Japanese mega-brand UNIQLO has today announced plans to launch a line of tennis apparel, based on the performance wear that the company kitted out global brand ambassador Novak Djokovic in this season.
Launching in the US on 27th August, the same day that the US Open commences, the line includes 10 items of adult clothing including warm up jackets, pants, shirts, tennis shorts and various accessories.
Shin Odake, UNIQLO’s US CEO and Fast Retailing Group Officer has confirmed that the line will resemble closely the tennis kit that Djokovic has worn this season, in both its appearance and its feel. Commenting on the announcement, Odake told press “We are very excited about introducing the Novak Djokovic replica tennis line first in the US, and to coincide our launch with the start of the US Open.”
UNIQLO has been a sponsor of the world number 2 player since May and has taken considerable care in the creation of Djokovic’s performance wear. Creative Director Naoki Takizawa has participated himself in designing the Grand Slam champion’s tennis kit stating that it was Djokovic’s own playing style and roots that influenced his designs – “It was the national flag of Serbia that actually inspired me…I was inspired by the shape of the wings of the eagles that are on the flag….In my mind, the design needed to be simple, so that it didn’t interfere with his very precise playing style.”
Made from unique and innovative fabrics, including the “newest product from Toray Industries, who is a close partner of UNIQLO”, the performance wear line and its creation has seriously impressed Djokovic – “The UNIQLO creative team, led by Takizawa-san, understands the importance of achieving the right balance…so that my performance wear can support my movement on court and give me an extra boost of confidence when aiming for my points.”
Although initially only available in the US during August – from the UNIQLO 5th Avenue, 34th Street and Soho Stores – UNIQLO has confirmed that the line will be made available to worldwide markets from a later date.