
Buy: adidas Competition Tank and Cap Sleeve Top, neon yellow/black, starting at $45; Competition Skort, white, $45; all items available at shopadidas.com in January 2009.
Adidas’s customary “sneak peek” into the early 2009 wardrobe of Ana Ivanovic left us a little disappointed. The violet adilibria dress suffers the same fate as her other dresses from 2008; they look good on the mannequin but fail to maintain elegance in action (see: the bubble skirt, the petal skirt). The diagonal detail across the bust looks messy.
It didn’t help Ana’s aura that she fizzled out at the Year End Championships, getting knocked out of the round robin portion by Russian Vera Zvonareva, whom the Serb handily beat the week prior in Linz.
But she still finished the season in the top 5, nabbed herself a hot Spaniard (ever girl’s dream, no?) — hers in the form of Fernando Verdasco — and she’s already in Australia getting ready for the start of the 2009 season.
Ana’s shoes, the adidas Barricade V, will be white with metallic grey — a perfect complement to her purple dress!
That being said, the rest of the adilibria line is faaaaaaaaaaaaaaabuluos (it’s almost McCartney-esque), so I have a feeling Ms. Ivanovic might defect to the separates sometime before Roland Garros…
Shop: adilibria dress, violet, $70; Barricade V, white/metallic grey, $120; all the gear will drop in January at shopadidas.com.
While Ana’s adilibria dress keeps me thinking about messenger bag boob mash, I must say the rest of the season’s Edge line hits the mark.
Dane Caroline Wozniacki, who ended last season at a career-high No. 12, will sport separates from the line: the Edge Tank, with its layered bust and slits down the side (for better movement); and the big-pleated Edge Skort. I hoped for them to use a more subdued shade of yellow (like Jankovic’s U.S. Open Reebok dress), but you can’t have it all.
The other pieces stay true to the Edge line’s feminine and fashion-forward vision: the Cap Sleeve Top, accented with an empire waist and an oversized banded hem (!) that slopes down from left to right; and the Warm-Up Top, with a ribbed cuff stretching all the way from wrist to elbow. Warm-up pants are also available.
Buy: adidas Edge adilibria Tank, neon yellow and white, $45; adilibria Skort, Cinder Beach (slate), $50; Edge adilibria Cap Sleeve Top, white, $42; Edge adilibria Warm-Up Top, white/Cinder Beach, $52; Edge adilibria Warm-Up Pant, $39; Barricade V, Running White/Cyan, $120. All items available in January 2009 at shopadidas.com.
(Wozniacki image courtesy of adidas; adilibria images via prodirecttennis.com)
The fall/winter ‘08 adidas by Stella McCartney line dropped right before the U.S. Open this year, and we got a chance to see the merch up close while at the company’s performance store in SoHo (where we also got fitted for some custom Barricades).
McCartney drew inspiration from Victorian-era embellishments for the prints and cuts of the tennis pieces, all made in the Brit’s usual muted pallete. This season’s colors: White, Rubia Grey (black), Dark Concrete (grey), and Pale Salmon (pink).
Note the floral cutout adhered to the bubble skirt of the Tennis Print Dress (with its racerback top).
Here is the season’s skirt with the corset-like Tennis Mesh Tank.
And Stella’s fall warmup jacket features a drawcord around the gathered neckline, making room for the wide turtleneck tee. There’s also a separates version of that Tennis Dress.
Fit to print: McCartney muse Maria Kirilenko won the Hansol Korea Open last week.
Buy: Cover-up Blouson, $170; Tennis Print Dress, $120; Cover Up Tennis Tee, $100; Tennis Mesh Tank, $90; Tennis Woven Shorts, $80.
Browse: See McCartney’s other designs — for yoga, golf, running, dance, and winter sports — at the adidas e-shop.
(images via adidas.com)
As if you don’t already have enough widgets on your iPhones (I’ve never seen so many phones shaken violently in my life!), Polo Ralph Lauren adds to the mix by introducing the first luxury American mobile commerce website.
Customers can download software to their camera phones, which in turn will scan codes displayed in print ads, mailings, and instore displays. The codes will direct the users to a phone-friendly version of the PRL site, where they can watch video, read web articles, and shop for their cable knit sweaters and Big Pony polos from anywhere they can get reception (at Arthur Ashe Stadium, waiting for the ATP trainer to finish taping up a player’s leg?).
The launch is going to coincide with the apparel maker’s sponsorship of the US Open, which begins at the end of this month.
As with most things mobile, the US is way behind trendy Asia and even old-fashioned Europe when it comes to customers adopting some of the latest and greatest mobile technology. In Japan, it is quite common for people to buy tickets and vending machine products using their mobile phones. But hey, later is better than never.
(RL via Red Herring)
Prince plans to release new lines of racquet bags in conjunction with this year’s U.S. Open.
Inspired by Maria Sharapova herself, the new Sharapova Collection will showcase the Russian’s classic elegance through a striking, clean, all-white bag with black Prince logo and accents. Available in a triple and six-pack, both bags in the collection will also feature the iconic Sharapova seal embroidered into the side of the bag.
“The U.S Open is tennis’ biggest stage. The City comes even more alive for those two weeks, with all eyes fixated on Flushing Meadows so it is the perfect place for us to introduce the world to the new collection,” said Maria. “It is always fun to sit with the expert team at Prince and put our heads together to plan, develop and execute new products.”
“Of course my new racquet bag is coordinated with what I will wear on court at the Open, but because of its classic color scheme and clean, simple lines, it looks amazing with nearly every tennis outfit — giving female players a chic looking bag with incredible function.”
The rest of the Prince stable also gets some attention with a new Pro Team 100 line being produced for the Open. Each bag in the line will be made available in two distinct color options — black and green and black and white. While both will have a sleek, classic black base color, one version will feature — for the first time ever — the Prince logo in its updated green colorway accented by silver paneling.
The other version will feature a classic white Prince logo with white accents on the straps and underside. The Pro Team 100 collection comes in a triple, six, and twelve-pack racquet bag; plus a locker bag, wheeled duffle, and a backpack. Both the six and twelve-pack contain a thermal foil lining crucial for increased protection and temperature control.
Who gets what: The racquet each Prince player uses will dictate which version of the bag he or she carries. Those playing the O3 Speedport Black, O3 Speedport White, O3 Speedport Pro White or O3 White will carry the black/white version, while those playing the Ozone Tour, Ozone Pro Tour, O3 Hybrid Tour, and all other O3 models will carry the green/black version.
Players like Nikolay Davydenko, Juan Carlos Ferrero, Sam Querrey, Mike and Bob Bryan, and Jelena Jankovic will all carry their Pro Team 100 bags in events prior to New York.
Jankovic, who plays with the O3 Speedport Pro White, and currently sits at the doorstep of the world’s #1 ranking, will be the first woman on tour to sport the black/white bag.
“My life is pretty much packed into my racquet bag — it is my most valuable piece of luggage,” said Jankovic. “Whether in my hotel room, heading to an early morning workout or in the middle of a night match at the U.S Open, wherever I am, my racquet bag is usually with me so it has to be able to withstand what tennis players put it through, but also look great on court. I love the look and design of this bag line — and am proud and excited to be one of the first to carry the black/white version on tour.”
Buy: Pro Team 100 line and the new Sharapova Collection bags will be in stores starting September 15, 2008; black and white Pro Team version will drop on November 15, 2008. More info about pricing here.
French Connection, from whose teat TSF sucked a LOT of clothes, makes an appearance at these Wimbledon championships on British player Elena Baltacha. I never would have thought that their in-your-face branding campaign (”FCUK”, which stands for French Connection United Kingdom) could have a place in the hallowed grounds of this uber-traditional event.
But I guess an almost-obscenity is on par with mensy-looking get-up Dominika Cibulkova wore for her first round match against Jie Zheng. (Zheng won 6-4, 6-3.) Cibulkova subs for Tati Golovin as the 2008 Lacoste bunny. Sadly, this flashy underwear is now year-old news.
Browse: You can check out the latest offerings from the FCUK online store here.
(player photos by Getty Images; FCUK banner by fcuk.com)
Brent Hunsberger, the man behind the Playbooks and Profiles blog at The Oregonian, is reporting that Le Coq Sportif plans to scale back its North American operations, a move likely brought on by the weak dollar and slow U.S. economy. Which is sad, considering that the company just launched the Spring 2008 line (reviewed here) and the Myth shoe (here); and they made a splash signing basketball up-and-comer Joakim Noah, son of French tennis great and longtime LCS spokeperson Yannick Noah, to endorse the brand.
LCS set up its North American shop in Portland, Ore. (also home to Nike), with CEO Tim McCool at the helm. Hunsberger asked him what was going on:
When asked if Le Coq was shutting Portland operations, McCool said, “I’ll give you more details tomorrow (Tuesday).” The company planned to publicly announce its changes later this week, he said.
I hope the news isn’t too bad. But even if that fizzles out, the chicken lives on!
Moving out: It’s highly likely that they’ll leave the apparel enclave of the Pacific Northwest (where adidas and Nike are based) and shift their management and operations to the East Coast.
Reaching out: LCS will focus on consumers of the “lifestyle” product focusing around fashion collections. Once that’s in place, they’ll move on to the “performers” aka tennis players.
The superhero team of Venus Williams and Andre Leon Talley strike again, this time arriving together for the Costume Institute’s gala opening of the exhibition “Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy” at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Venus came out in a Carolina Herrera gown with Fred Leighton jewels while Andre wore Giorgio Armani; both were shrouded by a red Chanel cape apropos for the occasion.
George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Anna Wintour, and Armani chaired the $15,000-a-head gala that brought out the A-listers.
Wintour wore Chanel Haute Couture (by none other than Karl Lagerfeld) — think bighorn sheep circa 2050 — while the men’s best dressed included Zac Posen in a royal blue tux and hottie Marc Jacobs in classic black with muse Sofia Coppola in tow.
From the Telegraph:
Inside the museum, guests were dwarfed by 30ft statues of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, contemporary versions of the ancient superheroes sculpted in marble in the museum’s Graeco-Roman gallery.
The “Superheroes” exhibition opens with a mirrored illusion of Clark Kent morphing into Superman and features radical catwalk creations by some of the world’s top designers and comic book costumes from Hollywood blockbusters such as Spiderman and Batman.
Pride of place is given to the heavy-metal suit-of-armour worn by Robert Downey Jr in “Iron Man”, the new movie which took more than £50 million at the box office on its opening weekend. Dinner was served in the Met’s 15 B.C. Egyptian Temple of Dendur, with tables arranged amidst massive sculptures of ‘Kryptonite’.
More: See a picture of Venus’ dress after the cut…
Bethanie Mattek toned things down as she played this week’s Boyd Tinsley USTA Women’s Pro Championships in Virginia. This Bebe Sport halter dress uses the right amount of flashy color accents to spruce up — and not distract — the ensemble.
The squeaky wheel… Remember Bethanie’s tunic-and-tube socks Wimbledon debacle of 2006? Apparently, officials fell for the shock-and-awe approach of her kit: “They actually came up to me after my match and asked me to donate it to the museum,” she tells the Charlottesville Daily Progress. “They are in the museum now at Wimbledon.” Wow.
(via Colette; photo by The Daily Progress/Kaylin Bowers)