A Grand Slam Of Style: the Tennis and Fashion Full Swing – ADJOAA
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A Grand Slam Of Style: the Tennis and Fashion Full Swing

If you are a stranger to the hottest sport for summer 2024, let’s catch up—— it’s tennis. After the 2020 pandemic, tennis has become more than popular, its long social distance nature made it the perfect exercise back then, and the popularity came to a peak recently along with Zendaya’s latest movie Challengers released in April. Not to mention how viral the topics of Zendaya’s on-theme looks are, you could feel the tenniscore aesthetics feeding your algorithm with preppy styles——white polo shirts, v-neck knit shirts, and pleated mini-skirt. The search for “tennis shirts” has increased 157% since 2022. People are showing noticeable interest in heritage brands like Lacoste and Ralph Lauren——the sale of the latter in 2024 grew by 3% which exceeded expectations. 
(Gotham/GC Images)


The French Open is ongoing with Wimbledon on the horizon, tenniscore hits its full swing in this sweaty summer. Pause here, are you ever wondering how tennis fashion was built up from the beginning? 


Tennis has always been tied to fashion. Since the 19th century, tennis attire, especially for players, has been strict. Male players needed to wear hats and ties and female players donned street clothing with corsets and bustles. By the 1890s, white became the exclusive dress code and also a tradition for tennis attire. This tradition of wearing white persisted well into the 20th century, reflecting tennis’s deep bond to the upper class, and wealth——as white clothing required frequent laundering——a luxury beyond the reach of the working class. Although the colourful tennis attire appears due to the relaxed fashion norms, the all-white tradition is still a dress code, like at Wimbledon.


Coming to new tennis attire, superstars like Arthur Ash and Martina Hingis inspired these new outfits and added colours to the court, influencing fashion on and off the lawn. David Gill, founder of Tennis Grip says,


Not to be a generalist, but no matter what any designer says, that era is where inspiration is where tennis fashion derived from. It was a different game, just like how Jordan changed the landscape of basketball wear, those brands, especially Nike Court and the Agassi collections, drive tennis streetwear. It gave life to what was initially a rather monotonous playing field. (NYLON)



(Photos from Arthur Ashe)


If you are aware that fashion has its trickle-down effect, you can always sense the upcoming fashion trends from high fashion brands. The clue of the rise of tenniscore is all over the SS and AW2024 stages. Since 2022, Miu Miu has established the Miu Miu Tennis Club to make tennis an asset fashion theme of the brand. For 2024, Miu Miu sent tenniscore to its runways. 


(Miu Miu. Miu Miu Tennis Club)


 (Vogue/Miu Miu SW 2024)

With the grand coming back of Y2K fashion, the concept of circular fashion keeps ringing, tenniscore is another form of the concept. However, there are always some twists playing around like Arthur Ashe applies. 

At Adjoaa, we embrace the upcoming tennis season with our unique twists from emerging indie black-owned brands from the African continent and Africa diaspora, providing you with perfect outfits whether you're hooraying for tennis matches or enjoying your stay around Grand Slams. 


Our ethical and sustainable picks 


As mentioned, the narrative is no longer wearing all white on Centre Court, eating strawberries and cream, while drinking champagne. While many of us can't play tennis like Novak Djokovic or Serena Williams, we could definitely enjoy the tennis summer with African style fashion across the stadium. 


Before heading to the stadium, you’re hesitating about your fashion choice for the first day of the US Open. Want to add some spice to tenniscore, but you refuse to show your  thighs? Pulling out ER-ZUM-AH’s denim skirt, the bronze buttons create the perfect preppy vibe you’re looking for. Maybe a glimpse of thighs could also work? Aga Culture’s A-line overlay wrap skirt is another choice. Pairing with a bow tie blouse from NYNY Ada Habotai, you’re ready to go. 


Adjoaa's Select: NYNY Ryke Prêt à Couture Blouse, ER-ZUM-AH Denim Skirt, AGA Culture Wrap SkirtJiamini Bag



Calling a day off and waiting hours to get into the stadium with your besties, the top pick of your Wimbledon fashion choice is a white dress——continues the dress code——but not entirely. In the midst of the bustling crowd, you navigate through, your fashionable African dresses——Abiola Olusola shirt dress swaying and the crochet skirt beneath tassels brushing against your calves. As you reach the court-side bar, you skip the champagne and order a refreshing lemonade Pimm's instead. Drink in hand, orange bubbles are popping, you make your way back to the stands. Complementing your cinched-waist dress, your African accessories like ILE-IFE 22k gold wavy oval hoop earrings shimmer in the sunlight, it's giving the perfect leisure elegance to your look. Enjoying a sip at Battersea Power Station after the game, your favourite Kkerele platform sandals guarantee you a long-standing, walking, and shopping day. 


Adjoaa's Select: Abiola Olusola Shirt DressAbiola Olusola Crochet Skirt, Abiola Olusola Raw Hem Dress, Laurenne Dress, Abiola Olusola Bubble Dress, Project Dyad Tote Bag, Project Dyad Sky Blue Bag, ILE-IFE Earrings, ILE-IFE Hoops, Kkerele Gray Sandals, Kkerele Green Sandals


Now you know what the gathering is, for the final day, you need something agile and comfortable because you need to survive the crazy crowd after the champion lifts the trophy. On the morning of the final match, you and your partner choose to wear cotton sets in Morandi—— M.O.T’s multilayer skirt set always looks good—— don’t forget Ajabeng, an African dress for men, it's giving quiet luxury.


Adjoaa's Select: M.O.T Gola Set, M.O.T Fleur Set, Ajabeng Kaftan, Kkerele Slip On, Maliko Sandals, 21 Wool Street Crochet Bag, Aaks Bucket Bag, Xita Ear Pins


Adjoaa's Select: Ajabeng Suede Lapel Shirt, Ajabeng Yamoah Shirt, Ajabeng Kumi ShirtAjabeng Asiakwa Shirt, Ufalme Designs Backpack, Kkerele Slip OnBôhten Sunglasses







London, June 11 2024 

AuthorYurui Cai, is the social media, content, and editorial intern at Adjoaa, specialising in fashion forecasting and insights. She authored this blog and coordinated the fashion styling and merchandising features.

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