Lines of Force
Tenniswear collections for Spring 2005 are big on textures, tech fabrics and colors.
Technical fabrics that wick away moisture and are quick-drying, such as Vaportex, are big for Marcia apparel, especially in bra tops, polos and some skirts, says Pratrice Brayer, the national sales manager. “We’ve also incorporated more surface-textured fabrics, especially in our all-white collections, to make them more interesting,” says Brayer, adding that color-blocking continues to be a big component of Marcia’s lines. “We’ve gone even deeper in terms of styles offered that are color-blocked. It’s extremely popular with teams,” she says. Marcia has also incorporated more reversible garments, including a reversible skirt. 800-423-5208; www. marciagolfandtennis.com
New in Diadora’s line for spring is the Tessa collection with dress, tank top and skirt, made with 91 percent DiaDry nylon/9 percent spandex, combined with mesh insets for breathability. DiaDry is a moisture-management system that helps keep players cool and dry. The Tessa line comes in royal blue, navy, red, maroon, purple, forest green and black, all with white trim. Also new is the Irina top and skirt (in royal blue, red and black, with white piping and trim) and the Bella top, with a hidden, built-in mesh sports bra. 253-520-8868; www.diadoraamerica.com
Ellesse created its Tennis Advantage line (shown) with performance tech fabrics designed to keep players cool and dry. The collection includes women’s racer-back tank top, skort and warm-ups, in addition to a men’s zip crew-neck. The Tennis Essentials line consists of core basics in navy, red, white and black, which work year-round for active players. Essentials can mix and match with Ellesse’s Tennis Signature collection, which are classically styled pieces in functional materials, designed for on or off the court. 561-491-9000; www.ellesse.com
For Lejay, “athletic-inspired looks” are big, says Trish Levin, vice president of merchandising. But, she adds, “What’s been past in tennis might be coming around again in an updated sort of fashion.” Lejay’s new Palm Beach Pucci “Retro-Racquet” collection features a classic camisole and skirt in white Meryl pique with crossed racquet embroidery. Also available is a coordinating visor. Lejay also offers a new line of screen-printed novelty T-shirts. 800-932-7535; www.lejay.com
“It’s all about color and texture,” says Katie Curry, LBH’s vice president of marketing. “For spring 2005, we wanted to provide something for everyone. The styles are sleek, simple and flattering to the figure. The fabrics are technical with a subtle surface interest for added dimension.” The LBH Blue Crush collection (shown) offers a “flair of the feminine,” along with textured fabric. For the Lily’s of Beverly Hills line, the Wild Orchid collection (below), combines a gingham check with white eyelet pointelle. And in LBH’s Wimbledon Traditions (bottom), classic navy and white are combined with a stretch micro-polyester cable stitch fabric. 800-421-4474; www.lbhgroup.com
Merchandising Director Sue Harding says Kaelin Sportswear’s new collections build on the company’s reputation for quality fabrics. “We’re continuing with our popular microfiber and Meryl jerseys, faux suede and meshes,” she says, “as well as introducing a few new textures with each collection.” (Meryl provides comfort and breathability and can offer protection against UV rays.) Colors in the spring lines are “saturated” and intense, says Harding, rather than pale, although Kaelin plans on bringing in paler colors for later in the spring. “Stripes are still strong,” she says, adding that the fabrics “lend themselves to nice body-fitting silhouettes.” 800-525-5415; www.kaelinsportswear.com
“Everything is performance fabrics, and ours is ‘Moisture-Move,’” says Peter Antonacci of Sporting Look. Moisture-Move transfers moisture away from the skin to the outside of the fabric, keeping players cooler, drier and more comfortable. Antonacci says his new lines offer more performance T-shirts. “For men, it’s more and more casual,” he says. “We’re seeing V-neck T’s and long-sleeved T’s.” Sporting Look, which specializes in custom-embroidered tenniswear, also has expanded its color palette for men’s and women’s cotton pique polos. 800-750-8960; www.sportinglook.com
Bumi Sirotka designed her new tennis collection, with its signature pineapple logo, to make a sophisticated statement both on and off the court. “The shapes are neatly defined, creating a fitted look with comfort and ease for an active game,” she says. Women’s designs include an inverted pleat skirt, sleeveless rib trim polo, sleeveless V-neck stretch tricot tennis dress, racer-back scoop-neck top, stretch jersey A-line skirt, long-sleeve polo and T-shirt and a classic pleat skirt. 212-327-0095; www.bumisirotka.com
“Fashion” is king in the spring collection from Tail, which this year is celebrating its 30th anniversary with the tagline: “30 years of tennis fashion and dressing for the game.” New for spring is the Nautical Sport line, featuring Tail’s signature waffle fabric in a red, white and blue group. “Grommets and cording detail emphasize a nautical feeling,” says Amy Bentley, Tail’s marketing manager. New items include a hoodie sweater, long-sleeve crewneck for sun protection, and a warm-up vest. Also new is Tail’s Tennis Diva group, in blush, crystal blue and black, and white. 800-678-8245; www.tailinc.com
“We’re getting back to designing groupings for women, as well as for men,” says Randy Johnson of Wilson Apparel. “Our product manager and designer, Rob Grow, has designed a fit system for ladies, allowing consumers to choose from one of three fits in apparel: fitted, athletic and classic. This helps us have something for everyone, from the junior girl to the senior player.” Johnson says Wilson’s sun-protection grouping is doing well. “People are asking for it by name, and we’ve spun off a female cut.” Wilson Apparel, which is also big in custom embroidery, has expanded its junior line for spring in both color and styling. 800-990-0000; www.athco.com
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About the Author
Peter Francesconi is editorial director of RSI magazine.